We thought we’d take the time to answer some common questions and correct some of the misleading information out there:
Why are you named the “Plymouth Brethren Christian Church”?
In the early nineteenth century in England, many men and women were becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Anglican Church and its forms and customs.
This diverse group of dissatisfied Christians wanted to follow the teachings of the New Testament, centred on the celebration of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). This fellowship, or “Brethren”, focused on the individual’s direct relationship with God.
Some of the most prominent teachers of the Brethren were living in Plymouth, England. By 1829 the first permanent meetings had been held in simple meeting rooms and the members adopted the name Plymouth Brethren.
What makes Plymouth Brethren any different to other Christians?
Established for more than 180 years, the Plymouth Brethren are a mainstream Christian Church. Like many Christian churches, our Church is centred on the Holy Bible which we believe is the true Word of God and provides us with invaluable guidance for our lives.
The only significant difference between Plymouth Brethren and other Christians is we make a commitment to eat and drink only with those with whom we would celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
That said, of course we live and work with people of all walks of life in our local communities, and help and care for our neighbours, just as they help us.
I heard that members are prevented from using technology. Is this true?
No. Our school network, OneSchool, is built around technology rich classrooms. Plymouth Brethren children are taught at these schools by highly skilled teachers who use innovative and progressive digital learning methods.
Many of our members, especially those who work in family businesses use computers and phones at home, work and school.
Historically, Plymouth Brethren have been cautious in embracing new technologies in the digital age mostly to protect our children and vulnerable younger family members from images they may find troubling.
I read somewhere that members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church don’t pay tax. Is this true?
No, this is not true at all! All our members pay tax just like all Australians who abide by their tax obligations.
Are the Plymouth Brethren a cult?
No, the Plymouth Brethren are not a cult. Established for over 180 years, the Brethren are a mainstream Christian Church that has more than 300 autonomous assemblies in 18 countries around the world and whose members extensively engage with the wider community on a daily basis.
Do the Plymouth Brethren break-up families?
No. The incidence of marriage break-up amongst the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church is fortunately very rare and well below societal norms.
Any breakdown of relationships within a family is always tragic and every effort is expended to prevent this occurring or to try and bring in reconciliation if it does.
What is the position of women in the church?
The role of women in the Church is very important including direct involvement in the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion) and selection and announcing each hymn at every gathering.
The spiritual influence for good that the women “sisters” provide is highly valued amongst the congregation. In the Bible the moral equivalence of a husband and wife; Prisca and Aquila is very notable
Why do Brethren ladies wear head scarves?
Scripture enjoins that every woman praying with uncovered head causes herself shame and for this reason Brethren women wear head scarves whilst attending church services.
It is common for Brethren ladies to wear a ribbon or headband when out amongst the general public.