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PARTNERSHIP

If you're a Christian believer and consider yourself part of the Christ Church family, we would generally encourage you to become a formal "Partner" (ie what other churches often call "member") of the church. 


Becoming a partner is akin to putting your hand up and saying "Yes, Christ Church is MY church". We generally ask anyone coming into partnership to go through our 7-week Partnership Course which explains something of what we stand for, how we operate and what's involved in being a Partner. (NB we don't insist on this for undergraduates; they can defer doing the course until they graduate or move into fourth year.) 


If you're interested in exploring this, please get in touch with Orlando and he'll suggest the next step. If - and only if - you've already been invited to fill out a partnership application form, you can do so by proceeding to the form using the button below. Our Statement of Faith and Doctrinal Distinctives are essential reading before you go any further! You can find them below.

Statement of faith

The doctrinal basis that Christ Church Southampton affirms and proclaims shall be the fundamental truths of the historic, orthodox Christian Faith, as revealed in the Bible. 


God

There is one, and only one, living and true God, who is eternal and immutable. He is the Lord and sovereign over all creation. In the unity of the Godhead, there are three distinct persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God governs all things according to His will and is accomplishing His purposes in the world and in the Church.


The Scriptures

The Bible, as originally given, is the inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God. It comprises the 66 books of the Old and New Testament and is true in its entirety. It is the authority by which all human conduct is governed, and all Christians must therefore submit to its supremacy and sufficiency, both individually and corporately, in all matters of belief and conduct.


Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. He is truly God and truly man, yet without sin. He was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day He was raised bodily from death, he ascended into heaven and now reigns over heaven and earth at the right hand of God the Father, where he is the only mediator between God and man.


Man

God created humankind, male and female, in His likeness. All men and women are sinful by nature and are incapable of regaining righteousness by personal effort. All humans have equal value before God and were created to worship God and to enjoy relationship with Him. This relationship was disrupted by the voluntary disobedience of our first parents. All humans therefore fall under the just judgement of God and are alienated from Him, from each other, and from His creation.


Salvation

Restoration to true righteousness and reconciliation with God is provided by God’s free gift of salvation from the guilt, penalty and eternal consequences of sin. Salvation is provided solely through the work of Jesus Christ and through no other person, creed, process or power. Salvation was accomplished through the perfect obedience, penal substitutionary death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. A sinner’s justification before God from beginning to end, is by God’s grace alone, appropriated by faith in Christ alone. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to those who are saved as the only ground of acceptance before God.


Holy Spirit

In order to receive salvation, a man or woman must be regenerated, or born again, by the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been sent from heaven to glorify Christ. It is through His work alone that sinners are convicted of sin, brought to repentance and new birth, and grow in maturity and a true understanding of the Scriptures. He indwells all believers, brings assurance of salvation and produces likeness to Christ. He builds up the Church and empowers its members for worship, service and mission.


The Church

Christ is the head of the universal church, which is the body to which all who are saved belong. The church’s calling is to serve God in the world, to proclaim, obey and defend His truth, to exhibit His character and to demonstrate the reality of the life-transforming power of God. Members of the universal church are commanded to join together in local congregations. A local church is a visible assembly of believers, who are united under suitably qualified leadership, who meet together for Bible teaching, corporate worship, fellowship and prayer, and to encourage one another to persevere in faith and good works. A local church administers the ordinances instituted by Jesus Christ, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and exercises pastoral care and discipline. True fellowship between churches only exists when they are faithful to the apostolic gospel.


The Return of Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory, to raise the dead and to bring salvation and judgement to final completion. He will grant eternal life to His people and eternal punishment to those who have not believed the gospel. God will fully establish His kingdom when he creates a new heaven and a new earth from which evil and evildoers, suffering and death will be excluded, and in which he will be glorified for ever.

doctrinal distinctives

These Doctrinal Distinctives state the doctrinal position and thereby determine the practice of Christ Church Southampton in respect of certain issues. It is recognised that true evangelical Christian believers may hold different views on these matters. Persons will be welcomed into membership of Christ Church Southampton who hold different views, provided they are prepared to respect the beliefs and practices of the church and not seek to undermine them. A person may only become an elder who wholeheartedly subscribes to these beliefs and is willing to uphold them.  


Please note that we are currently reviewing the wording of some of these Distinctives; do feel welcome to discuss any particular questions you have with one of the church staff, or an elder.



Sufficiency of Scripture

Christ Church Southampton believes that God speaks to men and women today through the Scriptures. When the Scriptures are read publicly or privately, God speaks by His Spirit. The Scriptures contain everything that is necessary for God to say, whether explicitly or through deduction, to enable men and women to come to salvation through Christ, to grow to maturity in Christ such that they might live to please Him. The Scriptures are entirely sufficient in this regard; therefore no additional word or revelation from God is required to enable a person to know God or to know His will. Should anyone claim that God is speaking a word by any means other than through the Scriptures, such word would not be accepted unless it were first rigorously tested to determine whether it is consistent with the Scriptures. In accordance with the New Testament, the elders of the church are the persons within the congregation who bear the responsibility for assessing whether any such word is genuinely from God.


Election and Evangelism

Christ Church Southampton believes that God is sovereign in the salvation of men and women. Those persons who exercise genuine repentance and true faith in Jesus Christ do so because they have been chosen by God. Knowledge of this truth promotes amongst believers absolute humility and assurance of salvation. However, it does not follow from the truth of election that believers need not participate in witness and mission. The Church is commanded by Jesus Christ to preach the gospel to all nations and the proclamation of the gospel is the means by which the elect are brought to salvation.


Baptism

Christ Church Southampton believes that baptism into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is an outward sign that marks a person’s regeneration and baptism by the Holy Spirit into membership of the Church of Jesus Christ. As such it should only properly be administered to a person who publicly professes faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism should, wherever possible, be administered by immersion in water, symbolising that the person baptised has been united with Christ in His death and resurrection, and is the possessor of the benefits thereof.


The Lord’s Supper

Christ Church Southampton believes that the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance meal at which Christian believers share the elements which represent the body and blood of Christ together. This is to remind themselves of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, of the new covenant which He inaugurated, and to proclaim that He will return. Jesus Christ is no more present at a celebration of the Lord’s Supper than at any other gathering of the local church. The Lord’s Supper should be celebrated on a regular basis.


Singing

Christ Church Southampton believes that the whole of the Christian life should be one of worship. Singing has always been a significant element within Christian worship. We sing because we rejoice in being in Christ. Singing is a key element in expressing gratitude, in training us to be thankful in everything, to proclaim God’s Word and to prepare us to hear and respond to Bible teaching. Our singing at Christ Church Southampton aims to use a selection of older hymns, withtheir strong theology and scriptural experiences of our Christian faith, together with appropriate modern hymns and songs. Our criteria for choosing any song are that it should contain biblical truth and the expression of scriptural experience in contemporary language. We use Praise! hymn book as a primary source, which makes the language of traditional hymns more accessible to the modern worshipper.


Pastoral responsibility in the Local Church

Christ Church Southampton believes that, in accordance with the pattern established in Scripture, a local church congregation should be led by a plurality of gifted elders. Whilst God created men and women in absolute equality, he also ordained that leadership in the family, within the context of marriage, and in the church, should be the functional responsibility of men. For this reason, in obedience to the Word of God, the elders of Christ Church Southampton are required to be male. Christ is the Head of the Church. The duly appointed elders of the local church are therefore the under-shepherds of Christ. Following the example of Christ, they are to love and serve the members of the church, working to present them to God as holy and blameless. In return, the members of the church are required to submit themselves to the leadership of the elders, in so far as it is exercised in accordance with the Scriptures. Also, in accordance with the pattern of Scripture, male and female members of the church with appropriate gifts may be set apart as deacons to serve particular needs arising in the life of the church.


The Priesthood of all Believers

We believe that every member of the church is called by God to exercise his or her gifts, whatever they may be, by ministering to other members. Christ Church Southampton does not believe that there is any scriptural justification for a distinction amongst believers between clergy and laity, but affirms that every believer is a priest who enjoys direct access to God and is able to minister to others. The elders and deacons of the church are not superior to other members of the church. They are believers who are recognised by fellow church members as being appropriately gifted by God, in character and gifts, to undertake such responsibilities. Ensuring the delivery of public Bible teaching within the life of the church is the responsibility of the elders.


Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Christ Church Southampton believes that every genuine believer is baptised by the Holy Spirit at the moment when they are regenerated and brought to faith in Jesus Christ. The experiences of the disciples at Pentecost and of the Samaritan believers in Acts chapter 8 were unique moments of salvation history, and they do not provide a pattern for present day spiritual experience. All believers are urged by Scripture to ensure that they are increasingly yielded to the power, influence and control of the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. This fullness of the Holy Spirit is evident when the fruit of the Spirit is apparent in the life of the Christian believer.


Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Christ Church Southampton believes that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the New Testament may be bestowed upon believers today as God himself directs in His sovereignty. The gifts of the Holy Spirit did not cease to be available to the church with the passing of the apostolic age and they will only pass away when Christ returns to establish His Kingdom. Nevertheless, there are no modern-day prophets or apostles who are vehicles of direct revelation in the sense that the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles were. The foundation on which the church is being built was laid and finished centuries ago and we cannot tamper with it in any way today.


Gift of Tongues

Christ Church Southampton believes that although the gift of tongues may be given to believers today, it is not a gift which is given to every believer, nor is it a sign of receipt of the Holy Spirit. Tongues are given not as a means by which God may speak to His church, but as a gift whereby members of the church are enabled to praise God in languages other than their own. The gift of tongues should be used publicly to offer praise to God only when an interpreter is present who will be able to translate the praise offered, so that it can be understood and affirmed by all members of the congregation.


Sex and Sexuality

Christ Church Southampton believes that God created men and women as sexual creatures. As such it is entirely right and pleasing to God that they should enjoy the pleasure of sexual intimacy. However, God has ordained that the only proper relationship within which such sexual intimacy may be enjoyed is in heterosexual marriage. Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman who are not married to each other, or between persons of the same gender, is sinful and displeasing to God. Those who engage in sexual intimacy outside of the context of a marriage relationship, whether co-habiting or not, and who do not repent of their sin, face the certain prospect of judgement. However, God longs that all persons who have fallen short of His standards of sexual behaviour should repent, so that they may receive complete forgiveness through Jesus Christ, resist temptation and live in a manner pleasing to Him.


Marriage and Divorce

Christ Church Southampton believes that it is the clear teaching of Scripture that marriage is for life. The husband must accept the responsibility to lead and to love sacrificially, as Christ loved the church. The wife is expected to respond in sacrificial love and godly submission. Both partners are to work hard to maintain their lifelong commitment and the church will support them to that end. It is the view of Christ Church Southampton that the Lord Jesus Christ permitted divorce for one cause only, namely the adultery of a married partner. In the event that there is no repentance and reconciliation they may separate and if all else fails, divorce. There are two traditional, but contrasting interpretations of Scripture concerning the permissibility of re-marriage after divorce. In practice, in deference to the more conservative view, Christ Church Southampton will not re-marry divorced persons.

church life and conduct

INTRODUCTION

The mission of Christ Church Southampton (the “Church”) is to build Christ’s church by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God.



SECTION I: PARTNERSHIP


The Church is made up of Christian people who are committed to working together under God towards the mission of the Church. They are known individually as ‘Partners’ and collectively as ‘the Partnership’.


1. Admission to the Partnership

1.1 Anyone may apply to become a Partner, providing he/she submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, has been baptised according to the tradition of this or another church, is in full agreement with the Church’s Statement of Faith (see Appendix 1), is willing to respect the Church’s Doctrinal Distinctives (see Appendix 2) and wishes to pursue lifelong growth in faith, knowledge and obedience to Christ in the context of the Church community.

1.2 Applications for Partnership are made, in the first instance, by approaching any Elder.

1.3 The Elders are responsible for determining each applicant’s suitability for Partnership, relying on a person’s profession of faith, or any other evidence they deem appropriate.

1.4 Where a person applying to become a Partner was previously a partner or member of another church, the Elders may request a character reference from the leaders of that church.

1.5 Where a person is a partner or member of another church and wishes to remain so while temporarily resident in or around Southampton, he/she may apply to become an Associate Partner. Associate Partners are treated as Partners in all matters (including application, resignation, responsibilities and discipline). Should their residency in or around Southampton become indefinite, they will, on request, automatically become Partners.


2. Responsibilities of Partners

Partners of the Church are expected to demonstrate commitment to the Church by:

  • regularly attending the Sunday gatherings and prayer meetings of the Church;
  • serving the Church according to their gifting;
  • regularly praying for the work and ministry of the Church;
  • contributing financially to the work of the Church according to their means;
  • actively participating in the mission of the Church;
  • attending the Church business meetings; and
  • submitting to the Elders consistent with the provisions of Scripture and this document.

3. Resignation of Partnership

3.1 A Partner may resign his or her Partnership at any time.

3.2 A Partner will normally be treated as having resigned from Partnership if he or she becomes a member or partner of another church (or moves away from the area) with no specific intention of returning.


4. Discipline of Partners

4.1. Where a Partner has departed significantly from godly doctrine or behaviour and fails to demonstrate repentance, he or she may be subject to the discipline of the Church.

4.2 The purposes of discipline are, in keeping with 1 Corinthians 5, (a) the restoration to spiritual health of the Partner concerned and (b) the spiritual protection of the Church.

4.3 Discipline may be exercised where a Partner:

  • no longer affirms the Church’s Statement of Faith;
  • no longer respects the Church’s Doctrinal Distinctives;
  • behaves in such a way as to bring the Church into disrepute;
  • consistently fails to fulfil the obligations of a Partner of the Church;
  • makes false and malicious allegations against another Partner of the Church; or
  • is no longer living in submission to the Elders.

4.4 Discipline may be exercised in any of the following ways:

  • private admonishment by the Elders;
  • public admonishment by the Elders;
  • removal from a recognised ministry role;
  • exclusion from the Lord’s Supper;
  • suspension from the Partnership;
  • dismissal from the Partnership;

4.5 Where a Partner has been the subject of any of the above measures, but the Elders determine that he or she has demonstrated repentance and sought forgiveness (whether of the Church in general or of those individuals affected by his or her conduct), the measures will be removed or reversed by the Elders. Where an individual has been dismissed from the Partnership, restoration will require a new application for Partnership.



SECTION II: LEADERSHIP


The Elders of the Church are the leaders, under Christ, of the Church, serving as “pastor-teachers”. Partners are expected to submit to their leadership, provided that such pastoral responsibility is consistent with the provisions of Scripture and of this document.


1. Responsibilities of Elders

The Elders will perform the following functions to maintain the Church’s ministry:

  • ensure that true doctrine is maintained by Partners;
  • organise the regular preaching and Bible-teaching at public and private meetings of the Church, ensuring that all who teach (including outside speakers) subscribe to the Statement of Faith and respect the Doctrinal Distinctives;
  • equip and encourage the Partners for evangelism and ministry;
  • take primary responsibility (delegating where appropriate) for the employment, supervision and evaluation of Church staff members;
  • ensure the orderly administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper within the Church;
  • exercise pastoral oversight of other Church activities;
  • provide pastoral care for the Partners;
  • exercise discipline of the Partners where necessary;
  • call and co-ordinate the Church business meetings as required by this document;
  • govern the Church according to the terms of this document and the requirements of Scripture
  • appoint Partners who are suitably gifted and qualified to different roles and areas of responsibility within the Church as they see fit, in order to ensure that the Church continues to fulfil its mission;
  • ensure that the reputation of the Church is protected by complying with the legal responsibilities of the Church including data protection, health and safety and safeguarding;
  • ensure that an accurate record of Partners is maintained, that accurate minutes of the Church business meetings are kept, and that Partners receive such notice as is required by the terms of this document for the holding of business meetings (delegating any of these functions where appropriate); and
  • by virtue of their office as Trustees of the Christ Church Southampton CIO discharge their duties as required.


2. The Qualifications of Elders

An individual being considered for appointment as an Elder must meet the following criteria:

  • he is male;
  • he is a Partner of the Church;
  • he meets the criteria of 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9;
  • he is of recognised Christian character;
  • he has a recognised gift of Bible teaching that he has exercised regularly in the Church or elsewhere;
  • he has a recognised pastoral love for the people of God that he has demonstrated regularly in the Church or elsewhere;
  • he has a recognised heart to serve the people of God that he has demonstrated regularly in the Church or elsewhere;
  • he is in full agreement with the Statement of Faith and the Doctrinal Distinctives;
  • he has a mature knowledge of the Bible and its teachings;
  • (if he is married) his wife is a professing believer of recognised Christian character and a Partner of the Church; and
  • (if he has children) he leads his family in a manner which demonstrates he is competent to exercise leadership in the Church.


3. The Appointment of Elders

3.1 There will always be at least three Elders, as far as is practicable.

3.2 The recognition of a new Elder involves the whole Church. Accordingly, where the Elders intend to propose the appointment of a new Elder, they will seek the mind of the Church by:

  • informing the Partners of their proposal, at least one month before the Church business meeting at which the appointment will be discussed;
  • inviting comments from the Partners as to the suitability of the proposed Elder for office according the qualifications listed above;
  • specifically requesting that any Partner with knowledge of a matter that might render the proposed Elder unsuitable for office should bring the matter to their attention;
  • investigating any matters that are raised with a view to determining whether the proposed Elder is suitable for office;
  • reporting back to any Partner who has raised a concern.

3.3 The appointment will be deemed to have been confirmed by the Church if it is still supported by the existing Elders after they have sought the mind of the Church through the consultation process outlined above, and the Partners will be asked to recognise the spiritual leadership of the newly appointed Elder at a Church business meeting.

3.4 A newly appointed Elder will be commissioned into office at a subsequent Sunday gathering of the Church. He shall be required to declare publicly his full agreement with the Statement of Faith and the Doctrinal Distinctives of the Church and that he will faithfully discharge the duties of his office in accordance with the provisions of this document.

3.5 The appointment is indefinite. An Elder continues to serve as long as he continues to fulfil the qualifications for Eldership and is able and willing to discharge the requirements of the office.

3.6 An Elder may withdraw from office – either temporarily or permanently – at any time by giving written notice of his intention to do so.

3.7 An Elder may be removed from office where:

  • he no longer affirms the Statement of Faith and/or the Doctrinal Distinctives;
  • he has committed serious and repeated sin such as could undermine the credibility of his ministry or bring the Church into disrepute;
  • he has failed to fulfil his responsibilities as an Elder;
  • he is no longer able to fulfil his responsibilities as an Elder due to illness or incapacity but is unwilling to resign;
  • the conduct of his wife or children is such as to undermine the credibility of his ministry or bring the Church into disrepute

3.8 Where a Partner makes an allegation of the type listed above, the Elders will thoroughly investigate the allegation on behalf of the Church, giving the Elder in question every opportunity for the allegation to be answered, and take action appropriate to their findings. If an Elder is to be removed from office in the Church, the remaining Elders will provide a statement on the matter to the Partnership.


4. Elders Meetings

4.1 The Elders are co-equal in respect of their authority in the Church, and are jointly responsible for the leadership of the Church.

4.2 They will meet regularly to discuss the business of the Church and to ensure that their functions are properly carried out.

4.3. The Elders will seek to reach decisions by way of consensus. Where the Elders are in disagreement, prayerful consideration will be given to the matter in order to seek future consensus on an issue. If consensus cannot be reached, decisions may be made where they are supported by the majority of the Eldership.

4.4 A Chairman shall be agreed by the Elders to chair any single Elders meeting. He will be responsible for an agenda being drawn up and for accurate minutes being kept, delegating where appropriate.

4.5 The Elders may invite any Partner to attend either a single Elders meeting, or a series of such meetings, if they consider that such attendance would be beneficial.


5. Paid staff

5.1 The Church (see paragraph IV.4.1) may employ and pay such staff as are deemed beneficial in pursuing its mission.

5.2 A Senior or Associate Pastor will serve as an Elder. He must therefore meet the qualifications for Elders, be appointed as an Elder and perform the duties of Elders as described above. He must also demonstrate particular gifting in preaching, teaching and training.

5.3 Other staff may be appointed to the Eldership independently of their position on the staff.

5.4 The employment of staff members, including remuneration, terms, conditions and termination of their employment, will be governed by an individual written contract.



SECTION III: CHURCH BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATION OF RESOURCES


The Church recognises the need for wise stewardship of God-given resources – both tangible and intangible. There are roles to be played by specific individuals and the Church as a whole as we pursue this stewardship.


1. Church Business Meetings

1.1. The Church will hold an Annual General Meeting and other meetings as deemed necessary by the Elders.

1.2. Church business meetings will be called by the Elders with at least two weeks’ notice and will be chaired by one of the Elders.

1.3. The Agenda for an Annual General Meeting will normally include:

  • a written or oral report from the Elders reviewing the state of the Church and outlining plans for the coming year;
  • a written or oral report from the Elders on any changes in Partnership during the year;
  • presentation by the Church Treasurer of examined or audited accounts (as appropriate) of Church finances for the last year; and
  • other items of business as required.

1.4 In general, only items appearing on the Agenda will be discussed at the business meeting. However, where a Partner makes a request to the Elders at least ten days in advance of the meeting, and provided the Elders approve its inclusion, the additional item may be discussed.

1.5 Where such a request is declined, the Partner may introduce a motion at the business meeting calling for the issue to be discussed. If at least 75% of the Partners present support this motion, an Extraordinary Church Business Meeting will be called within 60 days, where the issue will be discussed and one or more resolutions may be proposed by the Partner. Both the Partner and the Eldership will issue a clarification of their views and concerns no later than 10 days before the meeting. Any resolution proposed by the Partner at the meeting and not supported by the Eldership will be passed if it is supported by at least 75% of the Partners present.

1.6 Unless other voting requirements are specified in this document, a resolution of the Church will be passed at a business meeting if it is proposed by the Elders and is supported by a vote of the majority of those attending the meeting.


2. Church Finances

2.1 The Church will at all times have a Treasurer appointed from the Partnership by the Elders.

2.2 The Church Treasurer will:

  • maintain full and accurate records of the Church finances in a manner consistent with current accounting practices;
  • make payments of the Church money only in accordance with the direction of the Elders or resolutions of the Church;
  • present interim accounts, detailing any receipts and payments, to the Church at business meetings on request from the Elders;
  • present examined or audited accounts (as appropriate) of the Church finances at the Annual General Meeting; and
  • ensure that the Church possesses adequate and appropriate insurance for all Church activities, equipment and responsibilities.

2.3 Any of the duties of the Treasurer may be delegated to other Partners with the approval of the Elders, but must at all times remain under the co-ordination and supervision of the Treasurer.

2.4 The Treasurer may resign from office by giving three months’ written notice to the Elders.

2.5 The Elders may authorise the Treasurer to make payments, or enter into contracts committing the Church to payments, from Church funds, provided any single payment or (in the case of a contract) the financial commitment of the contract in any one year does not exceed 5% of the current year’s Church budget. Payments or contractual commitments exceeding this amount must be approved by the Partners, whether in the annual budget or by a separate resolution.

2.6 The Elders will appoint a suitably qualified independent person or organisation to examine or audit (as appropriate) the Church accounts annually.


3. Church Premises and Equipment

3.1 The Church may acquire the use of premises or purchase equipment needed to carry out Church activities.

3.2 The Elders may authorise any Partner to use the Church premises or equipment, provided that they have adequate maturity, instruction, and (where necessary) supervision.

3.3. The Elders may similarly permit the use of the Church premises or equipment by third parties or other organisations.


4. Authorised Church Activities

An activity will only be an activity of the Church if it is held with the prior authorisation of the Elders of Christ Church Southampton.



SECTION IV: THE INTEGRITY OF THE CHURCH


The Church is inevitably shaped by its key documents, its affiliations, those who participate in Church life and its legal responsibilities. In each of these, care must be taken to preserve the Church’s integrity.


1. Alteration to Church Documents

This document, the Statement of Faith or the Doctrinal Distinctives may only be altered if a proposed alteration is supported by the Elders and at least 75% of those present at a Church business meeting.


2. Affiliation to Organisations

2.1 The Elders may propose that the Church affiliates to any organisation where this would aid the church in its mission, provided that the organisation in question holds to doctrinal standards consistent with the Church’s Statement of Faith and does not admit into affiliation bodies which do not share such standards.

2.2 The Church will not affiliate to any organisation where such affiliation would mean that it is no longer able to operate as an autonomous self-governing body and fulfil its mission.


3. Inclusion of Non-Partners

3.1 Professing Christians who regularly attend the public gatherings of the Church will be regarded as being in fellowship with the Church and are consequently expected to respect this document, the Statement of Faith, the Doctrinal Distinctives and the leadership of the Elders.

3.2 Non-Partners who regularly attend the Church will ordinarily be invited to join with the Partners of the Church in celebrating the Lord’s Supper. This invitation will be given on the understanding that invitees are professing Christians and have been (or are seeking to be) baptised according to the traditions of this or another church.

3.3. The Elders may exclude from celebration of the Lord’s Supper non-Partners attending the Church who are not known to be professing Christians, or who are subject to the discipline of another church, or who are known to have committed open and notorious sin of which they have not repented.

3.4. Non-Partners may not attend Church business meetings unless expressly invited by the Elders. They will not be entitled to participate in any voting procedures.

3.5 Non-Partners may be excluded from public gatherings of the Church where they seek to disrupt the gathering or otherwise threaten the Church or any Partner present.

3.6 Non-Partners may not ordinarily exercise a role within the Church whereby they are entrusted with responsibility for the spiritual well-being of another person.


4. Legal structure

4.1 Where the Church or the Elders are said in this document to hold assets, enter into contracts of

employment or bear other legal responsibilities, they will do so by means of such legal structures as may be required for these purposes.

4.2 A Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered at the Charity Commission under registration number 1164459, has been established to hold the assets for the work of the Church and to provide legal oversight for the activities of the Church and the Elders.