HOW WE OPERATE:
Congregational list means a list of Regular Worshippers and others who attend or who are associated with (by past attendance or family relationship etc) Woodmancote Church. The Congregational List will be reviewed at least once a year by the Leadership Team and updated appropriately at the discretion of the Leadership Team
Regular Worshipper means any person whose name appears on the Congregational List with the suffix (RW)
Any person (aged 18 years or above) whose name appears on the Congregational List who desires to be recognised as a Regular Worshipper may make a request in writing to the Leadership Team (in the form set out in Appendix 1) [see Footnote 1] at any time but not less than 14 days before a Church Meeting at which, if they were a Regular Worshipper, they would be entitled to vote. All Regular worshippers shall reaffirm in writing their desire to be recognised as a Regular Worshipper to the Leadership Team (in the form set out in Appendix 2) [see Footnote 1] annually or at such other regular intervals as shall be decided at the discretion of the Leadership Team
Being a member of the Church of Christ entails both privileges and responsibilities. It is expected that those who are considered Regular Worshippers should be:
- Regular in their attendance on Sundays ('Regular' is not defined and may be considered at the discretion of the Leadership Team but is reasonably expected to mean attendance on at least 40 Sundays in each year)
- Faithful in prayer and Bible reading including the activity of corporate prayer and Bible study.
- Generous in their giving.
- Diligent in their Christian living.
- Committed in their love and service for their Lord and his church by being eager:
- to get to know and show concern for the welfare of other Regular Worshippers and (so far as possible) those whose names otherwise appear on the Congregational List.
- to see the gospel communicated effectively within the community.
- and concerned for the on-going life of the church and so attend Church Meetings having given prayerful consideration to all matters on which a vote is required and to vote accordingly.
THE CHURCH MEETING
We acknowledge that:
- Christ is the head of the church.
- He calls, enables and equips individuals of a local congregation for roles of leadership and service.
Those appointed as leaders must be given the opportunity to discharge the responsibilities described below. However they also have a commitment to listen to Regular Worshippers and to involve them the ongoing life and ministry of the church.
To achieve these objectives:
A Church Meeting shall be held at least 4 times a year (one of which may be the Annual General Meeting) and details of any meeting must be announced on at least two consecutive Sundays before the date planned for the meeting.
- All persons whose names appear on the Congregational List are entitled to attend a Church Meeting but only Regular Worshippers are entitled to vote.
- A quorum for a Church Meeting shall be one-third of the number of Regular Worshippers appearing in the Congregational List.
- Any matter that a Regular Worshipper wishes to be included on the agenda of a Church Meeting must be submitted to a member of the Leadership Team at least 14 days before the date of the Church Meeting.
- Any motion before the Church Meeting (other than for the appointment of a Minister or appointment to the Leadership Team) will be carried if two-thirds of Regular Worshippers present vote in favour.
- A Special Church Meeting shall be convened if at least one-third of the Regular Worshippers make a written application to a member of the Leadership Team. Details of the Special Church Meeting must be announced on at least two consecutive Sundays before the date planned for the meeting. No other business will be transacted at a Special Church Meeting other than that specified in the notice convening the Meeting.
- An Annual General Meeting shall be held as soon as possible after the close of the church's Financial Year, when:
- the audited Annual Financial Statement will be presented
- Reports for the work of the church for the previous year will be approved.
- Leadership Team members will be appointed or re-appointed.
THE MINISTER (PASTOR)
The "calling" of a Minister (Pastor) requires the involvement of the Trustees of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion - who in principle are required by The Scheme (The Connexion’s Trust Document) to approve the appointment of a Minister to a local congregation. The minister (pastor) with the help and support of the other Leadership Team members, will be responsible for:
- ensuring that the Word of God is preached and taught.
- ensuring that the church meets regularly to pray.
- the exercise of pastoral oversight
- the observance of the ordinances of Holy Communion and Baptism.
- leading the church - as guided by the Holy Spirit - into new areas of ministry and service.
The Appointment Process
The appointment of a Minister (Pastor) shall take place at a specially convened Church meeting which normally will be chaired by a member of the Trustees. At least three quarters of the Regular Worshippers must vote in favour of the nominee being called to the Pastorate.
- This meeting will only be arranged after the issue of the pastorate has been fully discussed at previous Church meeting(s).
- An election procedure similar to that described below for appointment of a Leadership Team will be adopted for the appointing and re-appointing of a Minister.
THE LEADERSHIP TEAM
The size of the team will be commensurate with the number of suitably gifted Regular Worshippers. However, in practice it is unlikely that Leadership Team members will be greater than 10-15% of Regular Worshippers. The Leadership Team may appoint (but will not be obliged to do so) from within their number a Church Secretary and Treasurer. Details of these appointments will be announced as necessary during a Sunday service.
The Appointment Process
- Prior to the Annual General Meeting (when necessary) nominations will be invited for new Leadership Team members.
- All nominees must be Regular Worshippers and be sponsored by at least four other Regular Worshippers [for form of nomination see Footnote 2]
- All Regular Worshippers will be advised in writing, at least three weeks before the Annual General Meeting, of the name(s) of all nominees. A voting paper will be attached to the communication with instructions that it must be returned to a nominated person or persons by the Sunday prior to the date arranged for the Annual General Meeting. It is expected that all Regular Worshippers will vote in accordance with the responsibility they have undertaken in becoming a Regular Worshipper.
- At least two-thirds of Regular Worshippers must vote in favour of any nominee if they are to be appointed as a member of the Leadership Team.
- A method of recording returned voting papers will be adopted that preserves the concept of a secret ballot.
- If the number of nominees cannot reasonably be accommodated within the Leadership Team then the vote conducted will ask Regular Worshippers to express a preference for individual nominees.
- Members of the Leadership Team will normally serve for a period of three years. The above process will also be used to re-appoint any existing Leadership Team member.
- Any Leadership Team member who has served for two consecutive three periods will be asked to prayerfully consider whether they should serve for a further term.
Leadership Team - Areas of Responsibility:
- To give a positive lead in discerning God's will for the Church.
- To seek God's guidance concerning the particular steps and actions for every aspect of Church life.
- To lead by example, encouragement and exhortation.
Promotion of spiritual growth through:
- Worship and prayer and fellowship.
- Applying God's Word to all areas of church life both individual and corporate.
- Sharing of Christian experience.
- Recognising, developing and using the gifts Christ has given his people.
- Involvement in the wider mission of the church to the local community, nationally and internationally.
- Being alert to situations and problems that from time to time confront individuals and families including (but not expressly limited to) those whose names appear on the Congregational List and seeing that pratical help (where appropriate) is given.
- Regular visiting.
- Encouraging and counselling the backslide.
- Praying for the sick.
Administration and Finance:
- The keeping of financial records, authorising expenditure and allocating donations.
- The maintenance of records as required by statute and the Trustees.
- The production of publicity and promotional material.
Management of Premises and Equipment:
- The maintenance of the church buildings and grounds.
- The maintenance of the heating and lighting systems.
- The purchase and upkeep of equipment.
- In order that the Leadership Team can carry out their responsibilities effectively, they should meet at least bi-monthly.
- To help them the Leadership Team wish to set up small working groups who would have responsibility for a specific area or aspect of church life. Any Regular Worshipper who has a special gift or interest in the topic may be invited to join these groups.
- Leadership of Church Groups
Any such group shall submit their rules, if appropriate, and names of leaders (who must be Regular Worshippers) to the Leadership Team for confirmation before being made public.
All leaders who are working with children and young people would be subject to scrutiny and subject to all relevant legislation and guidelines.
- Use of Premises
Requests to use the Church premises for all special and occasional meetings must be made to a member of the Leadership Team
No group or individual can use the premises for a private function or activity without written permission from the Leadership Team.
- Alteration of Rules
Any proposed alteration of, or addition to, the church rules, shall be circulated to all Regular Worshippers for consideration prior to a Church Meeting
FOOTNOTE 1: The forms previously set out in Appendices 1 and 2 have been amalgamated and revised. The current form of application can be viewed here
FOOTNOTE 2: The form of nomination for appointment to the Leadership Team can be viewed here