Arann Reformed Baptist Church

Statement of Faith, Covenant and Constitution

Adopted 28th February 2009


Statement of Faith 3
Covenant 6
   1   Name 7
   2   Church 9
   3   Meetings 12
   4   Worship 14
   5   Officers 20
   6   Membership 31
   7   Church Meetings 40
   8   General Matters 42
   A  The Ordination and Installation of a Pastor 43
   B   Appointment of Ruling Elders 45
   C   Appointment of Deacons 46



The Church’s Statement of Faith


We believe in:


1        The full and verbal inspiration of all the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures as originally given, and of these alone:1 their being in themselves the Word of God, without error, and wholly reliable in both fact and doctrine;2 their final authority and perpetual sufficiency in all matters of faith and practice.3

1 Exod 24:4  2 Sam 23:1,2  Jer 1:9  30:1-4  36:1,2  Jn 8:26-28, 31, 32, 46, 47 1 Cor 2:12,13  2 Cor 13:3  2 Tim 3:15-17  Heb 1:1,2 2 Pet 1:19-21   2 Ps 19:7-11  119:140,160  Dan 10:21  Matt 5:17,18  Jn 10:35  17:17  Rom 3:1,2  1 Thess 2:13   3 Is 8:20  Lk 16:29-31  1 Cor 14:37  Rev 22:18,19


2        The unity of the Godhead and the divine co-equality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;1 the sovereignty of God in creation,2 providence,3 and redemption.4

1 Deut 6:4  Num 6:24-27  Matt 28:19  2 Cor 13:14  1 Jn 5:7  Rev 1:4,5  Gen 1:1-31  Ps 33:9  Acts 17:24,25  Rom 1:20 Rev 4:11 3 Ps 103:19  Prov 19:21  Is 46:9,10  Dan 4:35  Matt 10:29-31  Eph 1:11  Lk 1:6875  Eph 1:4-14  Titus 2:11-14  Heb 9:11,12  1 Pet 1:18-20  Rev 5:9


3        The total depravity of human nature in consequence of the fall,1 and the necessity for regeneration.2

1 Gen 3:1-7  6:5  8:21  Ps 51:5  Jer 17:9  Mk 7:21-23  Rom 3:10-19  5:12-19  8:7  Eph 2:1-3  2 Jn 1:12,13  3:3-7  2 Cor 5: 17  Gal 6:15  Eph 2:1,5,10  Titus 3:5  James 1:18  1 Pet 1:23


4        The true and proper deity of our Lord Jesus Christ,1 his virgin birth;2 his real and perfect manhood;3 the authority of his teaching, and the infallibility of all his utterances;4 his work of atonement for sinners of mankind by his substitutionary sufferings and death;5 his bodily resurrection6 and his ascension into Heaven;7 and his present priestly intercession for his people at the right hand of the Father.8

1 Is 9:6 Jn 1:1  5:18  14:9-11  16:15  20:28  Rom 9:5  Phil 2:6  Co1 2:9  Heb 1:3,8  1 Jn 5:20  2 Is 7: 14  Matt 1:18-23  Lk 1:26-35  Jn 1:14  Phil 2:7  1 Tim 2:5  Heb 4:15  7:26  1 Pet 2:22  Matt 7:29  Jn 7:15­17, 46   12:47-50  5 Is 53:4-6  Matt 20:28  Rom 5:6-11  2 Cor 5:21  Gal 3:13 1 Pet 3:18  6 Matt 28:1-6  Lk 24:36-43  Jn 20:2429 1 Cor 15:4  7 Mk 16:19  Acts 1:9-11  Eph 1:20-23 1 Pet 3:22 Rom 8:34  Heb 7:25  9:24  1 Jn 2:1


5        The justification of the sinner solely by faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.1

1 Is 45:25  53:11  Jn 3:16-18,36  Acts 13:38,39  16:31  Rom 1:16,17  3:24-28   4:15  5:1 8:33,34  9:30-33  10:1-4  1 Cor 6:11 Gal 2:16  3:8,11,24  Eph 2:8,9  Phil 3:8,9  1 Jn 5:10


6        The work of the Holy Spirit as essential for a true and spiritual understanding of the Scriptures:1 for regeneration,2 conversion,3 and sanctification,4 and for ministry5 and worship.6

1 Prov 1:23  Jn 6:45  14:26  16:13,14  1 Cor 2:9-12  Eph 1:17,18 1 Jn 2:20,27  Jn 3:5-8  6:63  Acts  11:15-18  Titus 3:5  Jn 16:7­14  Acts 3:19  1 Cor 12:3  4 2 Cor 3:18  Gal 5:16,22-25  Eph 3:16  Acts 4:31  1 Cor 2:4,5  2 Cor 3:6-8  6 Jn 4:24  Rom 8:26  Eph 2:18  5:l8-20  Phil 3:3


7        The universal Church, the body of which Christ is the Head, embracing all the redeemed, called by God through the Gospel, born of the Spirit and justified by faith;1  the local church, comprising such believers as the expression of the universal Church,2 and fellowship between such churches, manifesting the unity of the body of Christ.3

1 Matt 16:18  Acts 20:28  Eph 1:22  3:10,21  5:23-32  Col 1:18-24  Heb 12:23  Matt 18:17 Acts 11:22  13:1  15:41  16:5  Rom 16:1,5,16  1 Cor 1:2 Gal 1:2  Acts l5:1-4,  22-31   1 Cor 16:1-3  2 Cor 8:19,23  Col 4:15,16


8        The ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as being instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ,1 but not in Baptism as conveying regenerating grace,2 nor in the Lord’s Supper as being a sacrifice for sin or involving any change in the substance of the bread and wine.3

1 Matt 28:19  1 Cor 11:23-32   2 Acts 8:13,20-23  8:36,37  10:44,47  16:14,15  18:8  1 Cor 1:17,21  3 Matt 26:29  1 Cor 11:26-28  Heb 7:23,27,28  9:25-28  10:11-13


9        The personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory.1

1 Matt 16:27  25:31  Jn 14:3  Acts 1:11  3:20,21  1 Cor 1:7  Phil 3:20  Col 3:4  1 Thess 1:10  2:19  3:13  4:16,17  5:23  2 Thess 1:7-10  1 Tim 6:14  Titus 2:13  Heb 9:28  Jude 14  Rev 22:7,12,20


10      The resurrection of the body;l the judgment of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ,2 with the eternal blessedness of the righteous3 and the eternal punishment of the wicked.4

1 Job 19:26  Is 26:19  Jn 5:28,29  6:39,40  Acts 4:2  24:15  Rom 8:11 1 Cor 15:2023, 42-45, 48-54  Phil 3:21  2 Matt 25:31-34  Jn 5:22  Acts 10:42  17:31  Rom 2:16  14:10-12  2 Cor 5:l0  2 Tim 4:1  Rev 20:11,12  3 Matt 25:46  Jn 10:28  1 Cor 15:53  1 Thess 4:17  2 Tim 2:10  1 Pet 1:4  2 Pet 1:11  Rev 22:3-5  Matt 25:41,46  Mk 9:44  2 Thess 1:9  Jude 13  Rev 14:9-11


This brief statement summarizes the doctrines that all church members believe.  In the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 these truths are amplified and other important truths are set forth.  The teaching of the church will reflect the theology of the 1689 Confession, to which the Pastor and all other Officers are required to give assent.



The Church Covenant


We acknowledge the Lord Jehovah, the one true and living God, to be our God in Jesus Christ; and we take hold of the Covenant of Grace, established between God the Father and God the Son for the redemption of lost sinners, and exhibited in the Gospel that they may believe in Christ and be brought out of a state of sin and misery into a state of salvation.

In the presence of the eternal God, the Searcher of all hearts, we solemnly give ourselves to the Lord and to one another in order that we may unite in one church, for the honour of his name and for the edification, holiness and comfort of our souls.

We promise and bind ourselves to make God’s glory our end and God’s Word our rule in all our worship, service, and conduct.  We also promise to maintain biblical truth, attend the services for public worship, observe the instituted ordinances of God’s house, respect and support church officers, persevere in true holiness of heart and life, advance the cause of the gospel of salvation, and cultivate the grace of brotherly love, not only avoiding causes of division but also promoting mutual peace and prosperity.

These and all other duties to be found in God’s Word we desire to perform, relying upon God’s free grace, the precious blood and righteousness of Christ, and the promised sanctifying ministry of the Holy Spirit.

We call both heaven and earth to witness our solemn covenant with God and each other; and while fervently praying for a divine blessing on the union formed, we give thanks to our merciful and gracious God who has given us a place and a name in his house better than of sons and daughters.



The Church Constitution


1           Name


1.1         This church shall be known as Arann Reformed Baptist Church.

1.2   The church is Evangelical, maintaining and declaring the fundamental doctrines of Christianity,1 especially the truth that Christ, through his substitutionary life and death,2 has met the claims of Divine Justice on behalf of his people.3  Christ and his salvation are now freely offered to all sinners without exception4 and this gospel offer is the  warrant for all sinners to receive and rely upon Christ alone for their salvation.5 Whoever truly believes in Christ escapes condemnation in hell and receives a title to the glory and blessedness of God’s everlasting kingdom.6

Acts 2:41,42 1 Tim 3:14-16  Jude 3 (See  The Church’s Statement of FaithIs 53:11  Matt 20:28 2 Cor 5:21  Is 42:21 Rom 8:33,34  1 Cor 6:20  4   Is  45:22 Lk 14:16-24  Jn 3:16,17  6:32,37    5 Jn 1:12  1 Cor 15:11  1 Jn 5:11,12  Rev 22:17   6 Jn 3:18  5:24  Rom 5:1,2  Eph 3:15  Col 1:5  Heb 10:34  1 Pet 1:3-5 2 Pet 3:13  Rev 21:1-7


1.3        The church is also Reformed, adhering to the system of doctrine revealed in Scripture and embraced by the Protestant Reformers.1 According to this system, the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice;2 God’s saving purpose is expressed in one eternal covenant of grace;3 Christ Jesus, the only mediator between God and man, has made an effective, complete, and final atonement for sin;4  justification is by faith alone, on the ground of Christ’s obedience to death;believers have the right, through Christ, to direct priestly access with God;6  the Lord Jesus is the one Head of the Church on earth and in heaven;7  and the souls of all who die in the Lord are made perfect in holiness and they immediately pass into the glory of heaven, while their bodies rest in their graves awaiting the resurrection of the last day.8  Reformed theology emphasizes that God is absolutely sovereign over all creation and over all time,9 graciously decreeing, securing, and applying salvation.10  Salvation is therefore altogether of God.11 From beginning to end, it is only by God’s free mercy and grace.12 This teaching humbles sinners and glorifies the One, Almighty, and Triune God.13

Acts 20:27  2 Cor 4:1,2   Eph 3:8-12 1 Tim 1;11, 6:20  Jude 3   Is 8:20    Matt 22:29  Lk 16:31  Acts 17:2,10,11 2 Tim 3:15-17  3 Ps 89:3,28  Is 42:6  49:8   Is 55:3  2 Tim 1:9  Heb 8:6  13:20,21  4 Jn 14:6 Eph 2:18 1 Tim 2:5. Rom 5:11  Eph 1:7  Heb 7:26,27  9:24-26 10:11-13 1 Pet 3:18    Is 45:24,25  53:11 Acts 13:38,39 Rom 3:24,25,28  5:1, 16-19 8:33,34  2 Cor 5:21  Gal 2:16 Titus 3:5-7  6 Rom 5:1,2 Heb 4:14-16  7:24,25 10:1922  1 Pet 2:5,9  3:18 Rev 1:5,6  7 Ps 45:10 Is 9:6  Matt 23:10 Eph 4:15  5:23  Col 1:18  8 Ps 73:24 Eccl 12:7 Is 57:2  Lk 23:43  2 Cor 5:8  Phil 1: 23  Heb 12:23.    Job 19:25-27  Ps 16:9   Jn 5:28,29  Acts 24:25 26:8 Rom 8:11 1 Cor 15:42-44,51-54  Phil 3:20,21     1 Thess 4:16  Job 23:13  Ps 33:11 115:3 Is 46:9,10  Dan 4:35  Eph 1:11 1 Tim 6:15 Rev 19:6  10 Acts 2:23  4:27,28  Rom 8:30 Eph 1:4-6 2 Tim 1:9. Lk 22:22 Jn 3:16,17 Gal 1:3-5   Col 1:19,20.  Jn 6:44,65  Gal 1:15,16 Titus 3:5-7  11 Ps 3:8  Jonah 2:9    Rev 7:9,10    12  Rom 9:16   Eph 1:6 2:4-9  1 Pet 1:13

13 Gen 32:10 1 Cor 4:7 15:9,10 1 Tim 1:15.  Is 42:8  Rom 11:36  Eph 1:6  1 Pet 5:10,11

















2           Church


2.1        The word ‘church’ conveys the idea of a people ‘called out’.  In a secular sense it denotes a public assembly,1 but in a sacred sense it is regularly applied to a society of believing men and women.2

1 Acts 19:32,39  2 Acts 7:38  2:47 8:1  13:1 18:22  Rom 16:5 1 Cor 4:17  Col 4:15,16


2.2        There is a distinction to be made between the invisible church and the visible church.  By the invisible church is meant the whole body of God’s elect savingly united to Christ, whether in heaven or in earth,1 and called invisible because the work of grace is in the heart, hidden from the eyes of men.2  This church finds expression in the visible church, the company of those who, from the beginning of time, profess the true Faith3 and who may therefore be clearly identified.4

1 Eph 1:10,22  5:25-27  Heb 12:23  2 1 Sam 16:7  Lk 17:20,21 Rom 2:29 7:22  2 Tim 2:19 1 Pet 3:4   Acts 2:41,42  1 Cor 1:2  1 Tim 3:15  4 Matt 5:14 Acts 8:3  1 Cor 12:28  Eph 2:21,22


2.3        A particular or local church is a part of the visible church.1  It is a company of professing believers united in Christian fellowship and regularly meeting together in one congregation.2



Ps 48:11 – ‘the daughters of Judah’ and the smaller cities, representing local churches   Is 4:5 – ‘her assemblies’ again refer to local churches  Mal 1:11 – such will be ‘in every place’  1 Cor 12:27 Eph 2:22   2Acts 11:22 9:31  13:1  Rom 16:5  1 Cor 11:18  Col 1:2  1 Thess 1:1  2:14

2.4        Such a church consists of those who make a credible profession of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,1  giving evidence of a true change of heart2 and a firm belief of the Truth.3

1 Acts 2:38-41,47   20:21   1 Thess 1:1-7    2 Jn 3:3  2 Cor 5:17   Gal 6:15   Eph 2:10  Acts 2:42  1 Tim 3:15 2 Thess 2:13  2 Jn 1:2

2.5        Christians unite in church fellowship by means of a covenant.  In this covenant they freely, solemnly, and wholeheartedly give themselves to the Lord and to one another, in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel.1

1 Exod 19:5,6 cf. Acts 7:38  Ps 50:5  Is 44:5  56:3-8  Jer 50:5 Ezek 20:37 Acts 9:26 – ‘join’ or ‘cleave’, denoting ‘a close relationship entered by contract’  11:23 – ‘an intelligent, firm and deliberate resolution’ to ‘cleave unto the Lord’ or to ‘bind themselves (in covenant) to him’ was the way of constituting ‘the church’ (v.26)  2 Cor 6:14 – ‘yoked together’  8:5  11:2  Eph 2:19-20


2.6        A true church is recognised by the faithful preaching of the Word of God,1 the true and proper administration of the sacraments,2 and the spiritual exercise of biblical discipline.3

1 Matt 28:19,20  Phil 2:15,16  1 Tim 3:15  2 Matt 28:19,20 Acts 2:41,42  20:7 1 Cor 11:17-34      Matt 18:15-17      1 Cor 5:1-13

2 Thess 3:14,15


2.7        The purpose of the church is to glorify God1 by promoting his worship,2 declaring his Word in its entirety,3 building up his people in their holy faith,4 obeying his perfect moral law (summarized in the Ten Commandments),5 and extending his kingdom throughout the world.6

1 Is 43:21 44:23 46:13  Rom 15:6  1 Cor 6:20  15:24,25   Eph 3:21 1 Pet 4:11  2 Ps 95:6  Jn 4:23,24  Phil 3:3  3 Acts 20:27  Phil 2:14-16  2 Thess 1:8   4 Acts 9:31 – ‘edified’ – ‘built up’ Eph 4:11-16 1 Thess 5:11   Jude 20,21   5 Ezek 36:26,27 Matt 5:17-19 Rom 7:22 8:3,4 13:8-10 Eph 6:1-3  Heb 8:10  James 2:8  6 Is 9:7 Matt 6: 10  Acts 28:30,31  Col 4:11b


2.8        In the church there is a need to know continually the presence, ministry, and blessing of the Holy Spirit,1 for                 worship,2 government,3 sanctification,4 fellowship,5 and evangelism.6

1 Jn 14:16,17 1 Cor 3:16 Eph 2:22   2 Rom 8:15,26,27  Eph 5:18,19; 1 Thess 1:5  Acts 15:28  20:28  Rom 8:13  1 Cor 6:11  2 Cor 3:18  2 Thess 2:13       1 Cor 12:12,13  14:12   Eph 4:3  Phil 2:1  6 Acts 1:8 4:31  13:2,4  16:6,7 1 Cor 2:3-5


2.9        This church rejects the Charismatic Movement because it teaches an unscriptural post-conversion experience that belittles the great work of regeneration;1 claims extra-biblical revelation through miraculous gifts, undermining the absolute sufficiency of Scripture;2 restores extraordinary and temporary offices without regard to their essential qualifications;3  advocates the need for signs and wonders, associated in Scripture with new revelation;4 elevates experience above doctrine, encouraging a subtle form of ecumenism;5  promotes a new kind of liberty, incompatible with holy living;6 and  encourages irreverent and  unscriptural worship, accommodating worldly carnality.7

1 Jn 1:33  1 Cor 6:11  12:13  Titus 3:5  2 Is 8:20  Jn 16:12,13  1 Cor 13:2  14:6  Rev 22:18  3 Lk 6:13  Acts 1:22  1 Cor 9:2  15:8  Acts 3:21  21:10,11  1 Cor 13:2  Eph 3:5  2:20  Exod 4:1­5  Mk 1:27  2 Cor 12:11,12  Heb 2:3,4  2 Cor 11:1­4  2 Tim 4:1,2  2 Pet 1:19,20  6 Matt 5:17,18  1 Cor 9:21  James 2:8  2 Pet 2:19  cf. Gal 5:13  7 Ps 5:7  50:21  89:7  1 Cor 11:22  Heb 12:28

















3           Meetings

1 Ps 5:7  76:11  89:7  Matt 18:20   2 Neh 9:5  Ps 104:1  3 Hab 2:20  Ps 89:7 Heb 12:28,29  Rev 15:4  4 Deut 4:1,2  12:32  Matt 28:20  1 Cor 11:2 cf. Col 2:23   1 Cor 11:33,34  14:40  1 Tim 3:15  Col 2:5

3.2        In all services and meetings when the church gathers for the worship of God, there should be recognition of the divinely established order.1 Leadership has been vested in the men, who should therefore publicly teach2 and pray.3  Women are encouraged to wear a headcovering as a sign of their acceptance of the principle of man’s headship.4

1 Gen 2:18  3:16  1 Tim 2:11-14  2 1 Cor 14:34,35  1 Tim 2:11,12 3Acts 13:1,2  1 Tim 2:8 cf. Rom 15:30 1 Thess 5:25  2 Thess 3:1 1 Cor 11:1-16


3.3        The Lord’s Day Services. The Sabbath, one of the oldest divine institutions in existence,1 was made for man’s benefit,2 a day of rest from worldly business, for the special acknowledgement of God and for the enjoyment of communion with him.3 A commandment concerning its holy observance was incorporated by God in the Ten Commandments and the keeping of the Sabbath Day is therefore part of the absolute and unalterable Law of God.4 Although Christ, as ‘Lord of the Sabbath’, substituted the first day of the week for the seventh on account of his resurrection from the dead, the Sabbath Day principle (a day of rest after six days of work) remains and, as far as possible, Christians are to set apart the Lord’s Day for sacred purposes.5 Members are expected to be present for public worship at the Lord’s Day services, unless prevented by unavoidable circumstances. Members are also expected to attend the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper, since to be absent without sufficient reason is to disregard our Lord’s express command.6


1 Gen 2:3   2 Is 56:2  Ezek 20:20 Mk 2:27,28    3 Neh 13:15  Is 58:13,14   Jer 17:21,22   Exod 20:8­11  Matt 5:17-19  Matt 12:8  Jn 20:1,19,26  cf. Ps 118:22­24  1 Cor 16:2  Rev 1:10 – ‘the Lord’s day’  6 Ps 42:4 50:5 84:10 112:1  Jn 20:19,26 Acts 2:1  Heb 10:25.  Matt 26:26-29 Acts 20:7 1 Cor 11:23-29


3.4        The Mid-Week Meeting. At the mid-week meeting the church gathers to hear God speak through his Word1 and to speak to God in the exercise of prayer.2 It is a precious time of spiritual communion, intended for our refreshment and renewal of strength, and therefore it should not be neglected. Good and sustained attendance, together with enthusiastic participation, is essential to the continued supply of the Spirit of God. All members should make every effort to be present at this meeting.3

1 Acts 10:33  2 Tim 3:16,17  1 Pet 4:11  Acts 1:14  2:42  4:23­31  12:5,12  13:2   3 Acts 20:32  Heb 4:16  James 5:16  cf. Lk 11:13


3.5        The Church Business Meeting. The Church Business Meeting is the church gathered to hear information which cannot be divulged at public services and to decide upon measures discussed beforehand by the church officers and recommended by them as expedient.1 It is clear from the Scriptures that although church officers have particular responsibilities,2 they should seek the concurrence of the members in matters which affect the whole life of the church.3 Such meetings should always be in an atmosphere of  prayer, love, and mutual trust. When that is the case, these meetings provide an opportunity for fellowship and full involvement in the life of the church.  All members should consider it both a privilege and an obligation to attend.4

1 Acts 15:1-4   21:18,22-24   2 1 Tim 5:17   Heb 13:7,17,24  Acts 1:15-23 6:1-7  15:1-3,22  1 Cor 5:4-5,7  4 Rom 12:9-18  Eph 4:29-32  Phil 2:3


1 Acts 6:1-6   14:23   2 Acts 15:1-4   3 Matt 18:17   1 Cor 5:4,5  4 Acts 13:3  5 Acts 15:22-31   6 Rom 12:11

4      Worship


4.1.1     The one true and living God is the only object of religious worship;1 and worship is the acknowledgment of this supreme Being, in all the infinite perfections of his divine nature.2  It includes the adoration of our hearts and suitable expressions of that adoration in words and actions.3  In our worship we should do everything with reference to him that he may be glorified.4

1Exod 20:3 Ps 42:11 86:9 Is 42:8 Matt 4:10  1 Jn 5:21 Rev 19:10 22:8,9   2 Exod 15:11  Ps 150:1  Rev 4:11   3 1 Chron 16:28,29  Ps 45:1  145:21  Matt 11:15  Mk 11:25  1 Cor 6:20  4 Ps 29:9b  145:3-5  1 Cor 10:31


4.1.2     It belongs to the office of the Pastor to conduct sabbath worship.1  As one lawfully called and ordained to this work,2 he has the authority to lead the gathered church in all parts of worship appointed in the Word of God.3  In his absence, another ordained Pastor will be invited to take his place.4


1 Gen 8:20  12:7,8  cf. 2 Pet 2:5  Num 3:10  Neh 8:4-6  Acts 13:1,2   20:7-11   Eph 4:11   2 Matt 28:19,20  Jn 1:6-8,33   Rom 10:15  1 Tim 2:7   4:14-16   3 Neh 8:6. Deut 31:11  Acts 20:36   1 Tim 5:17   2 Cor 13:14    4 1 Cor 16:10  Phil 2:19­23   Col 4:12,17


4.1.3     Worship is strictly regulated by the Scriptures.1 The Divine Law for worship, or the Regulative Principle, states that we must have scriptural warrant for everything we do. 2   In other words, whatever is not prescribed by the Scriptures is forbidden.3 Scriptural prescription will take the form of express positive commands 4  or definite approved examples. 5

1 Matt 15:9,13  Mk 7:7-9,13  2 Exod 20:4-6 Deut 4:2   12:32  1 Chron 15:15  16:40  2 Chron 8:13  30:5,18  Ezra 3:2,4  Matt 28:20 Mk 7:7,8  1 Cor 11:2,23   3 Lev 10:1,2  Deut 12:8  1 Kgs 12:28-33 1 Chron 15:3  Is 1:12 Jer 7:31  Col 2:22   4 Matt 28:20  1 Cor 14:37   5Acts 2:42  20:7  2 Cor 13:14


4.1.4     While Scripture sanctions occasional days for thanksgiving or prayer,1 it provides no warrant for regular religious festival days (as Christmas, Easter, Whitsun etc.), rather the contrary, and therefore the church in its worship neither recognizes nor observes them.2 Under the new covenant, there is no day commanded to be kept holy except the Lord’s Day, which is the Christian Sabbath.3

1 2 Chron 20:27,28   Ezra 8:21    2 1 Kgs 12:32,33   Mark 7:9  Gal 4:911  Col 2:16-21  Gen 2:2,3  Exod 20:8-11  Matt 24:20 Jn 20:1,9,26  Acts 20:7  1 Cor 16:1,2  Rev 1:10


4.1.5     Ordinances are institutions of divine authority relating to the worship of God,1 such as the singing of praise;2 public prayer;3 fellowship;4 the reading and preaching of God’s Word;5 and church government.6

1 1 Cor 11:2  2 Ps 95:1,2  Eph 5:19  3 Acts 13:1-3  1 Tim 2:1-8  Acts 2:42 Gal 6:2  5 Col 4:16  2 Tim 4:2  6 1 Tim 5:17  1 Thess 5:12,13 Heb 13:7,17


4.1.6     In all services and meetings, the Scriptures are to be read from the Authorized Version (1611), this being the most faithful and accurate translation of the authentic and preserved texts.1

1 Ps 12:6  119:140,152,160  Prov 30:5,6  Matt 24:35; Jn 17:17b  1 Pet 1:25  Rev 22:18,19  Note:- The Texts underlying the Authorized Version are the Hebrew Masoretic and Greek Received Texts.


4.1.7     On the Lord’s Day, the Scriptures are to be read (the canonical books are usually read through consecutively; and, at each service, chapters should be read from both Old and New Testaments);1  prayers are to be offered,2 with the congregation standing;3  psalms are to be sung from the book of Psalms, faithfully and accurately translated in metrical form,4 without the use of instrumental music;5  the Word of God is to be faithfully expounded and applied;6  and, at the close of worship, the Benediction or Blessing is to be solemnly pronounced in the name of God.7

1 Josh 8:34  Neh 8:2  Lk 4:16-20  Col 4:16  1 Thess 5:27 Rev 1:3   Ps 65:2 Is 56:7  Acts 2:42  1 Tim 2:1-8  3 2 Chron 6:3,12; 20:13  Neh 9:2  Matt 6:5  Mk 11:25  Lk 18:13  4 2 Chron 29:30  Ps 98:5  105:2  1 Cor 14:26  James 5:13    Note:- The phrase ‘psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs’ found in Eph 5:19 and Col 3:16  refers to the entire collection in the book of Psalms, for both ‘psalms’ and ‘songs’ are terms used of the inspired psalms (Pss 48, 75, 92 – titles;  Ps 33:3  40:3  96:1) and ‘hymn’ is used with reference to the second part of the Hallel (Pss 113-118) always sung at the Passover (Matt 26:30)  5 1 Cor 14:15 – ‘the powers of his soul will be the strings on which he will play’   Eph 5:19 – ‘making melody (literally, playing) in your hearts’:  that is, not using instruments, but rejoicing with hearts touched by the grace of God    Heb 13:15 – ‘the sacrifice of praise’, properly understood, is ‘the fruit of our lips’.  Note:- Old Testament instrumental music was typical of praise, even as incense was of prayer;  and as elements of Jewish ceremonial worship, both have now been abrogated and should be laid aside (2 Chron 29:27,28  Eph 5:19  Ps 141:2  Lk 1:10  Rev 5:8).  The New Testament gives no countenance whatsoever to the use of instrumental music in Christian worship.  It is mentioned there only in connection with mystical Babylon, the fallen and corrupted Church (Rev 18:22  cf. 17:1-6)    Acts 15:35  20:7  2 Cor 4:1,2 2 Tim 4:1,2 Num 6:22-27  2 Cor 13:14


4.1.8     Among the ordinances are the sacraments.1 These are the sacred symbols, or outward signs, appointed by our Lord Jesus Christ, through which God confirms to us the blessings of the New Covenant.2 The only two sacraments are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.3

1Matt 28:19,20  2 Mk 14:22-25  16:15,16  3 Matt 26:26-28 28:19,20 Acts 2:41,42  cf.  l Cor 10:1-4




















4.2        Baptism


4.2.1     Properly and ordinarily, it is the Minister of the Word who will baptize1 in water.2  This represents forgiveness by virtue of the blood of Christ3 and regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit.4

1Jn 1:33  Acts 8:38  16:14,15 32,33  2 Matt 3:16  Jn 1:26 Acts 8:36  3 Mk 1:4 Acts 2:38 22:16   4 Jn 1:33 Acts 10:47  Titus 3:5,6

4.2.2     The proper subjects of baptism are those who have repented and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and who give satisfactory evidence of true conversion.1

1 Matt 28:19 – ‘teach’ or ‘make disciples…baptizing them’ Mk 16:16  Jn 4:1-3  Acts 2:38-41 8:12,13, 36,37  10:47  16:14,15 (cf. v 40) 16:3234  18:8  19:4  Eph 4:5  Heb 6:1,2

1Matt 3:5,6,13,16  Mk 1:5  Jn 3:23  Acts 8:38,39  Rom 6:3,4  Matt 28:19

4.2.4     By baptism believers are admitted into the visible church of Christ.1 Symbolized in baptism is our union with Christ in his death and resurrection,2  the washing away of our sins,3 and newness of life.4  In this ordinance we give ourselves to the Lord.5

1 Matt 28:19,20  Acts 2:41     2 Lk 12:50  Rom 6:4,5    3 Mk 1:4  Acts 22:16   4 Rom 6:4  Col 2:12  Acts 19:5  cf. 1 Cor 10:2

4.2.5     Baptism is a command of our Lord Jesus Christ.1  While not essential to salvation,2 it is observed in obedience to that command.3

1 Matt 28:19 Acts 2:38  10:48  2 Lk 23:39-43  Acts 8:13,23  Lk 6:46 7:29,30   Jn 14:15









4.3    The Lord’s Supper


4.3.1      The Lord’s Supper, normally observed each Lord’s Day,1 will be dispensed by the Minister of the Word,2 with the elements of bread and wine, which represent Christ’s body and blood.3

1 Acts 20:7  1 Cor 11:26   2 Acts 20:11  1 Cor 10:16  Matt 26:26,27  1 Cor 11:23-26


4.3.2     Persons who have made a scriptural and sincere profession of faith in Christ, whose lives and characters are becoming the Gospel and who adhere to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith, are admissible to the Lord’s Table. 1 According to the New Testament pattern, baptism will normally precede observance of the Lord’s Supper. 2

1 Acts 2:37-42  1 Cor 11:28,29  cf. 1 Cor 5:8   2 Matt 28:19,20; Acts 2:41,42; 9:18,19; 10:46-48  cf. 11:3;  1 Cor 10:1-3.      


4.3.3     On the part of the administrator, the actions are: (a) the taking of the elements, symbolic of Christ being set apart in the eternal purpose;1  (b) the blessing of it (or, giving of thanks), symbolic of his being furnished with all gifts and graces;2  (c) the breaking of the bread, symbolic of his dreadful sufferings;3  and (d) the distribution of the bread and wine, symbolic of the gracious bestowal of Christ and his benefits to all believers.4

1 Mk 14:22,23  Jn 10:36  2 Mk 14:22,23 Jn 3:34  3 Mk 14:22,23  Is 53:4,5  4 cf. Lk 22:17 Rom 8:32


4.3.4     On the part of the communicants, the actions are:  (a) the receiving of the elements, signifying belief in the gospel promise for our salvation;1  (b) the eating and drinking of the bread and wine, signifying the reception of Christ in his offices and with his benefits;2  and (c) the sharing of the bread and wine among themselves, signifying mutual love and communion one with one another.3

1 Mk 14:22,23 cf. Lk 22:14  1 Tim 1:15  2 Mk 14:22,23 Jn 1:12  Col 2:6  Mk 14:22,23  cf. Lk 22:17 1 Cor 10:17

4.3.5     The sacramental words, spoken by the Pastor, are such as:  ‘Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me’;  and ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood:  this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me’.1

1 1 Cor 11:24,25

4.3.6     It is a memorial of the sufferings and death of the Saviour,1 a sign that he is now our nourishment and strength,2 and an expression of the unity of the church as one body in Christ.3  In this sacrament, Christ is present in a spiritual manner; and, by faith he is spiritually received with all his benefits, to our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.4

1 1 Cor 11:24,25   2 1 Cor 10:16   3 1 Cor 10:17   4 1 Cor 10:16  11:29  cf. Jn 6:35,55

4.3.7     Christ has commanded us to keep this feast1 and therefore the observance of the Lord’s Supper should he regarded as essential to obedient discipleship.2

1 Lk 22:19,20  2 Matt 28:19  John 14:21  15:9,10





















5      Officers


5.1    Introduction


5.1.1     The church recognizes the Lord Jesus Christ as its sole Head and Governor1 and the Holy Scriptures as its only rule of authority.2  The church believes in the Divine Right of Church Government, which means that we believe the Scriptures furnish us with a perfect and complete form of church government which is universally binding to the end of time.3

1 Ps 2:6 Is 9:6,7 Mic 5:2-5  Lk 1:32,33  Matt 23:8,10   Jn 13:13   Col 1:18   2 Is 8:20   Eph 2:20  2 Tim 3:16,17  2 Pet 1:19-21  3 Is 9:6  Ezek 43:11,12  Acts 14:23  Eph 4:11  1 Tim 4:14  5:17  6:13,14  cf. 5:21


5.1.2  The church is Independent, possessing the full power of government within itself.1 However, we believe in fellowship and co-operation with other churches of like faith and order.2 Independency should never be interpreted in terms of isolation because we are bound by a biblical and spiritual necessity to give expression to our unity in Christ.3  It is recognised, however, that there are degrees of fellowship and that we shall be drawn closest to the churches with which we have most in common.4 The church unashamedly Protests for the truth of biblical Christianity against the errors of Roman Catholicism; and it totally repudiates the Ecumenical Movement because of its toleration of error and its fellowship with those who deny revealed truth.5

1 Matt 18:17 Acts 6:1-7 13:1-4  1 Cor 5: 1-7,12  2 Cor 2:1-5  Acts 11:22-23,26,29    Rom 16:16    2 Cor 8:19,23     Rev 1:4-6

3 Song of Sol  6:9  Acts 11:27-30  Rom 15:26 1 Cor 16:2-4,19 Eph 4:4-6  Phil 4:21,22  4 Jer 32:39  Phil 2:19,20  5 2 Cor 6:16  2 Jn 9­11  Rev 18:4


5.1.3     If the church is unable to settle some perplexing question or remove some serious offence, it may consult with the Pastors and Ruling Elders from churches of like faith and order.  Such brethren will meet in a synod and seek to determine the matter according to the Word of God.  The synod’s findings will then be laid before the church for further action and its recommendations and directions should be received with both respect and submission.1

1Acts 15:1-4, 22-31  16:4,5


5.1.4   The Lord Jesus has ordained that the local church should be blessed with the spiritual rule and ministry of special office-bearers, and that the office-bearers should be Elders (or Bishops) and Deacons.1

1 Acts 6:2-4  11:29,30  Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1-13  Note:- Bishop (literally, Overseer) and Elder are different names for the same office, Acts 20:17,28   Titus 1:5-7  1 Pet 5:1,2



5.1.5     The local church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is responsible for appointing men to these offices.1 Individuals involved should have an inward conviction that the Lord is calling them to a particular office, and the church should recognize that call as it observes in these men the gifts and graces Scripture requires for the office.2 This is a most serious matter and it should be accompanied by much prayerful waiting on God for guidance, a careful study of the relevant passages of Scripture, and a dispassionate evaluation of each man nominated.3 After formally recognizing them by common consent in a Church Meeting, the church should set them apart by united prayer and the laying on of the hands of the Elders.4 If there are no Elders in the church, in order that this duty may be regularly performed, assistance should be sought from Pastors and Ruling Elders of like-minded churches.

1 Acts 6:3  14:23 –‘ordain’ or, more literally, ‘elect by popular vote’  2 Acts 13:2  Prov 18:16  cf. Heb 5:4  3 Acts 1:14,24,25  6:3  1 Tim 3:1-13 Titus 1:5-9  1 Tim 5:21,22  cf. Jude 16  4 Acts 6:6  13:3  1 Tim 4:14










5.2    Eldership


5.2.1     In normal circumstances, and according to apostolic precedent, there should be a plurality of Elders in the church.l

l Acts 11:30  14:23  20:17  Titus 1:5  James 5:14


5.2.2     Elders are responsible for government, spiritual oversight and pastoral care. All meetings and organizations connected with the church come under their supervision. They shall appoint to help in the various departments those evidently gifted by God and recognized by the church.l

1 Acts 20:28  1 Thess 5:12  1 Tim 5:17  Heb 13:17  1 Pet 5:1-3


5.2.3     It is the duty of Elders to be faithful in their attendance at the public means of grace and to be diligent in the performance of their duties in the church.1

1 1 Tim 4:12-16  5:17  Titus 1:9 2:7,8


5.2.4     No Elder is free to act independently of his fellow-Elders or the membership in initiating or involving himself in any new spiritual work either inside or outside the church.1

1 Acts 15:6,22,25  16:4


5.2.5     An Elder may resign without prejudice if, having discussed this with his fellow Elders, he believes it right for him to do so, and he should resign if he finds that he can no longer discharge the duties of his office.l Even after relinquishing his official responsibilities, he may still be consulted by the Elders who may benefit from both his experience and his counsel. 2

l 1 Tim 3: 1 – ‘work’  5:17 – ‘labour’   2 Job 12:12  Prov 1:5  11:14


5.2.6     While all Elders rule, some are gifted, called, and trained by God to preach also. He who both rules and preaches is called a Teaching Elder or Pastor.1

l Rom 12:6-8 ‘he that teacheth…he that ruleth’   1 Cor 12:28 – ‘teachers…governments’   Eph 4:11 – the ‘pastor’ is the ‘teacher’  1 Tim 5:17 – besides ruling, Pastor’s also ‘labour in the word and doctrine’    Heb 13:7,17  – a distinction is here made between rulers who teach and those who only rule



5.3     The Teaching Elder (or Pastor)


5.3.1     The Pastor must evidence the ability to preach the Word of God and fulfil the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications set out in 1 Tim 3:1­7 and Titus 1:5-9.1 Anyone called to this office must have been baptized by immersion upon profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 2  He must sincerely receive and adopt, as the expression of his faith, the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689,* and he must also be in agreement with the Church’s Statement of Faith, and this Constitution.3

l Jer 3:15 Matt 13:52  2 Cor 3:5,6    2Acts 9:18-20 1 Tim 6:12  3 2 Tim 1:13  2:2  4:1-5 Titus 2:1 Jude 3


*The Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 was one in essence with the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647 (Presbyterian) and the Savoy Declaration of Faith of 1658 (Congregational), except for modifications in areas such as church government and the proper subjects and mode of Christian baptism.


5.3.2     The task of the Teaching Elder is to take chief responsibility for the church,1 preach and teach the Word of God,2 administer the ordinances,3 pray for the members,4 assist any in difficulty,5 promote biblical truth and practice,6 and encourage fellowship with other orthodox churches.7

1 Eph 4:11  Rev 2:14-17    2 Jer 3:15  1 Tim 5:17  2 Tim 4:1,2

3 Matt 28:19,20  1 Cor 4:1  4 Acts 6:4  Eph 3:14-19  5 Prov 27:23 Gal 2:9,10  2 Tim 4:2,3  Heb 13:7  Acts 15:1-4  Gal 2:9


5.3.3     The Pastor is to be called from the Eldership within this church. 1 It is not essential that he should have received theological training.2

1 Col 1:7  4:12  2 Acts 18:26  1 Tim 4:13-16  2 Tim 2:15


5.3.4     In the event of there being no Pastor in office, the Elders, in prayerful consideration with the Deacons and members, shall seek to discover the will of God.1 The right of nomination and recommendation to the pastorate belongs to the Elders,2 but the name of the nominee must be brought to a Church Meeting specially convened for that purpose and must be approved, in a secret ballot, by a 75% majority of the total voting church membership.3

1 Acts 1:14-26  13:1-3  Rom 10:15  2 Acts 14:23 2 Tim 2:2  Acts 1:15,26  13:1-3


5.3.5     At a special meeting, the Pastor will be solemnly set apart, with prayer and the laying on of the Elders’ hands, to the office of the Gospel Ministry.1

                1Acts 13:1-3  1 Tim 4:14  [See Appendix A]

5.3.6    The Pastor shall be recognised as the presiding Elder.1 He shall preside at all officebearers’ meetings, being entrusted with the responsibility of leading the other Elders and the Deacons in the way of God’s Word.2  He shall also preside at all Church Business Meetings and Special Church Meetings to lead the church into scriptural obedience and service.3


Acts 21:18  Eph 4:11 1 Tim 5:17  2 Acts 15:13-29  21:18  cf. 18:8,17  3 Eph 4:11,12  Rev 2:1 – the ‘angel’ or ‘messenger’  had chief responsibility for the church

5.3.7     The Pastor shall have the right to choose all who shall preach in the church.1

1 Matt 24:45,46  Rom 12:7

5.3.8     As one set apart to teach, administer the ordinances, and guide the church, he will be required to devote himself to prayer and the study of God’s Word in order to fulfil his tasks.1 The church, acknowledging that such a person must be supported by them, will ensure, in so far as financial resources allow, that he is adequately maintained and will also pay all necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his duties. His stipend will be reviewed at least annually by the Deacons and will be such as enables him to make reasonable provision for his retirement.2

1 Acts 6:4  1 Tim 4:15,16  2 Matt 10:9,10  1 Cor 9:7-14  Gal 6:6  1 Tim 5:17,18


5.3.9     No time limit shall be fixed for the service of a Pastor, but upon resolution of a Church Meeting specially convened for that purpose and passed, in a secret ballot, by a 75% majority of the total voting church membership, his office may be terminated, three months notice being given him by the church.1 Similarly, the Pastor shall be required to give the church three months notice of his intention to resign his office. Upon termination of the office, the Pastor shall vacate the Manse.

1 1 Tim 5:19-21


5.3.10   In the event of there being no Pastor in the church, or the Pastor being unable to perform his duties, the other Elders shall be responsible for carrying on the work and shall elect one of their number to act as Chairman at officers’ and members’ meetings.1 If they consider it necessary, they may invite another Pastor, from a like-minded Evangelical and Reformed church, to act as an interim Moderator, that he may chair Church Meetings, assist the Elders in oversight and government, and guide the Church in scriptural ways of peace and prosperity. 2

                      1 1 Tim 3:1,2  Titus 1:9  2 Eph 4:11-13  cf.  Phil 2:19,20  2Cor 11:28


5.3.11    This Church rejects, as unbiblical, the notion of clerical Robes or

Vestments, seeing as there exists no positive biblical support for

such a practice. 1


1  Deut. 4:2


















5.4        The Ruling Elder


5.4.1     Only men with the necessary qualifications are eligible for the office. These are laid down in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Ruling Elders must be mature in faith and experience; they must have been baptized by immersion upon profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and, normally, they must have been in the membership of this church for at least three years, although in special circumstances the church may appoint a man to this office after two years in membership.1  They must sincerely receive and adopt, as the expression of their faith, the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689,* and they must also be in agreement with the Church’s Statement of Faith, and this Constitution. 2

1 Acts 14:21-23  1 Tim 3:6   2 1 Cor 4:2  Titus 1:7-9

*See note under paragraph 5.3.1


5.4.2     Ruling Elders are appointed to share with the Teaching Elder the pastoral oversight of the church and to take charge of all matters concerning the church’s spiritual welfare.  In particular, their work is to determine the true doctrine of the Word of God,1 preserve the ordinances in their purity,2 direct the church into the observance of Christ’s laws,3 arrange the admission of believers to church-fellowship,4 watch over the behaviour of members,5 judge the cases of offenders and penitents,6 and visit those who are sick and in need of comfort.7

1 Acts 15:2,28,29  Titus 1:9   2 Acts 13:15  1 Tim 1:4,5  Heb 13:17   Acts 20:28,29   5 1 Thess 5:12,13   1 Pet 5:1-3  Rom 12:8 – ‘he that ruleth’  1 Cor 12:28 – ‘governments’  James 5:14


5.4.3     In the choice of Ruling Elders, the existing Elders, after prayer and attention to God’s Word, shall consult with the Deacons and members.l The Elders shall then bring to the church at a Special Church Meeting, the names of the men whom they consider to be gifted and called of the Lord to this work. Each nominee must receive, in a secret ballot, a majority vote of the total voting church membership.2

1 Matt 9:38  Phil 4:6  1 Tim 4:5  2 Acts 14:23  1 Tim 5:22


5.4.4     At a special meeting, Ruling Elders will be solemnly set apart, with prayer and the laying on of the Elders’ hands, to the office of government.1

                1 Acts 14:23  1 Tim 4:14  Titus 1:5   [See Appendix B]


5.4.5     No time limit shall be fixed for the period of a Ruling Elder’s service, but his appointment shall be terminated upon a resolution brought to a Church Business Meeting, or a Special Church Meeting called for this purpose, and passed in a secret ballot by a majority of the total voting church membership.l

1 1 Tim 5:19-21


5.4.6     If there is only one Elder in office, he shall be assisted in his duties by the Deacons.l This shall be considered a temporary arrangement, existing only until other Elders are appointed.

1 1 Cor 12:28 – ‘helps’


5.4.7     In the event of having no Elders in office, the Deacons should assume temporary but full responsibility for the government of the church, with one of their number acting as Chairman at church gatherings.l This shall only be until one or more Elders are ordained. During such a period, and at their own discretion, they may seek advice and counsel from the Pastors and Ruling Elders of like-minded churches.2

1 1 Tim 3:13  2 Acts 15:1-4

5.4.8    If there is not an existing plurality of Elders in the congregation, the Church may appoint, by majority, interim Elders from other congregations of like mind. The interim Elder will assist the existing Elders in their duties in the assembly.

Their role will cease when a meeting of the members, called for that purpose, votes by a majority to that end.

The interim Elder is not a member of the congregation as he is a member of his own church.













5.5        Diaconate


5.5.1     In accordance with New Testament teaching and practice, a plurality of Deacons is the norm.l  The actual number will depend on local circumstances and the size of the congregation. The Elders will decide this after consultation with the existing Deacons.

1 Acts 6:3  Phil 1:1


5.5.2     The function of Deacons, in general, is to relieve the Elders of involvement in the material affairs of the church, including secretaryship, treasuryship, and the maintenance of all property used by the church.  In particular, their duties are to manage the church’s ordinary business,1 visit believers in need,2 bring necessary relief and comfort,3 encourage the giving of tithes and offerings,4 help remove any strife or dissension,5 make practical arrangements,6 and assist the Pastor and Ruling Elders, freeing them from unnecessary burdens.7

1 Acts 6:2  2 cf. James 1:22-27   3 cf. Deut 10:17-19  4 Is 60:17 – ‘exactors’ or ‘treasurers’  Phil 1:1 cf.  4:14-16   5Acts 6:1-7  1 Tim 3:8-13  6 Acts 6:3 – ‘over this business’  7 1 Cor 12:28 – ‘helps’  Phil 1:1


5.5.3     Deacons must fulfil their tasks in co-operation with and under the guidance of the Elders.1

l Acts 11:27-30  1 Tim 5:17


5.5.4     The qualifications for men chosen to this office are laid down in Acts 6:3 and in 1Timothy 3:8­13. They must be mature in faith and experience; they must have been baptized by immersion upon profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and they must have been in the membership of this church for at least two years.  They must sincerely receive and adopt, as the expression of their faith, the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689,* and they must also be in agreement with the Church’s Statement of Faith, and this Constitution.1

1 1 Tim 3:8-10

* See note under paragraph 5.3.1


5.5.5     In the appointment of Deacons, all members of the church will be called upon to make selection and submit names to the Elders.l The Elders, after prayer and attention to God’s Word, will make known to the membership the names of those men whom they judge to be duly qualified, who are evidently recognized by the church, and who are willing to accept office.2 The names will then be brought formally to the church at a Special Church Meeting. To be elected each nominee must receive, in a secret  ballot, a majority vote of the total voting membership.

1 Acts 6:1-6  2 1 Tim 3:10


5.5.6     At a special meeting, Deacons will be solemnly set apart, with prayer and the laying on of the Elders’ hands, to the office of service.1

1 Acts 6:5,6   [See Appendix C]


5.5.7     In the event of a vacancy occurring, the Elders may recommend to the church at a Church Meeting the co-option of any member of the church who is eligible to fill the vacancy. This shall be a temporary appointment, continuing only until the normal process of election fills the vacancy.

5.5.8     The Diaconate shall appoint annually from among its number a Church Secretary and a Church Treasurer. When required, the Deacons may also appoint from among themselves an Assistant Secretary and an Assistant Treasurer.

5.5.9     Deacons shall meet together to pray and to conduct business as often as thought necessary. Their meetings shall be intimated to the Elders, so that a representative may attend. Deacons and Elders shall meet together regularly for prayer, consultation, and fellowship.

5.5.10   Deacons must faithfully attend the public means of grace and diligently carry out the ministrations of their office.l

l Rom 12:7  1 Tim 3:10,13


5.5.11   It is desirable that Deacons should obtain the help of other church members. They should especially try to involve the men of the church, some of whom the Lord may be preparing for the Deacon’s office.l

1 Rom 12:4,5  1 Cor 12:14-27


5.5.12   Deacons shall hold office so long as they fulfil their calling and have the confidence of the members.l

1 1 Tim 3:13


5.5.13   A Deacon may resign without prejudice if, having discussed this with the Elders, he believes it right for him to do so, and he should resign if he finds that he can no longer discharge the duties of his office.l  Even after relinquishing official responsibilities, he may be asked to help with the church’s business and practical affairs. A Deacon’s appointment may be terminated upon a resolution brought to a Church Business Meeting, or a Special Church Meeting called for this purpose, and passed, in a secret ballot, by a majority of the total voting church membership. 2

l Rom 12:7 – ‘let us wait on our ministering (or serving)’  2 1 Tim 3:13

















6      Membership

6.1        Importance

6.1.1     The will of God is that all true believers should join a local church.1

1 Matt 18:17  Acts 2:41,47 9:26  Eph 2:22  Col 4:9,12 – ‘one of you’



6.2        Purity

6.2.1     A church should have an exclusively regenerate membership.1  While this is the ideal, it is recognised that every church on earth is fallible and occasionally errs in assessing professions of faith and that, as a result, unregenerate people may find admission into the membership.2

1 Jn 3:3  Acts 2:47  Rom 1:6-8  1 Cor 14:33  1 Thess 1:1-7  Acts 8:13-23  Gal 2:4  2 Tim 2:14-21  Jude 4


6.3        Meaning

6.3.1     Church membership involves joining together by covenant with God and with one another, so that there might be a faithful performance of all those duties belonging to a church of Christ.1

1 Exod 24:7 cf. Acts 7:38  Ps 50:5  Is 44:5  56:6  Jer 50:5  Amos 3:3  Acts 4:32  5:13,14  11:23  2 Cor 8:5  9:13  Eph 4:16


6.3.2     The New Testament assumes that being ‘added to the church’, in its visible expression, is an immediate and necessary consequence of conversion.1

1 Acts 2:41,47  9:26   Eph 2:22


6.3.3     Church membership is essential to the true life and proper functioning of the church and the enjoyment of its fellowship.1

1 Eph 2:20-22  4:11,12  Col 2:5


6.3.4     Fellowship is to be maintained by stedfast continuance in faith, worship, and  service,1 by exercising the graces of humility, meekness and longsuffering,2 by allowing no bitterness to exist in our hearts,3 by constantly endeavouring to prevent offences and occasions of stumbling,4 by forgiving one another sincerely, freely, and completely,5 by conscientiously and lovingly fulfilling our Christian responsibilities,6 and by maintaining the bond of peace so that unity is preserved.7

1Acts 1:14  2:42  4:31,32  2 Eph 4:2  Phil 2:1-3  3 Heb 12:15  James 3:13-18  4 Rom 14:13  1 Cor 10:32  5 Lk 11:4  Col 3:13  Gal 6:2  Phil 2:4  Rom 14:19  2 Cor 13:11


6.4        Qualifications


6.4.1    Any person is eligible for membership who professes repentance before God and     faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ 1 and who evidences the grace of God in a consistent Christian life. 2   Such a person must be living in accordance with the moral law (as summarized in the Ten Commandments), 3 seeking to obey all that it prescribes and to abhor and forsake all that it forbids (including those sins condoned and approved by a Godless society). 4   He or she must be in full agreement with the Church’s Statement of Faith, and must be willing to subscribe to the Church Covenant and to be subject to this Constitution.5


1Acts 2:38-41  2 Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 6:19-20; Phil 1:5   3Exod 20:1-17; Matt 5:17-19; Rom 7:12,22-25,  13:8-10; Heb 8:10; James 2:8  4Gen 19:1-25; Lev 18:22-25; 20:13; Deut 22:5, 23:17; Rom 1:24-27,32; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Tim 1:8-11; Jude 7   [This Constitution accords with the clear and concise statement of the Scripture’s teaching on the moral law found in The Westminster Larger Catechism, and particularly Questions CXXXVII – CXXXIX]   5Acts 9:26-28; 1 Cor 1:10


6.4.2     Believers who have not yet been baptized by immersion upon profession of faith are encouraged to be so baptized before entering into membership.1

1 Matt 28:19,20  Acts 2:41  9:18,19


6.5        Admission

6.5.1     An applicant for membership should already be regularly worshipping with this church. Application should be made to the Pastor (or to one of the Elders), who will request that the Church Covenant, the Church’s Statement of Faith and the Constitution be prayerfully studied.1

1 Acts 9:26


6.5.2     At least two Elders will interview the applicant.1 During the interview, they will seek to determine whether the person has a scriptural experience of conversion,2 a belief of the truth summarized in the Church’s Statement of Faith,3 a consistent standard of Christian living (See 6.4.1),4 a whole-hearted support of the church’s ministry and government,5 a willingness to be subject to this Constitution,6 and a sincere desire to covenant with the church in a bond of fellowship.7 These Elders will then report to the Eldership as a whole.

1 Acts 20:28,29  2 Ps 66:16  1 Pet 3:15  3 Rom 6:17 15:6  1 Cor 3:16  Eph 2:21  5 1 Thess 5:12,13  1 Tim 5:17  6 1 Cor 1:10  14:40   Phil 3:15,16  Deut 26:17,18  Jer 50:4,5  Acts 11:22,23  2 Cor 8:5


6.5.3     If the person desiring membership is, or has been, a member of another church, enquiry may be made to determine the person’s standing in that church and the reasons for leaving it. At the discretion of the Elders, a letter of commendation from that church may be required.1

1 Acts 18:27  28:21  Rom 16:1,2  2 Cor 3:1-3  Col 4:10  Philemon 12,17


6.5.4     If the Elders are satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements for membership, they shall bring this person’s name to the next Church Meeting that the members may express their willingness to receive the applicant into church membership.1

1 Acts 9:26-28  cf. 2 Cor 6:14  Gal 2:4  Jude 4


6.5.5     Following the agreement of the church, the applicant will normally be received into membership with the right hand of fellowship at the next observance of the Lord’s Supper.1

1 Rom 15:7  1 Cor 10:17  Gal 2:9


6.6    Responsibilities

6.6.1     Members are expected to attend regularly the Lord’s Day services, the mid-week meetings for Prayer and Bible Study, and Church Meetings, unless genuinely prevented by circumstances beyond their control. Families should worship in church together. Parents of young children are encouraged to alternate where possible at the Lord’s Day evening services and at the mid-week meetings. This not only strengthens the spiritual life of the parents but sets a godly example to the children and to the church.1

1 Ps 27:4  34:3  48:1-3  122:1  Song of Sol 1:7,8  Matt 18:20  Acts 1:14  2:1,42,46  Heb 10:25  cf.  Jn 20:24


6.6.2     Use should be made of the various other means of grace, such as the reading of God’s Word and prayer in regular private1 and family worship.2 Prayer should be offered for the ministry of God’s Word,3 all church officers,4  other members,5 and the work of the church generally.6

1 Ps 119:9-16  Matt 4:4  6:6  Lk 18:1  2 Gen 18:19  Deut 6:7  Jer 10:25  Zech 12:l2,13  3 Rom 15:30  Eph 6:18-20  2 Thess 3:1  Heb 13:17,18  James 5:16  6 Ps 51:18  102:13-17  122:6,7


6.6.3     Fellowship needs to be fostered within the church, and members should actively seek to cultivate acquaintance with one another,l so that they may be better able to pray for one another;2 love, comfort and encourage one another;3 and help one another materially as necessity may require.4

1 Mal 3:16,17  Rom 12:13  1 Pet 4:9  2 Phil 2:4  Jude 20  Col 3:12­14  1 Thess 5:11  Heb 3:13  4 Gal 6:2  James 2:15-17  1 Jn 3:17,18


6.6.4     Every effort must be made to keep the unity of the church and to avoid all causes of division.l  It is unity which gives the church both strength and beauty.2

1 Ps 34:14  133:1,2  Rom 13:13  14:19  16:17  1 Cor 12:25 2 Cor 13:11 Eph 4:1-3  Phil 2:3  1 Thess 5:12-14  Heb 12:14  James 3:16  2 Ps 133:1-3  Song of Sol  6:9,10


6.6.5     All should be involved in the work Christ has given to the church.l In particular, support should be given to the evangelism organized by the church, and an interest should be taken in the work of the Missionaries and Missionary Societies officially supported by the church.2

l Matt 5:15,16  Acts 8:4  1 Cor 3:9  Phil 1:27  4:3  1 Thess 1:8  Acts 14:27  15:3,4  1 Thess 5:25

6.6.6     It is a duty to support the work of the church financially by regular and systematic giving, proportionate to personal resources.l This is necessary for the support of the Pastor,2 the care of poorer members,3 the relief of needy Christians elsewhere,4 and the maintenance of Missionaries.5

1 1 Chron 29:6-9  Prov 3:9,10  11:24,25  Ma1 3:10  Lk 6:38  21:1-4  Acts 20:35 1 Cor 16:1,2  2 Cor 8:3,4  9:6-11  1 Cor 9:14  Ga1 6:6  1 Tim 5:17,18  Rom 12:13  Ga1 6:10  1 Tim 5:3-7  4.Acts 11:27-30  Ga1 2:10  5 Phil 4:10-18  3 Jn 5-8


6.6.7     There must be recognition of the spiritual authority belonging to the overseers in the church and a voluntary acceptance of their leadership.1

1 Ps 105:15  Lk 10:16  Rom 13:7  l Cor 4:1  16:12  l Thess 5:12,13  1 Tim 5:17  Heb 13:7,17


6.6.8     Matters of private concern to the church must be kept in strict confidence, and business discussed in Church Meetings should not be divulged to those outside the membership.1

1 Lev 19:16  Prov 11:13  18:8  20:19  l Tim 5:13  l Pet 4:15


6.6.9     In daily life obedience should be rendered to the moral precepts established in the Word of God and summarized in the Ten Commandments (See 6.4.1), so that a consistent witness and testimony are made to the world.l

1 Ps 93:5  Matt 5:17-19  Rom 7:12,22  1 Cor 10:32  Phil 2:15  Heb 8: 10  James 2:8  1 Pet 2:12  3:16


6.7    Privileges


6.7.1     Members may regard themselves as under the pastoral care of the Pastor and Elders, to whom they have direct access for consultation and prayer whenever mutually convenient.1

1 Acts 20:28  Eph 4:11-16  1 Pet 5:1-3


6.7.2     Members may expect to enjoy the love of their fellow-membersl and prayer will regularly be offered on their behalf.2

1 Jn 13:34,35  Acts 4:32  1 Jn 3:11   2 Rom 12:15,16  Eph 6:18  James 5:16


6.7.3     Members can count on receiving practical assistance whenever necessary and possible.l

l Deut 15:7,8  Ps 37:26  4l:l-3  Gal 6:9,10  Heb 13:16

6.7.4     Members have the opportunity of using gifts and talents in a variety of spheres in the church.l

1 Rom 12:6-8  1 Pet 4:8-10

6.7.5     Members are able to attend Church Meetings,l but they must be at least sixteen years old to participate in the discussion and to be involved in the making of decisions. Members under sixteen years of age shall be non-voting members. At the discretion of the Elders, members living away from this area temporarily, but for a substantial period (e.g. students, Armed Forces personnel, those on special work assignments), shall also be regarded as non-voting members.

1 Acts 6:2,3  15:4,12,22-31  1 Cor 5:4


6.8    Termination by Voluntary Withdrawal

6.8.1     Members moving away permanently from the area will be encouraged to seek fellowship and membership in a church nearer their home.l They may retain non-voting membership in this church until they become members elsewhere. This should not normally be for more than one year, but in special circumstances this time may be extended.

1 Acts 18:27  Rom 16:1,2  Co1 4:10

6.8.2    Any member who personally requests it may, after due counsel from the Elders, ask for release from membership.  In such a case, that member should continue to fulfil his or her membership responsibilities, as directed by the Elders, until the church, at a Church Business Meeting, formally accepts the recommendation of the Elders.l

lAmos 3:3 Rom 13:13  Phil 2:3

6.8.3     Where a request for release from membership involves censure on the church or is a breach of fellowship, it becomes a matter of church discipline and the proper stated procedures for this will then apply. l

l Ps 133:1,2  Prov 6:16-19  Hos 4:4  Phil 2:2,3  4:2 James 3:14,15

6.8.4     A member who desires to transfer attendance to another church should first speak to the Pastor about this matter, and if the Pastor considers it necessary, there should be another Elder present on this occasion. 1

1Prov 27:8  Acts 18:27  Eph 4:11  1 Thess 5:12,13

6.8.5     If the reason for desiring a transfer is considered by the Elders to be spiritual and adequate, release from membership will be granted, pending approval by the church at the next Church Business Meeting.  The member should continue to fulfil his or her membership responsibilities, as directed by the Elders, until that Meeting. Normally a letter of commendation will be written to the Pastor of the other church.l

1 Acts 18:27  2 Cor 3:1


6.8.6     If, on the other hand, the reason is considered by the Elders to be unspiritual and inadequate, the Elders will bring the matter, together with their recommendations, before the gathered church at the next Church Business Meeting.  The member should continue to fulfil his or her membership responsibilities, as directed by the Elders, until that Meeting. . In such a case the Elders will refuse to grant a letter of commendation to another church.1

1 Rom 16:17  Eph 4:3  2 Tim 4:14,15  Heb 10:25


6.8.7     Application for release from membership will not be granted to members subject to or under the corrective discipline of the church, and no letters of commendation will be written for them. In their case the normal disciplinary procedures will be followed.1

1 Matt 18:15-17  2 Thess 3:6  Titus 3:10


6.9        Termination by Disciplinary Dismissal

6.9.1     Members are subject to Christ’s discipline (i.e. his instruction and correction).1

1 Matt 16:19  18:15-20  1 Cor 5:4,5


6.9.2     It is the duty of members to care for one another.1  The truths of God’s Word and the graces of his Spirit enable them to teach,2 exhort,3 reprove,4 encourage,5 forgive,6 and comfort one another.7

1 Gen 4:9  Phil 2:4  2 Acts 18:26  Titus 2:4  3 Heb 3:13  10:25  Rom 15:14 1 Thess 5:14   5 1 Sam 23:16 Heb 12:12,13  Matt 18:21,22  Col 3:13  Rom 12:15  1 Thess 5:11  1 Pet 3:8


6.9.3     In dealing with personal offences, the aggrieved party should take the initiative and try to settle the matter privately.1  If this fails, he should make a further attempt, this time with one or two church members, who might be able to help with their counsel and who, in any case, will be able to witness the other person’s response.2  Should this also fail, this will then become a church matter and the Pastor and Ruling Elders will be informed.3

1 Matt 18:15  cf.  Lev 19:17  2 Matt 18:16  cf.  Deut 19:15  Matt 18:17  cf.  1 Cor 6:5


6.9.4     Public offences (against the Christian faith and life) should be handled by the church authorities.  Since Christ has committed the government of the church to the Elders,1  they will be responsible for securing and preserving proper order2 and, inevitably, this will involve the administration of biblical church discipline.3

1 Matt 16:19  1 Cor 12:28 – ‘governments’  2 Acts 20:17,28  1 Tim 5:17 Heb 13:7,17  1 Pet 5:1,2  3 1 Thess 5:12  Titus 1:5-11  2:15  3:10


6.9.5     Any disciplinary action should be carried out in strict accord with the teaching and example of God’s Word.1  It should be administered with authority,2 seriousness,3 wisdom,4 impartiality,5 meekness,6 patience,7 and love.8

1 Matt 28:20  Titus 1:9  cf. Prov 17:15  2 Matt 16:19  1 Cor 5:4,5 – ‘in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’  2 Tim 4:2  Titus 1:13  2:15  3 Prov 27:23  Rom 12:8  4 Prov 16:20-23  Lk 12:42  Jude 22,23  2 Sam 23:3  1 Tim 5:17,21  James 3:17  6 Gal 6:1  2 Tim 2:25,26  1 Pet 5:1-6  Prov 18:13  Phil 4:5  1 Tim 3:3  6:11  Prov 16:6  1 Cor 13:4-7


6.9.6     Censurable offences include serious doctrinal error,1 scandalous behaviour,2 neglect of common responsibilities,3 irregular attendance at the means of grace,4 corruption of pure worship,5 breach of Christian fellowship,6 and resistance to appointed government.7

1 Gal 1:7-9  1 Tim 1:19,20  6:3-5  Titus 3:10  2 1 Cor 5:11  6:9,10  1 Thess 5:14  2 Thess 3:11 1 Tim 5:8  4 Heb 10:25,26  2 Cor 6:16  Rev 2:14  Matt 18:15-20  Acts 20:28-31  Rom 16:17  7 Matt 18:17  2 Thess 3:6


6.9.7     There are three degrees of corrective discipline: first, admonition and rebuke, administered privately or publicly, depending on the nature of the offence;1  second, suspension from special privileges, which include partaking at the Lord’s Supper, attending church meetings (both business meetings and special church meetings), and performing service in the church;2  and third, exclusion from membership and fellowship, to impress upon the offender the extreme gravity of his spiritual condition.3

1 1 Thess 5:14  1 Tim 5:20  Titus 3:10  cf. Lev 19:6,7  2 Thess 3:14,15  cf. Lev 13:4,6  Num 9:7  12:14  3 Matt 18:17  1 Cor 5:1-5,11,13  Gal 5:12  cf. Ezra 10:8


6.9.8     Accordingly, the Elders will contact the person concerned, pointing out the fault, calling for true repentance, and (if need be) warning of possible suspension.  If there is no satisfactory response, the Elders will implement the censure of suspension; and if, after further counsel and warning from them, the person stubbornly persists in a wrong and sinful course, the Elders shall bring his or her name before the gathered church, in order that there might be exclusion from all the rights and privileges of membership.1 At that meeting, the Pastor shall describe the nature of  the offence (whether it involves the forfeiture of Christian character or the violation of church order).  He shall also outline the disciplinary steps already taken.  The church shall then proceed to the act of formal exclusion.2  This is the normal procedure but, if the offence is of a highly aggravated character, it may prove necessary to act without any delay.3

1 Ezek 3:17,19  Acts 20:28  1 Thess 5:12,13  Heb 13:17  2 Sam 23:3  1 Cor 5:1,2,12,13  cf. 2 Cor 2:6  2 Thess 3:6  1 Cor 5:1-5


6.9.9     Discipline should be received from the Elders with due respect,1 humility,2 submission,3 penitence,4 and purpose to amend.5

1 1 Thess 5:12,13  1 Tim 5:17  Titus 2:15  2 Prov 16:18,19  1 Pet 5:5 Ps 141:5  Heb13:7,17  4 2 Cor 7:8-11  5 Prov 28:13  Rev 2:5


6.9.10   If the offender subsequently gives satisfactory evidence of repentance, he or she should be forgiven1 and received back into membership at the discretion of the Elders and the church.2

1 Matt 18:21,22   2 2 Cor 2:6-8








7      Church Meetings


7.1        The church shall meet to transact its business at least four times a year.

7.2        Special Church Meetings may be called by the Elders or when 15% of the total voting church membership make a written request for such a meeting.

7.3        The Annual General Meeting shall normally be held in March.

7.4        At the Annual General Meeting the Pastor shall read to the gathered church the Church’s Statement of Faith and the members shall declare their purpose to continue in adherence to all its doctrines. The Teaching Elder shall also read to the church the Church Covenant and the members shall solemnly renew this covenant with the Lord and with each other. Prayer shall then be offered for divine assistance and blessing.

7.5        The accounts of all organisations of the church will be made up to the end of the church year (December 31st) and a financial statement prepared. These will be scrutinised by at least two members, appointed at the previous Church Meeting, and in accordance with the current charity legislation, if applicable. The Church Treasurer shall then present the financial statement, normally at the Annual General Meeting.

7.6        An agenda shall be issued to members at least ten days before any Church Meeting and announcement of such a meeting shall be made at the regular worship services on two successive Lord’s Days immediately prior to the meeting. In an emergency, however, a meeting may be called at shorter notice, providing each member is personally notified.

7.7        No motion, other than a motion on the part of the Elders or Deacons, shall be brought forward without prior notice. Any member desiring to submit such notice of motion shall send an intimation in writing to the Church Secretary at least one month before the Church Meeting. The Chairman may admit, at his discretion, amendments proposed from the meeting to motions already tabled. If a motion is passed only after amendment, it will not be given effect until ratified at a meeting of the church officers.

7.8        All members who have reached the age of sixteen years may participate in the discussion and exercise voting power at Church Meetings.

7.9        A quorum shall consist of one half of those church members eligible to vote.

7.10      In all matters except those specified (the election of officers, the termination of their appointment, and the alteration of the Constitution), a majority vote of the voting members present shall be required to make a resolution valid. However, the church should seek and pray for unanimity of heart and mind under God at all times.

7.11      When a vote of the total voting church membership is required, those unable to attend shall vote by means of an absentee ballot. Such votes must be received by the Church Secretary prior to the commencement of the Church Meeting. Members should regard attendance, however, as of the utmost importance, and they should do everything in their power to be present, for it is when the church is gathered in the name of the Lord Jesus that he is in the midst both to guide and to bless. Only if unavoidably prevented from attending should members vote by means of the absentee ballot.

7.12      When an equality of votes occurs, the Chairman may vote if he has not already done so.

7.13      Minutes shall be kept of the proceedings and resolutions of all Church Meetings, and such minutes shall be confirmed at the next appropriate meeting and signed by the Chairman. All minutes so confirmed and signed shall be accepted as the correct record of the meeting to which they relate.










8         General Matters

8.1        Apart from the church’s own services and meetings, the premises shall not be used for other meetings and activities, except by permission of the church officers.

8.2        No literature shall be displayed, distributed, or sold on church premises without the permission of the church officers.

8.3        New meetings or organizations within the church must be approved by the church officers and the members.

8.4        The church’s financial needs shall be met by regular systematic giving and occasional special giving. No appeal or collection will be made without the agreement of the church officers.

8.5        Any matter not covered by this Constitution shall be considered by the Elders and, if necessary, by the Deacons, the final authority in such matters being vested in the church.

8.6        No alteration of, or addition to, this Constitution shall be made without the agreement of all the Elders and 75% of the total voting church membership at a Special Church Meeting convened for that purpose.















Appendix A

The Ordination and Installation of a Pastor


After the singing of psalms, the reading of Scripture, and prayer, the presiding Pastor shall state the biblical warrant for the office, election, and ordination of a Pastor, or Teaching Elder.  In a service of ordination, the Ordinand will be asked to give some account of the way God has led him into the ministry. In a service of installation, statements concerning the call to the pastorate will be made by one of the church Elders and also by the Pastor-elect.  After this, the presiding Pastor shall address the person to be ordained or installed, proposing to that person the following questions:-


(1) Do you affirm your belief in the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God and as the only infallible authority for faith and practice?

(I do)


(2) Do you believe the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 to be founded on, and agreeable to, the Word of God, and do you resolve, through divine grace, firmly and constantly to adhere to that Confession?

(I do)


(3) Do you approve reformed church government by Teaching and Ruling Elders, associated together in congregational presbyteries, and do you promise to maintain and support this form of government?

(I do)


(4) Do you promise uncompromising adherence to purity of worship, believing that the acceptable way of worshipping God is instituted by himself and limited by his revealed will, so that nothing may be introduced into worship without positive scriptural warrant?

(I do)


(5) Do you accept the office of Pastor and do you engage, relying upon God for strength, to discharge your duties with diligence and faithfulness, leading the Lord’s people in the ways of his holy ordinances, teaching and governing them according to the Scriptures, and setting before all a godly and holy example?

(I do, trusting in God’s enabling grace)


At an installation, three further questions shall be addressed to the ordained Pastor and one to the church:


(6) Do you accept the call of this church to be its Pastor, and promise, through grace, to perform all the duties of a faithful Minister of the Gospel among this people?

(I do)


(7) Do you declare full agreement with this church’s Constitution, as teaching and applying the principles established in Holy Scripture?

(I do)


(8) Do you solemnly promise that, by divine and gracious assistance, you will always seek this church’s purity, peace, unity, and extension?

(I do so promise, in the strength of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour)


 The members of the church will be asked to stand and answer this question:


Do you, the members of this church, acknowledge and receive …………………, whom you have called to be your Pastor, and do you promise to receive the Word of Truth from his lips with meekness and  submit to him in the exercise of scriptural discipline, giving to him all due honour, obedience and encouragement in the Lord?

(We do)


In a service of ordination, the congregation shall stand after the questions, while the person to be ordained shall kneel, and then the presiding Pastor  shall, with solemn prayer and the laying on of hands of the Elders, set the person apart to the holy office of the Gospel ministry.   After the singing of another psalm, the presiding Pastor, or another Pastor appointed for this purpose, shall preach the Word of God, delivering a solemn charge to the newly ordained Pastor.  Then, after prayer and the singing of another psalm, the new Pastor, or one of the other Pastors, shall pronounce the benediction.


At the installation of a Pastor, the congregation shall stand while the presiding Pastor offers a prayer of installation (without, of course, the laying on of hands).  The Ruling Elders and Deacons shall then come forward to their Pastor, extending the right hand of fellowship, in token of their sincere reception and affectionate regard.  Following the psalm, sermon, prayer, and closing psalm, a Pastor will pronounce the benediction.

Appendix B

Appointment of Ruling Elders


After the singing of psalms, the reading of Scripture, and prayer, the Pastor shall state the biblical warrant for the office and work of a Ruling Elder. Having done this, he shall propose to the elected man, the following questions:


(1) Do you affirm your belief in the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God and as the only infallible authority for faith and practice?

(I do)


(2) Do you believe the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 to be founded on, and agreeable to, the Word of God, and do you resolve, through divine grace, firmly and constantly to adhere to that Confession?

(I do)


(3) Do you approve reformed church government by Teaching and Ruling Elders, associated together in congregational presbyteries, and do you promise to maintain and support this form of government?

(I do)


(4) Do you declare full agreement with this church’s Constitution, as teaching and applying the principles established in Holy Scripture?

(I do)


(5) Do you promise uncompromising adherence to purity of worship, believing that the acceptable way of worshipping God is instituted by himself and limited by his revealed will, so that nothing may be introduced into worship without positive scriptural warrant?

(I do)


(6) Do you accept the office of Ruling Elder and promise, through God’s strength, to assist the Pastor in the orderly government of this church, discharging your duties at all times with diligence and faithfulness?

(I do, trusting in God’s enabling grace)


The congregation shall then stand while the man kneels, and the Pastor shall proceed to set him apart, with prayer and the laying on of the hands of the Elders, to the office of Ruling Elder.  The service will then proceed with a psalm, sermon, prayer, a final psalm, and the benediction.


Appendix C

Appointment of Deacons


After the singing of psalms, the reading of  Scripture, and prayer, the Pastor shall state the biblical warrant for the office and work of a Deacon.  Having done this, he shall propose to the elected man, the following questions:


(1) Do you affirm your belief in the Scriptures as the inspired and inerrant Word of God and as the only infallible authority for faith and practice?

(I do)


(2) Do you believe the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 to be founded on, and agreeable to, the Word of God, and do you resolve, through divine grace, firmly and constantly to adhere to that Confession?

(I do)


(3) Do you approve reformed church government by Teaching and Ruling Elders, associated together in congregational presbyteries, and do you promise to maintain and support this form of government?

(I do)


(4) Do you declare full agreement with this church’s Constitution, as teaching and applying the principles established in Holy Scripture?

(I do)


(5) Do you promise uncompromising adherence to purity of worship, believing that the acceptable way of worshipping God is instituted by himself and limited by his revealed will, so that nothing may be introduced into worship without positive scriptural warrant?

(I do)


(6) Do you accept the office of Deacon and promise, through God’s strength, to serve under the supervision of the Elders, managing the temporal concerns of this church in a manner which is spiritual, efficient, and above reproach?

(I do, trusting in God’s enabling grace)


The congregation shall then stand while the man kneels, and the Pastor shall proceed to set him apart, with prayer and the laying on of the hands of the Elders, to the office of Deacon.  The service will then proceed with a psalm, sermon, prayer, a final psalm, and the benediction.