St Helens Baptist Church Constitution and Church Rules
- The church shall be known as St. Helens Baptist Church and shall be in membership with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland and the North Western Baptist Association.
- Membership shall be open to all who profess repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, whose lives bear witness to their Christian profession, and who have witnessed to this in Believers’ Baptism.
- Applicants are received into membership after Believers’ Baptism, or by transfer from other churches practicing Believers’ Baptism as a normal condition of membership. Such applications shall be considered as under 2(c). Exceptionally, on the decision of the church, applicants may be admitted to membership on profession of faith.
- All applicants for membership shall receive a course of instruction in the Christian Faith appropriate to their age and background. They shall be visited by two Church members who shall report to the Church on the readiness of the applicants to accept the responsibilities of membership.
- Members are received into membership at the Lord’s Table after giving assent to the Church Covenant by signing the Church roll.
- Those members who have, without reasonable excuse, absented themselves from the life and worship of the Church shall be removed from the roll after due consideration and visitation by the Minister and Deacons.
- Believers’ Baptism shall be administered as required. All believers are regarded as suitable candidates whether or not such candidates intend to become members of this Church.
- The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least monthly, and all who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord are invited to His table.
- In making or considering the call to a minister the help and advice of the Regional Minister shall be sought.
- At a meeting giving a call to a minister, or renewing a call, the support of at least 66% (2/3rds) of those present at the meeting, and eligible to vote, shall be required to make the call effective.
- The Diaconate, together with the minister, shall be responsible for the spiritual welfare, leadership, oversight and administration of the Church.
- Not more than 12 Deacons shall be elected for a period of three years. Those retiring shall be eligible for re-election
- Six Deacons shall constitute a quorum
- Nominations for the office of Deacon shall be made to the Church Secretary not less than 21 days before the date of the Church meeting at which the election takes place. Nominations must be made and seconded by a Church Members, those nominated must have been members for at least 12 months. A list of those nominated shall be displayed at the Church for the two Sundays proper to the Church meeting. Those elected must receive at least 66% (2/3rds) of the votes of those present at the meeting and eligible to vote.
- If a vacancy arises during the year, election will only be at the Annual Church Meeting.
- Executive Officers- A Secretary and a Treasurer shall be elected from the Diaconate at the Annual Church Meeting.
- In the event of the position of Treasurer not being filled from within the Diaconate a Church Member will be invited to the status of Treasurer and will be invited to attend any relevant Diaconate meetings, at the request of the Diaconate.
- The Church shall meet at least bi-monthly for the consideration of her mission and the transaction of business. Notice of such meetings shall normally be given on the two Sundays prior to the meeting, The agenda for the Church Meeting shall be displayed at the Church on the Sunday prior to the meeting.
- All members of 16 years of age and over shall be entitled to vote at Church Meetings, and such meetings shall be governed by the rules that ordinarily govern the conduct of public meetings.
- A quorum shall consist of 20% of the church membership
- A ballot must be held on any matter before the Church Meeting at the request of at least four members, or at the request of the Chairperson.
- A special Church meeting shall be called at the request of at least 12 members. At least two Sundays notice shall be given of any such meeting and only the business for which the meeting was called shall be considered.
- The minister shall ordinarily preside at Church Meetings and at the business meetings of organisations should he/she, or the deacons, deem it necessary.
- The appointment of all officers within the Church and its organisations shall be confirmed by the Church Meeting.
- A duly audited statement of the Church Accounts shall be presented at the Annual Church meeting.
- The Deacons may decide to call a Church and Congregation meting if considered desirable. Any decisions taken at such a meeting would have to be confirmed by the Church Meeting.
- The rules may be altered only at an Annual Church Meeting, or at a special Church Meeting, three months notice having been given of any proposed change.
- A copy of these rules and the Church Covenant shall be given to every member.