Studley Baptist Church
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:12
Updated March 2019
Table of Contents
STATEMENT OF CORE BELIEFS................................................ 4
Responsibility of Church Members................................ 4
CONSTITUTION AND STANDING ORDERS................................. 5
Church Membership.................................................................. 5
Church Ordinances.................................................................. 6
The Minister............................................................................. 6
Church Officers...................................................................... 7
Alteration of Rules................................................................. 7
Fellowship Groups............................................................. 10
Welcome to the Studley Baptist Church Member Handbook. The purpose of which is to provide you with all the information you need to fulfil your role as a member of the church family. Hopefully, this will fill in any grey areas of knowledge you may have on how the church is governed and guided by God as we seek His will and purpose for us all at Studley Baptist Church.
It has been written in a booklet format to aid easy reference to the information and to provide you with the latest information on the church. It is anticipated that this document will be revised and issued annually to each church member and to those new members who join during the year.
Please take time to read all the information and if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact either one of the deacons.
Every blessing as you take your place within the body.
STATEMENT OF CORE BELIEFS
1. We believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that we have liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
2. We believe in the Lordship of Christ and the power of the atoning work of Jesus on the Cross.
3. We believe that all should be free to worship in the way that they feel best expresses their love for the Lord.
4. We believe that God speaks prophetically today, and we should give Him space to do so in all areas of Church life.
5. We believe that we are each responsible for sharing Jesus with those who don't yet know Him.
6. We believe in the power and gifts of God's Spirit so that we can know the will of God and be filled with his power to change people’s lives.
7. We believe that prayer sets people and situations free from the effects of Satan's work so that they can rejoice in the victory of God.
Responsibility of Church Members
To live a life consistent with the Gospel and worthy of the high calling of Christ.
To spend time each day in prayer and in the reading of the scriptures.
To share each Lord's Day unless unavoidably prevented, in the corporate worship of the Church and to be faithful and regular in the observance of the Lord's Supper.
To fulfil the ministry of intercession both privately and by being present whenever possible, at meetings and corporate prayer.
To live in loyal love and fellowship with all other members of the Church.
To take some part in the work of the Church, according to their calling, gifts and opportunities.
To accept personal responsibility for the government of the Church, by being present, whenever possible, at the Church Meeting.
To attempt by personal invitation, hospitality and visitation, to introduce and bring others to Church.
To witness to the Lord Jesus Christ by word and deed, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
To support the Homework Fund of the Baptist Union and the Baptist Missionary Society.
CONSTITUTION AND STANDING ORDERS (Adopted January 1st 1987)
Name of Church
The Church shall be known as Studley Baptist Church. It shall be affiliated to the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, and the local Association and shall consist of those individuals who have become members in the manner hereinafter set forth.
1. The membership of the Church shall be open to all who profess repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and whose lives bear evidence of their Christian profession. Members are usually received after baptism by immersion, but the Church welcomes to full membership all who conscientiously follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The name of each candidate for Church Membership shall be submitted to the Minister and Deacons, who shall appoint the Minister and two Deacons to visit each applicant and report at a regular Church Meeting. If the report be satisfactory a vote shall be taken and, if elected, the applicant will receive the right hand of fellowship at the Lord's Table on the first convenient Communion Sunday.
3. Members shall be received from other Christian Churches by letters of transfer, such applications to be voted upon, as set forth in the foregoing rule.
4. A member who is absent from fellowship life for any length of time is to be visited by a Deacon and Minister to discover what problem exists which is preventing them from attending. The purpose of the visit is to encourage them to return and to seek to resolve any difficulty. The outcome of such a visit is to be reported to the Deacons so that any necessary steps can be taken. If this visit does not result in the member being restored to fellowship, further visits are to be arranged to continue to encourage them and to draw attention to the responsibilities of Church Membership.
If after a year from the first visit no progress has been made, it may be necessary to give consideration to the removal of the member from the membership list. This is to be brought to the Church Meeting for the final decision to be made.
5. Associate Membership shall be available if desired for members who move from the district temporarily or permanently but who wish to retain a formal link with Studley Baptist Church. An Associate Member has the right to attend Church Meetings but not to vote or hold office, and would not be counted as a member for the purposes of the Baptist Union Annual Return. Resumption of full membership would be after visitation and recommendation to the Church Meeting in the same manner as for new membership.
1. The Lord's Supper shall be celebrated on the first and the third Sundays of the month or at such other times as the Church shall decide, all believers present being invited to participate.
2. Believers' Baptism shall be observed at such times as may be desired.
3. Parents wishing publicly to dedicate themselves and present their children to God should arrange with the Minister for a suitable time. The names of such children are to be placed on the Cradle Roll.
1. The Church shall meet for Christian fellowship and for discerning the mind of Christ in relation to the business of the Church bi-monthly. A special Church Meeting may be called at the discretion of the Minister and a majority of the Deacons, or at the written request of not less than one third of the membership. Notice of such meetings shall be given at both services on the two preceding Sundays.
2. No business shall be considered at Church Meetings unless the same has been previously submitted to the Minister and Deacons, or notice of items given at the previous Church Meeting. Not less than a quarter of the membership shall constitute a quorum.
3. A third of the members present may demand a ballot on any matter before the Church.
The election of the Minister shall be by ballot after nomination by two members.2. No candidate shall be invited to the Minister of the Church unless obtaining three- fourths of the votes cast at the meeting AND the votes of at least half of the church members.
Members unable to attend the Church Meeting may apply to receive a voting paper which must be returned to the Secretary before the meeting.
3. In the event of the first ballot not being unanimous, a second ballot shall be taken with a view to obtain unanimity.
4. Notice of intention to elect a Minister shall be given at the ordinary services on the two Sundays preceding the Church Meeting called for the purpose.
5. The Ministry may be terminated in accordance with the Home Work Fund regulations by mutual arrangements.
1. The Minister shall be ex-officio president of the Church and all organisations connected therewith.
2. The Executive of the Church shall consist of the Minister and up to nine Deacons. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed annually from the Diaconate, by the Church members.
3. The appointment of all officers in charge of departments and organisations shall be vested in the Church.
4. Deacons shall be elected for a period of three years, three to retire annually.
5. Retiring Church Officers, Deacons, Secretary, and Treasurer should indicate whether they are willing to stand for re-election before or at the Church Meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting.
Nominations for the Diaconate should be given in writing signed by two members of the church to the secretary one month prior to the A.G.M.
The nominations to be considered by the Diaconate prayerfully, appointing Minister and the Deacon to explain what would be involved, the responsibility and commitment needed for their potential appointment.
6. The election of all Deacons shall be by Ballot and no candidate shall be elected who receives fewer votes than half the members voting.
Members unable to attend the Church Meeting for the election may apply for a voting paper which must be returned to the Secretary before the meeting. In no case must the scrutineers divulge the number of votes a candidate has secured, and the result of the election shall be given in alphabetical order.
7. Any vacancy on the diaconate shall be filled as early as convenient. The Officer filling the vacancy shall retire at the expiration of three years from the date of the original appointment.
8. The diaconate shall meet regularly, normally once a month.
1. The income of the Church shall be raised by voluntary contributions.
2. Each member of the Church shall prayerfully consider the Word of God in the matter.
e.g. 1 Corinthians 16 verses 1 and 2
"Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made."
Members are requested to take part in the Church envelope scheme and are reminded of the benefits to the Church of a “gift aided” offering which enables the Church to claim the back tax (currently “for every 80p given the tax received is 20p”)
Alteration of RulesAny alteration or addition to the constitution shall only be made after notice has been given at the previous Church Meeting. Notice of such alteration and/or additions must be given at the ordinary services on the two Sundays preceding the Church Meeting.
In obedience to Christ, members are encouraged to support the ministry of the church by making regular financial offerings to God. In addition, we encourage all taxpaying members to sign up to Gift Aid.
The offerings are collected during each Sunday morning service by collection plate. Envelopes are provided to help encourage members in giving weekly. Alternatively, offerings can be made by bank Standing Order. Both envelopes and Standing Order forms are available from the Treasurer.
Gift Aid provides a great opportunity for members to increase the value of their donations to the church by allowing the church to reclaim tax from the Inland Revenue. The church can reclaim tax on any offerings or donations made by individuals, whether large or small, regular or one-off - provided the conditions for the Gift Aid tax relief are satisfied. In particular, the church will have to be able to show an audit trail from the offering to a member who has given a Gift Aid declaration that covers that offering.
All offerings/donations are confidential between the member, the Church Treasurer and the external Auditor.
A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD ; it is holy to the LORD . Leviticus 27:30 (NIV)
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 1 Corinthians 16:2
Name: Heather Gentry
Primary Responsibility: Secretary and Fabric
Telephone: 07803 601984 or 01527 857365 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: John Birkenshaw
Primary Responsibility: Treasurer and Fabric
Telephone: 07990 976050 or 01527 854942 email email@example.com
Name: Lavinia Hand Life Deacon
Telephone: 01527 520136 or 07527 479666 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Name: Eveline Green
Primary Responsibility: Children’s Work, Prayer and Worship
Telephone: 07535 878320 or 01527 453655 email email@example.com
Name: David Wells
Telephone: 01527 842255 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fellowship GroupsThe bible tells us that we need to live in fellowship with one another in the church to encourage, support, learn and grow into what He would have us to be. The book of Acts records the early church and how:
42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47
Hebrews 10:25 tells us 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We need to meet regularly on Sundays and in the week to fulfil what God wants for us as individuals and as a church. In support of this, there are currently two fellowship groups meeting. If you are not yet meeting with one of these groups, please feel free to contact the pastor, a deacon or a fellowship group leader for details.
Time of meeting: 10.30am to 12.00 midday Wednesday Morning
Where: Wednesday Morning
Leaders Al and Eveline Green