Chardsmead | Documents

Statement Of Faith

In Accord with the Trust Deeds

By Trust Deed, being established as a Particular Baptist Church on 27th October 1840, we fully accept and propagate the articles of Christianfaith and Practice set out in the 1689 Baptist Confession OF FAITH, the main articles of which are summarised as follows:

1. We believe in the one true and living God, in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who is invisible, personal, omnipresent, eternal, dependent on none, unchanging, truthful, trustworthy, almighty, sovereign, omniscient, righteous, holy, good, loving, merciful, long-suffering and gracious.

2. We believe that Almighty Cod has revealed all that is necessary to life and salvation in the sixty-six books of Holy Scripture which are the Word of God. All Scripture has given by inspiration of God, is infallible and inerrant, and is the final arbiter in all disputes. Its authority is derived from its Author and not from the opinions of

3. We believe that God made our first father Adam perfect, holy and upright. He was appointed representative and head of the human race thereby exposing all His offspring to the effects of His obedience or disobedience to God's commands.

4. We believe that Adam fell from His original righteousness into sin and brought upon himself and all His offspring death, condemnation and sinnership.

5. We believe it is utterly beyond the power of fallen man to love God, to keep His laws, to understand the Gospel, to repent of sin or trust in Christ.

6. We believe that God, before the foundation of the world, for His own glory did elect an innumerable host of men and women to eternal life as an act of free and sovereign grace. This election was in no way dependent upon His foresight of humanfaith, decision, works or merit.

7. We believe that God sent His Son into the world, conceived of, the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, unchangeably sinless, both God and man, born under the Law, to live a perfect life of righteousness, on behalf of His elect people.

8. We believe that God's Son died at Calvary to effect propitiation, reconciliation, redemption and atonement for His elect people. God bore testimony to His acceptance of His Son's work by raising Him from the dead.

9. We€ believe that God's Son ascended to the right hand of His Father and is enthroned in glory, where He intercedes on behalf of His people and rules over all things for their sake.

10. We believe that God the Son has poured out the Holy Spirit to work through the preached word. The Spirit of God regenerates the elect sinner and draws Him irresistibly tofaith in Christ the Saviour.

11. We believe the elect, who are called by grace, are justified in the sight of God on account of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which is received byfaith alone.

12. We believe that such as are regenerated, called and justified shall persevere in holiness and never finally fall away.

13. We believe that Baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper are gospel ordinances belonging only to regenerated believers.

14. We believe that the local church is under the authority of Christ alone. The communion of saints, however, encourages recognition of and fellowship with other churches whosefaith and order are in accord with this statement OF FAITH.

15. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ shall come again to raise the dead, both righteous and unrighteous, and that the righteous shall enjoy everlasting life and the wicked endure everlasting

Church Rules

1. Name of Church
The Church shall be known as Chardsmead Baptist Church and shall consist of individuals who have become members in the manner hereinafter set forth.

2. Membership
a) The membership shall be open to all who profess repentance towards God andfaith in our Lord Jesus Christ. whose lives bear evidence of their Christian profession and have confessed thisfaith in the ordinance of believers Baptism by immersion. [Those, who for health reasons are unable to be baptized may be accepted for membership.]

b) Those desirous of joining the Church shall apply to the Church Secretary. Their names shall be proposed at a Deacons meeting. After visitation and a satisfactory report by two Deacons, or by two Church members appointed by the Deacons for that purpose, the proposal(s) for membership shall be voted upon at the following Church meeting. Subject to a majority vote they shall receive the right hand of fellowship at the first convenient Communion Sunday.

c) Believers who have been baptized by immersion and upon acceptance of the Statement OF FAITH of this Church shall be received from other Christian churches by letter of transfer and visitation as above and shall be voted upon as set forth in the preceding rule.

d) All members shall have agreed to and continue to accept the Statement OF FAITH.

e) Members are expected regularly to attend the services held on the Lord's Day, Prayer and Bible study meetings and business meetings of the Church and to contribute towards its support as God has prospered them. To take part in Church activities and with God's help to lead lives regulated by the teachings of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, being inspired by the work of the Holy Spirit.

f) Members who attend infrequently over a six month period, other than for reasons of age, infirmity, prolonged illness or enforced absence, after being visited by two Deacons and with the consent of the Church, shall be removed from the roll of active members and placed on a separate list of inactive members. Members moved to the inactive list shall forego any voting rights at subsequent business meetings. Should any member return to full fellowship, their names, with the consent of the Church shall be reinstated to the active members' roll. The list of inactive members shall be reviewed annually by the Deacons and if any have ceased attending, shall first be visited then with the consent of the Church their name shall be removed from the list ofChurch members.

3. Church Officers
a) The Minister: The Minister shall be a man, having himself been Baptized by immersion as a believer. He shall continue to hold unreservedly the Statement OF FAITH of the Church, and before His appointment as minister is made, shall have professed His wholehearted adherence to the Doctrines of Grace stated therein, in the presence of the Church, as required by the Trust Deed. He shall be called to the office of Minister at a special Church meeting, at which the voting for His appointment shall be by ballot requiring two-thirds majority of the members present.

b) The Diaconate: Deacons shall be elected from male Church members of not less than six months standing. They shall be the age of 18 years or over and elected for a period of 3 years and shall be eligible for re-election if willing. Deacons shall be elected by ballot at a Church meeting. Nominations shall be made in writing, signed by any two members of the Church and shall be sent to the Pastor or Secretary not later than the Sunday morning preceding the election, the consent of the Nominee having first been obtained. Deacons shall be elected by two-thirds majority of the meeting after one or more votes as deemed necessary.

c) Officers: The Secretary and Treasurer shall be nominated by and from within the Diaconate and elected at the Church meeting.

4. Ordinances
a) The Ordinance of the Lord's Supper will be observed regularly as agreed by the Minister and the Deacons. It is expected of all members that they willfaithfully observe this Ordinance, except for those who may be under discipline imposed upon them by the Church.

b) The Ordinance of Believers' Baptism shall be observed and administered only to those who have professedfaith in Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord and who show definite signs of God's grace in their lives.

5. Church Business Meetings
a) Church members shall meet for the transaction of Church business at the discretion of the Minister of Deacons. A Church meeting can be called at the request of 6 members. Church meetings are to be held at least four times a year. The meeting to be announced on the two preceding Sundays. Propositions are to be carried by a majority of those present unless otherwise stated.

b) One fifth of the membership shall be considered sufficient to transact business. Providing that meeting be duly called as above.

c) That at every Church meeting the Minister or a deputy presides. The Meeting to begin and end with prayer.

d) The Minutes of every Church meeting to be entered in the Church book, read and if correct approved at the commencement of the succeeding meeting before any other business is attended to.

e) That all members should stand to speak and address the Chairman.

f) Important motions affecting the Rules or policy of the Church must be written, signed and handed to the Secretary two weeks prior to
the meeting. Such motions to be carried by a two-thirds majority.

g) The Confidentiality of Church Meetings is to be observed at all times.

6. General
a) The Minister shall be ex-officio President of all constituent Societies and Organisations and normally may preside at all meetings both of the Church and its Constituent Societies and Organisations.

b) Meetings and services on Church premises shall be held only with the permission of the Minister and/or Deacons and upon such
conditions as they decide.

c) Leaders and assistant leaders shall be Church members and appointed by the Church Meeting. Non-members may exceptionally be appointed by the Church Meeting to meet specific needs. In which eventuality, their standing shall be judged within the criteria of the
rules and particularly in respect of the Statement OF FAITH.

7. Alteration of Rules
a) A copy of the foregoing rules shall be given to each Church member.

b) The foregoing rules may only be altered at a Special Church meeting called for that purpose and subject to the provision and requirements
of the Trust Deed of the Church.