Dunamanagh Baptist Church

 

Articles of Faith and Rules of Church Practice

 

He shall reign for ever and ever.

 Revelation 11:15

 

 

1989/2018/2019

 

DUNAMANAGH BAPTIST CHURCH

 

COVENANT, DOCTRINAL BASIS, CONSTITUTION AND RULES

AND CHARITY COMMISSION ADDENDUM 1989 Revised 2018 and 2019.

 

COVENANT.

 

Through the grace of Almighty God and the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour, we, a company of redeemed sinners, acknowledge with thankfulness the establishment of this Christian Fellowship.  By this present instrument we re-state our solemn covenant individually and corporately to continue as a local Church, and to seek the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit of God on our fellowship and work.  The name of this Church, as decided by the members in 1984, is Dunamanagh Baptist Church.

 

As an independent assembly of redeemed people we undertake by grace to seek the Glory of God in meeting in fellowship for worship, for the ministry of the Word of God, in breaking of bread, in corporate prayer and in mutual encouragement and edification in the work and witness of this Church.  We shall endeavour, with God’s help, to witness by life and testimony, both individual and corporate, to the saving and sustaining power of the risen Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, and to work for the extension of His Kingdom.

 

This Instrument records our deliberations and decisions for the good order and government of this Church, and it has been prayerfully considered, agreed and attested by the Church members.

 

DOCTRINAL BASIS.

 

Whilst having no desire to impose human creeds or rules upon the conscience of any of the Lord’s people, we, nevertheless, feel it necessary to set forth a summary of those truths which we believe to be foundational and essential to the faith of a Christian.  We expect and require that all those Believers who seek Church membership shall accept, without reservation, the following summary of doctrines as understood in a simple, straightforward and evangelical sense:-

 

  1. The verbal inspiration, sole authority and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as originally given.

 

  1. The Trinity in Unity of the Godhead, three eternal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit co-equal, and active in creation, providence and redemption.

 

  1. The real and perfect humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His eternal Deity.

 

  1. The atoning and sacrificial death of Christ by the shedding of His precious blood, and His bodily resurrection on the third day.

 

  1. The work and power of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration and conversion of sinners and sanctification of believers.

 

  1. The total depravity of man through the disobedience of the first man, Adam, and consequent death and judgement under the wrath of God.

 

  1. The eternal security of the believer by the eternal redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

 

  1. Justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

 

  1. The priesthood of all believers.

 

  1. The bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when the saved shall enter eternal rest and the lost eternal punishment.

 

  1. Believer’s baptism by immersion and the regular celebration of the Lord’s Supper ‘until He come’.

 

In the event of dispute or difficulty this Church shall interpret its doctrinal beliefs in accordance with the historic Confession of Faith adopted by Baptist Churches in 1689.

 

This Church maintain its right and duty under God to pass to future members in perpetuity the doctrinal statement herein given and alterations to any of these beliefs given in the Doctrinal Basis shall be null and void.

 

CONSTITUTION AND RULES.

 

A.        Church Membership And Order.

 

1.   Membership of this church shall be open to all who profess repentance towards God and faith in

      Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and whose lives bear evidence of this profession.  This Church

      emphasises the priesthood of all believers, and within the ‘gathered Church’, seeks to encourage

      individual members to fulfil their spiritual gifts and calling.  We believe in co-operating with, and

      assisting in the life and witness of Churches of similar faith and order.  Thus the members of this

      Church bind themselves to seek the glory and honour of the risen Saviour through agreement in

      basic doctrine, involvement in gospel witness and the maintenance of the standards of Godliness

      enjoined in Holy Scripture and provided for by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

 

2.   All applicants for Church-membership shall be interviewed by at least one elder and one Church-

      member.  The aim of the interview is twofold:- (a)  To determine the applicant’s testimony of

      personal saving faith in the finished work of our Lord Jesus, and (b)  to ensure that the applicant

      understands and accepts the doctrines and the contents of this document, and the duty of each

      Christian to live daily a life pleasing to God.

 

      The Eldership may then recommend acceptance of the applicant to the Church at any regular

      Church business meeting, or at a special meeting of the Church convened for the purpose.  A two-

      thirds majority of those present at a quorate meeting of seventy-five percent of the resident Church

      members shall be deemed sufficient to admit to membership.

 

Only those applicants for membership who have been baptised by immersion, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, on profession of faith alone, in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, through grace alone and who have read, assented to, and agreed to be bound by, this Instrument shall be received into membership by the Church.

 

All applicants accepted for membership shall be welcomed and received into church membership publicly at the Lord’s Table by the office-bearers.

 

  1. The requirements for Church-membership shall include:-

(a)  Prayer for the Church and regular attendance at its gatherings (unless prevented by illness or

      other serious cause).

 

  • Prayerful and practical involvement in every decision and aim of the Church, including evangelism, caring for fellow believers and others, setting aside of elders and deacons (including ‘pastors’ or other Christian workers), and when necessary, loving Church discipline as required by the Scriptures and as recommended by the Eldership.

 

  • Regular attendance at the Lord’s Table, except in cases of illness or for other serious reason.Members who are absent from the Lord’s Table for eight or more weeks without explanation shall be interviewed by the elders.If, following the prayers of the Church and endeavours of the elders, a member does not attend or present acceptable reasons to the eldership for absence, or otherwise show clear signs of amendment of life in keeping with love for Christ and His people then the Church may regretfully feel forced to remove such member from the privileges and membership of the Church.

 

  • The avoidance of unloving and unkindly criticism of all fellow believers.Members hold themselves as bound by Christ Jesus to ‘love one another’; to be faithful in word and in deed; to keep themselves ‘unspotted from the world’ and to obey every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.Members accept the Sovereignty of God and shall, therefore, render obedience to the ‘powers that be’, saving always that the believer must obey Christ’s ordinances before those of man.

 

  • Assisting the elders in their responsibilities of guiding and teaching each believer in the witness and fellowship of the local Church, and encouraging the development and use of spiritual gifts and natural talents.

 

  1. Membership can be altered:-

 

(a)  By transfer.  When the local Church recommends by letter of commendation a member who

 is transferring to another evangelical Church in a different area, or who is joining with like-

 minded believers to assist in Church-planting elsewhere; or who is recommended by this

 Church as one whose call to Christ’s service it recognises, endorses and approves.

 

  • By exclusion.When in love and humility, the local Church is constrained to exercise its scriptural duty, authority and discipline by withdrawing fellowship from a member who has proved unrepentant, despite loving pastoral care, prayer and admonition.

 

(c)  By death.  When, by the intervention of our loving Heavenly Father, the bond between a

member and the Church is severed by death until we are all called into His glorious Presence.

 

  1. Members shall prayerfully consider the need for regular, cheerful and sacrificial giving to God’s work.  The plans of the local Church determined through the corporate will of the Church are of prior importance, and the principle of the tithe is commended as indicative of God’s standards of giving to His work.

 

  1. The list of members shall be reviewed at the annual January Church business meeting so that it represents the real membership of the Church.

 

  1. Members recognise the special privilege and responsibility of partaking in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, and their consequent need to assure themselves that visitors who wish to partake at the Table of the Lord are born-again and are walking in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  Visiting believers are most welcome to the Lord’s Table if their faith and walk can be attested to by a Church member to the satisfaction of the eldership.  Visitors from Churches of similar faith and order who wish to participate at the Lord’s Table over a period of months shall be commended by letter from their home Churches.  The eldership shall also interview the visitor and recommend such to the fellowship, care, privileges, discipline and responsibilities of this local Church for the period envisaged.

 

  • Church Office Bearers.

 

  1. Church office-bearers shall be elders and deacons.  These New Testament offices shall be open only to the male (according to biological gender at birth) membership of the church who are spiritually and morally prepared by the Holy Spirit of God, and only such shall be nominated and chosen for these offices.  Since the Scriptures do not indicate any fixed period of service for these offices, tenure shall therefore extend during the evident capability, continuing sense of calling and godliness of life in Church and society of the recognised office-bearer.  It is the responsibility of Church members to pray daily for the elders and deacons, that grace, wisdom and guidance from God may be granted to them.

 

Before any new nominations to these offices are considered there shall be given to the Church specific teaching from the Scriptures on the qualities and qualifications essential for office, and the Church must take time to seek God’s guidance in prayer.

 

  1. The Eldership:-

 

(a)  Elders are to be esteemed highly for the Lord’s sake as under shepherds appointed by the Holy

      Spirit, who shall be required to give an account of their stewardship to the Chief Shepherd, our

      Lord Jesus Christ.  They have a particular responsibility for spiritual matters.  All elders are of

      equal authority and responsibility, but some may be set aside to devote more time and diligence to

      teaching, preaching and ‘tending the flock of God’, in response to the leading of the Holy Spirit

      and the call of the local Church.  In calling a man to the full-time work of the Church, either from

      its own number or from another local Church, this Church must assure itself by patient earnest

      prayer, and active and careful enquiries by the elders, that the person to be recommended for

      consideration by the Church for pastoral responsibilities is known for his spiritual, moral and

      personal standards of life, as well as for his teaching, preaching or pastoral gifts.  Such should also

      receive, as appropriate, the wholehearted commendation of his present local Church.

 

(b)  A call to the pastorate shall normally be unanimous, and such call shall be decided only at an

Extraordinary Church Meeting arranged for that purpose and decided by written ballot.  The  quorum for this Extraordinary Church Meeting shall be eighty per cent of the membership.  If a unanimous Call is not agreed upon, then the consent by eighty per cent of the quorate meeting shall be sufficient to sustain a Call. 

 

The Chairman shall endeavour to persuade the casting of positive votes ‘for’ or ‘against’ on such an occasion, and abstentions from voting are to be discouraged. 

 

The elders and deacons together meeting at the ‘Church Council’ shall, on behalf of the Church, agree in writing with an incoming pastor, such financial and other terms as shall be in accord with similar pertaining standards elsewhere.  These arrangements shall be confidential to Church members alone.

 

  • Dismissal of any elder shall be decided upon only at an Extraordinary Church Meeting.The assent of at least eighty per cent of the members present and voting at a quorate meeting of eighty per cent of the Church members, by written ballot shall be necessary for any such decision.Removal shall be considered only where there has been either a grave moral offence or a departure from any of the BASIC DOCTRINES as laid down in this document.Removal in such cases shall be immediate, though the eldership shall at all times exercise Christian care towards those affected.Members having a cause for serious complaint against an elder must first discuss the complaint with the remaining elders.

 

  • In other cases of unacceptable behaviour, the ‘Church Council’ (if the elders deem this necessary to the circumstances), shall admonish any office-bearer or member, including the Pastor.Should this admonition remain unheeded then the elders, or the Church Council of elders and deacons shall report the matter to an Extraordinary Church Meeting called for the purpose, and present the Church with clear recommendations.Voting at such a meeting shall be laid down in (c) above.In a case where the pastor receives payments from the Church, or if he occupies property owned or controlled by the Church, the Church may, in the circumstances, vote to give the pastor three months notice in writing to terminate his service among them.In all cases the Church shall exercise loving concern and constraint so that scandal may be avoided and that no unnecessary hardship ensues.

 

  • The pastor shall give to the Church secretary a minimum of three months’ notice in writing of his intention to resign the pastorate, unless, by mutual consent of the Church and the pastor, a different period is acceptable.

 

  • Male Church members, as defined in B1 above, who are scripturally and spiritually fitted for the office of elder are eligible to serve the Church within the eldership.

 

Their nominations shall be either on the recommendation of the eldership to the Church, or by written nominations signed by at least FOUR Church members and with the consent of the nominees.

 

All nominations shall be submitted to the Church secretary at least four weeks prior to the January or June Church business meetings, or, exceptionally, at an Extraordinary Church meeting called for the purpose.  The Church secretary shall announce the names of the nominees on each of the four Sundays immediately prior to the meeting to allow time for prayer.  Appointment to the eldership shall be by written ballot from a quorum of eighty per cent of the Church membership and with an eighty per cent majority therefrom, though normally the Church should expect its choice of elders to be unanimous.

 

The duties and responsibilities of elders are those found in the New Testament scriptures and concern the spiritual needs of the membership, the witness of the local Church and its general oversight.

 

  1. The Diaconate:-

 

(a)   Male Church members, as defined in B1 above, who are scripturally and spiritually fitted for the

        office of deacon are eligible to serve the Church within the diaconate

 

Their nomination shall be either on the recommendation of the eldership to the Church, or by written nominations signed by at least TWO Church members and with the nominees’ consent.

 

All nominations are to be submitted to the Church secretary at least four weeks before the January or June interim Church business meetings or exceptionally at an Extraordinary Church Meeting called for the purpose.  The Church secretary shall announce the names of the nominees to the Church on each of at least four Sundays immediately prior to the meeting.

 

  • Deacons shall be responsible for the ‘temporalities’ of the Church and the overall finances

        including:- (i)  Advising the Church treasurer on the payment of all proper expenses, gifts and

        subscriptions agreed by the Church for the work of God; (ii)  the practical relief of members

        and others who are in need;  (iii)  the care of the fabric and property of the Church.

 

  1. Administration.

 

(a)  Elders and Deacons (Charity Trustees) shall meet together as the ‘Church Council’ at regular

       intervals to pray together and to consider Church business, including finances, the upkeep of the

       building and the planning of activities.  The Church secretary shall keep minutes of all such

       meetings. 

 

      (b)  From among the elders and deacons the Church shall elect or confirm in office at each June

 meeting a Church secretary and a Church treasurer, nominated by the Church Council.

 

 At each January meeting the elders, through the pastor, shall report to the Church on its spiritual

             life and progress.  At the same meeting the Church secretary shall present a summary of the

             activities and business of the Church since the previous January’s meeting.  A written

             report from all church organisations will be presented at the June meeting.  At the January and

             June meetings of the Church, and otherwise if requested by the eldership or the Church Council,

             the Church treasurer shall present a financial report including, in June, an income and expenditure

             account, balance sheet and bank reconciliation statement.

 

At the June meeting each year, the accounts shall have been audited on behalf of the Church by two members nominated at the previous January meeting.  One of the auditors shall be a church office-bearer.

 

  • All offices and appointments to organisations are under the authority and control of the Church and the spiritual oversight of the eldership.Positions of leadership in all Church activities shall be held by Church members only.They shall be selected following prior consultation with the elders, and approved by the Church at its January or June meetings, or exceptionally at a Special Church Meeting called for the purpose.

 

  • Duties of the Church secretary.The Church secretary shall:- (i)In conjunction with the chairman set the agenda of all Church business meetings.The agenda shall be available to members on the Sunday prior to the business meeting.(ii)Record accurately the business of all Church meetings, and present minutes for approval by the membership at the next business meeting.The secretary shall also keep in a safe place the Church minute book.(All Church records are the property of the Church and are available at the discretion of the eldership).On vacating office he shall immediately hand over to the Church all minute books and Church records in his possession.(iii)Deal promptly with all correspondence.(iv) Hold prior consultation with the eldership on all unusual or exceptional matters.(v)Arrange an annual review of all insurance and any legal requirements pertaining to the Church.

 

  • Duties of the Church treasurer.The Church treasurer shall:-(i)Account for, record and lodge expeditiously all monies and payments received for the work of the Church, including forwarding with urgency donations for missions and other bodies, and obtain any valid receipts and acknowledgements as appropriate.(ii)Keep appropriate books and accounts recording the income and expenditure of the Church from month to month; manage the Church’s banking facilities, including the careful safeguarding of cheque-books and other sensitive records.On vacating office he shall immediately hand over to the Church all account books and Church records in his possession.(iii)Present the accounts, balance sheet and statements to the Church at the meetings noted in 3 (c) above, and co-operate with the Church secretary and the auditors as required.In particular the church treasurer should make prompt payments of all legal debts and keep and submit as appropriate all records which the law may require from the Church.

 

  • Church Meetings.

  

The local Church gathered in prayerful dependence upon God and guided by Scripture is the Biblical means by which the will of Christ is to be established by the local Church and as such, under the Lordship of Christ, is the seat of final authority in the local Church.

  

1.   Types of Meetings.

 

     Interim Church business meeting shall normally be held in the month of June of each year.

                  The Church secretary shall by announcement from the pulpit, give at least four clear weeks’

                  notice of the dates and times of these meetings.  All items for discussion shall be submitted in

                  writing in the names of at least two Church members to the Church secretary at least seven

                  days before either meeting.  The chairman shall have sole discretion for admitting late agenda

                   items under ‘Any Other Business’.  Normally such items admitted by the chairman shall be of

                   a minor and non-controversial nature. 

           (ii)  A Special Church meeting may be called on any Lord’s Day following morning worship.

                  Such will only be convened to deal with urgent business of a non-controversial nature, the

                  decisions of the Church being a matter of record to be reported to the next following January

                  or June meeting. 

           (iii)  An Extraordinary Church meeting can be called in significant or grave and emergency

                   situations by the eldership on giving notice from the pulpit.  An Extraordinary Church

                   meeting may also be requisitioned on any significant or grave and emergency situation

                   concerning the witness and testimony of the Church by any four Church members.  In such a

                   case, the request shall be in writing, specifying the cause, signed by the four members and

                   submitted to the eldership through the Church secretary.

                   Unless the circumstances are judged by the eldership to call for a lesser period, at least seven

                   clear days’ notice shall be regarded as a minimum period of notice of all Extraordinary

                   meetings.  The business of an Extraordinary Church meeting shall be confined to the

                   significant or grave and emergency situation giving rise to it, unless wider matters

 pertaining to the main issue are admitted at the sole discretion of the chairman. 

            (iv)  An elder of the Church shall normally preside at all Church meetings.

 

          (b)  Voting requirements.  Except where otherwise stipulated in these rules, a two-thirds majority

     of members present shall be necessary to pass all business at meetings.  Not less than fifty

     per cent of the membership shall constitute a quorum, except where the required quorum is

     stipulated.  Members who declare an interest shall not be counted against the quorum for that

     item.  All members undertake to approach the business of the Church with prayerfulness,

     love, humility, courtesy and earnestly seeking the furtherance of the Lord’s work.

 

          (c)   Where any four Church members present so request, or if the presiding chairman so rules, or if

      these rules so require, a written ballot shall be taken on any issue.  The Church secretary and

      an elder or deacon nominated by the chairman shall scrutinise the votes.  These officers,

      together with the chairman, shall have the right and duty to cast their votes.

 

  1. General Rules.

 

  • The business of the local Church is private to its members, and each member undertakes to refrain

       from discussing or publishing the items, content or discussions in whole or in part, with anyone

       outside the local Church membership unless so permitted by the Church meeting.

 

  • Members shall declare an interest and withdraw from business meetings while matters affecting them or a near relative are under discussion.

 

  • Alterations or changes to these rules contained in parts A, B, C & D of this document shall be considered only after a period of sixclear months’ notice.Any proposed change shall be by way of notice of motion in writing, signed by at least fifty percent of Church members and presented at the January or June Church business meeting previous to the meeting at which the motion shall be discussed.Any such notice of motion must have the approval of the majority of the elders among the signatories.

 

3.    Special Features.

 

(a)    According to the Scriptures humanity was created male and female, in the image of God, equal in

        value and complimentary in role.  The creation ordinance of marriage is the lifelong union of one

        biological man and one biological woman (according to their biological gender at birth).

        Christian marriage is the lifelong union of such parties as defined above, each of whom is a born

        again believer, as Christians have a duty to only “marry in the Lord.”  The church also allows

        marriages where both such parties as defined above are non-believers.  The Church does not

        recognise or perform any other form of marriage arrangement.

 

       Divorce is the dissolution of the marriage covenant.  Scripture clearly teaches that God reluctantly

       permits divorce on two grounds only – adultery and desertion.  We are constrained not to put asunder

       those whom God has joined together in marriage.  Therefore, the Church expects all reasonable

         attempts will always be made to find the path of repentance and reconciliation.  The remarriage of

         divorcees can only be recognised by the Church if the parties conform to the requirements of the

         Scriptures. (Genesis 1:27; 2:18 & 21-25;1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 11:2; Matt.19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12;

         Luke 16:18; Matt. 5:27-32; Deut.22:13-30 & 24:1-4; Malachi 2:14-16; 1 Cor. 7:10-16; 2 Cor.6:14-

         17; Romans 7:1-3; Hosea 14:4-8; 2 Cor. 5:17).  

 

(b)   This constitution recognises, upholds and protects the autonomy of the local Church and it is so to

        be interpreted and applied.  Every dispute or issue within this Church shall therefore be subject to

        the scriptural rule of the local Church elders.

 

        However, if the elders or a majority of them feel that a grave issue calls for the advice and counsel

        of other elders they may invite elders from outside this Church in accordance with the rules given

        below.

 

        In addition, a group of at least four Church members may requisition an Extraordinary Church

        meeting under this constitution for such a purpose.  If the subsequent Church meeting is distressed

        by an unresolved matter of a grave moral or doctrinal nature, the local Church shall by a simple

        majority ballot request the local eldership speedily to call on the advice and counsel of a panel of

        elders from outside Churches.

 

        In either case the visiting panel shall be drawn from Churches of similar faith and order as this

        Church.  It shall comprise three elders, one of whom at least shall be in the full-time ministry.  This

        panel shall urgently investigate the cause as it deems necessary.  At a subsequent Extraordinary

        Church meeting, called within as short a period as possible, the panel shall attend to proffer its

        advice and counsel to this Church.  Members undertake as individuals that they shall prayerfully

        consider before God the advice and counsel offered by the visiting elders, and honour Christ, His

        Church and the Scriptures in all the decisions which they must consequently take.

 

(c)  During the currency of the Trusteeship of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches,

       this Church shall not derogate from the spirit and purpose of its instrument of Trust.  In case of any

       dispute between members of the Church, its officers or any of them in matters relating to the legal

       use of the trust premises, or the correct legal interpretation of the trust deed as it pertains to the

       Dunamanagh Baptist Church, any such dispute shall be submitted to the Fellowship of

       Independent Evangelical Churches in accordance with the terms of the trust.

 

(d) Facility use will not be permitted for political events or to persons or groups holding, advancing, or

      advocating beliefs or practices that conflict, contradict or are deemed inconsistent with the church’s

      faith or moral teachings, which are summarised in the Church Doctrinal Basis, Constitution and

      Rules.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • CHARITY COMMISSION ADDENDUM

 

 

  1. The name of the Church

The name of the Church is Dunamanagh Baptist Church (“the Church”)

 

  1.  

The Church acknowledges the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ over His Church and exists to glorify the triune God by maintaining and promoting His worship both individually and corporately.  Its members devote themselves to the teachings of Scripture, to fellowship, breaking of bread, prayer and evangelism.  They commit, with the help of God, to witness to the saving and sustaining power of the Lord Jesus Christ and to work for the extension of His Kingdom. 

The principal charitable object of the church is the advancement of the Christian faith according to the teaching of Scripture, understood in its historical and evangelical sense, the Doctrinal Statement and Baptist principles.

 

  1. Application of Capital and Income

The income and capital of the Church shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the purpose as stated in clause 2 with the provision that the Charity Trustees may adopt an appropriate Reserves Policy.

 

    • Membership of the Church is open to any individual who meets the qualifications for membership set out in Section A 1-5.

    • The Charity Trustees shall ensure a list of the members of the Church is drawn up and kept under regular review as set out in Section A 6.

 

  1. Charity Trustees

The Church will appoint Charity Trustees to satisfy the requirements of the Charities

Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

 

The appointment and removal of Charity Trustees

 

  • Given the nature of their responsibilities appointed Elders and Deacons (collectively referred to as the “Office Bearers”) shall serve as the Charity Trustees in accordance with the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.)

  • Appointment to the role of Charity Trustee will terminate on cessation of holding the office of Elder or Deacon.

  • The Church members’ meeting, acting in accordance with the procedures set out in Sections A and B, shall appoint, remove and accept the resignation of Charity Trustees.

  • No person may serve as a Charity Trustee who is disqualified by law from acting as a Charity TrusteeAny duly elected Office-bearer who is disqualified by law from acting as a Charity Trustee may retain the office of Elder or Deacon and discharge the duties of that post.

  • There must be a minimum of three Charity Trustees at all times.

 

fulfilment of the purpose as stated in clause 2, acting according to the will of God as

discerned by the Church members’ meetings and in accordance with the specific and

general directions of that Meeting.

Meeting, that:

  • The appropriate level of insurance for building, public and employer’s liability is

held; and,

  •     The appropriate level of Indemnity Insurance to cover Trustees, church members,

employees or volunteers.

  • All properties including those held on separate property trusts, (except those

buildings that are required to be kept in repair and insured by a tenant) are kept in the

appropriate state of repair.

                     c.   When exercising any power (whether given to them by this Covenant, Doctrinal

                           Basis, Constitution and Rules and Charity Commission Addendum or by statute, or

                           by any rule of law) in administering or managing the charity, each of the trustees

                           must use the level of care and skill that is reasonable in the circumstances, taking into

                           account any special knowledge or experience that he has or claims to have

                           (duty of care).

                    d.  No trustee, and no one exercising powers or responsibilities that have been delegated

                           by the trustees, is liable for any act or failure to act unless, in acting or in failing to

                           act, he or she has failed to discharge the duty of care.

                    e.   A Charity Trustee will benefit from trustee indemnity insurance cover purchased at

                           the charity’s expense in accordance with, and subject to the conditions in, section 93

                           of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.  

 

  1. Powers of the Charity Trustees

The Charity Trustees, under the direction and authority of the Church members’ meeting,

 shall manage the business of the Church and have the following powers in order to further

 the purpose:

  • Power to make rules and regulations for the governance of the Church provided they

are not in conflict with this doctrinal basis and constitution and rules and gain the

approval of the Church membership;

  • Power to make grants that further the charitable purpose stated in clause 2. For

the avoidance of doubt any disbursement of funds by the Church as part of the

“Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland” or to the “Northern Baptist Corporation

Limited” shall be considered as furthering the charitable purpose of the Church.

            iii.           Power to do all such lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the

                           purpose as stated in clause 2.

 

  1. Proceedings of Charity Trustees

    • Subject to there being a minimum of two meetings a year, the Charity Trustees shall determine when and how frequently they shall meet.

    • The Charity Trustees shall determine a quorum for their full meetings that shall not be fewer that two persons, or half of their number, whichever is the greater number.

    • In addition to the meeting of the whole group, the Charity Trustees may meet in such sub-groups as are necessary and convenient. Reports of such subgroup meetings must be made to the next full Charity Trustees Meeting,

    • Charity Trustees shall, so far as possible, seek consensus on all matters considered as their meetings.

    • For matters requiring a decision a vote shall be taken and the outcome of the vote recorded as the resolution of the Charity Trustees.

    • Each Charity Trustee shall have one vote to be exercised at the meeting.

    • Every issue may be determined by a simple majority of votes cast at a meeting of the

Charity Trustees but if there is an equality of votes on any matter the resolution will

be considered rejected and the matter shall be referred back to the submitter for

review and if appropriate resubmission to a subsequent meeting for consideration.

Charity Trustee shall respect the confidentiality of their meeting.

  • Minutes shall be prepared of the proceedings at the meetings of the Charity Trustees

containing the names of those present, the decisions taken and, if appropriate, the

reasons for the decisions.

  • The Charity Trustees shall always act in accordance with the provisions of the church

covenant, doctrinal basisand rules, and the charity commission

addendum.

          

  1. Remuneration of the Charity Trustees

    • Subject to the provisions of clauses 9 b and 9 c of this addendum, none of the income of the

Church may be paid to any Charity Trustee of the Church.

  • Charity Trustees shall be reimbursed reasonable and proper expenses and other payments

permitted by stature or specifically authorised by the Charity Commission of Northern Ireland.

  • Notwithstanding the fact that any Pastor or Pastors appointed by the Church are Charity

Trustees they will be entitled to be paid and agreed reasonable stipend and expenses out of the

funds of the Church.

  • Where it is proposed that a Charity Trustee (or person, firm or company, connected with the

Charity Trustee) is to be employed or receive remuneration or sell goods or services or any

interest in land to the Church, this shall be permitted only if:

  • The Charity Trustee or any person connected with the Trustee who may benefit directly or indirectly from the proposed remuneration declares an interest in the proposal before discussion on the matters begins;

  • The Charity Trustee and any connected person absent themselves from any part of any meeting at which the proposal is discussed and takes no part in any discussion of it and are not counted in determining whether any such meeting is quorate;

  • The Charity Trustee does not vote on the proposal;

  • The remaining Charity Trustees who do not stand to receive the proposed benefit are satisfied that it is in the interest of the Church to contract with or employ that Charity Trustee (or connected person) rather than another independent person and must record the reason for their decision in the minutes;

  • In reaching that decision the Charity Trustees undertake to balance the advantage of contracting with or employing a Charity Trustee against the disadvantage of doing so (especially the loss of the Charity Trustee’s services as a result of dealing with the Charity’s Trustee’s conflict of interest);

  • The Charity Trustee’s authorising the proposed transaction comprise a majority of the Charity Trustees and have not themselves received any such benefit.

  • Any such arrangement is subject to the conditions in Section 88 of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008.

 

  1. Record Keeping and Accounting

    • The Church’s annual financial year will run from (1 May to 30 April).

    • An Annual Report of the activities of the Church shall be prepared each year.

    • A statement of the Church accounts incorporating financial statements of all Church organisations

(audited or independently examined as required by law) shall be presented to the Interim Church

Business Meeting for approval.

  • Financial records, annual reports and statement of accounts relating to the Church for the previous

six years must be available for inspection by any Charity Trustee of the Church.

  • The Charity Trustees shall make the required annual report and accounts (approved by the Church

Members’ Meeting) available to any member who requests them.

 

 

 

  1. Power of Amendment

    • Subject to clauses 11 b and c this Constitution and Rules and Charity Commission Addendum may

be amended, but only by a Special Resolution passed at a Members’ Meeting according to the

requirements set out in Section C 2 c.

  • No amendment may be made to this Constitution and Rules and Charity Commission Addendum

that would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a Charity at No amendment may

be made to clauses 2,3,9 and 12 of the Charity Commission Addendum without the prior written

permission of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.)

  • No amendment may be made to the Purpose (clause 2) that would advance beliefs or practices that

conflict, contradict or are inconsistent with the church’s faith or moral teachings as set out in the

Holy Scriptures and summarised in the Church Doctrinal Basis and Constitution and Rules.

  • A copy of any resolution amending this Constitution and Rules and Charity Commission

  •  

   it being passed.

 

    • The Church may dissolve by a decision of an Extraordinary Church meeting convened as set out in

   Section C.

  • On dissolution, where property assets of the Church are held by separate trusts, those trusts, in

consultation with the Church,

  • On dissolution, the assets of the Church (other than the property assets), after the satisfaction of

debts, and liabilities, shall be applied for charitable purposes that further the purpose of the Church

as stated in clause 2..

  • The Charity Trustees shall notify the Charities Commission for Northern Ireland of any closure or

 

This instrument shall be printed and a copy made available to every present member and to all future applicants for membership before interview.

 

This instrument was agreed by unanimous vote at the Annual Church Business Meeting held in the Dunamanagh Baptist Church Meeting House on Wednesday 8th February 1989, revised at a meeting held in the Dunamanagh Baptist Church Meeting House on 6th February 2018 and revised again at a meeting held in the Dunamanagh Baptist Church Meeting House on 1st March 2019.