Ecumenical Parish of West Swindon and The Lydiards

Appendix B Standing Orders

Preface

Congregations may share in the life of the Ecumenical Parish of West Swindon and the Lydiards as full members, when they are able to subscribe fully to the Constitution of the LEP. Other congregations within the area of the Ecumenical Parish may apply for associate membership. Such congregations will be entitled to send observers to meetings of the Ecumenical Church Council, until such time as that congregation is able to negotiate for full membership of the LEP.

THE ECUMENICAL CHURCH COUNCIL

(Referred to as ‘THE COUNCIL’)

  1. MEMBERSHIP:

    Membership of the Council shall consist of the following:

    1. All full-time ministers accredited by their denominations to serve in the Ecumenical Team (Appendix A).
    2. One lay officer of each member congregation (see Section 2 of the Standing Orders for the Local Church Committees), appointed by their Local Church Committee.
    3. Two lay persons (other than lay officers) elected by and from each Local Church Committee.
    4. One non-voting observer appointed by the committee of each congregation which is an associate member of the Local Ecumenical Project.
  2. OFFICERS:

    The Council shall elect a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, a Secretary and a Treasurer from among its members. It may elect other officers at its discretion.

  3. CO-OPTIONS:

    The Council may co-opt up to two other members. (Each Local Church Committee may fill any CASUAL VACANCY which diminishes its representation on the Council.) in each case, these members shall serve until the Annual Genera! Meeting (AGM) of the Council.

  4. FUNCTIONS:

    The Council shall hold overall responsibility for the life of the Church in West Swindon, excluding any functions which are reserved by the denominations to a council or committee of that denomination. In particular, the council shall:

    1. Co-ordinate and promote the nurturing of the Church’s spiritual life and mission.
    2. Co-ordinate the overall pattern of worship so that all reasonable needs are met; and foster understanding of the various traditions of worship in the participating denominations.
    3. Pray for the life of the Church in West Swindon, and especially of the Church leaders.
    4. Offer consultation on area of pastoral responsibility of the members of the Ecumenical Team.

    5. Represent the Church in West Swindon to:
      1. The Wiltshire Sponsoring Body
      2. The parent denominations
      3. Secular authorities, on matters of Christian concern.
    6. Propose motions for denominational synods, when considered necessary; and discuss matters of general concern when asked to do by any participating denomination. Similarly the Council may propose motions for consideration by its member congregations; and discuss matters when asked to do so by any of the Local Church Committees.
    7. Negotiate with the denominations the level of contributions to the funds of each, and with each congregation the level of the contribution by that congregation to the total payment to all the denominations.
    8. Maintain a master roll of the Church members in West Swindon, showing any admitted denominational allegiance of each member.
    9. The Council may appoint subordinate bodies at its discretion. All such bodies shall report regularly to the Council.
  5. QUORUM:

    One half of the total membership of the Council, which shall include one half of the members of the Ecumenical Team, shall form a quorum.

  6. MEETINGS:

    The Council shall meet on at least four occasions in each year, of which one shall be the Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held in March.

  7. STANDING COMMITTEE:

    The Council may appoint a Standing Committee to transact business between full meetings of the Council. The Standing Committee, if appointed, shall consist of two members of the Ecumenical Team, and four lay members.

  8. AMENDMENTS:

    Standing Orders relating solely to the conduct of the Council may be amended by a simple majority of the full Council. Amendments to the functions of the Council may only be made a majority of those present at an AGM of the Church in West Swindon.


THE LOCAL CHURCH COMMITTEES

(Referred to as ‘THE COMMITTEES’ or ‘THE COMMITTEE’)

  1. MEMBERSHIP:

    Membership of the Council shall consist of the following:

    1. Members of the Ecumenical Team with a pastoral responsibility for the congregation concerned.
    2. All lay officers appointed by the AGM of the congregation concerned.
    3. Such number of other members as shall be decided by, and elected at, the AGM of the congregation concerned.
  2. OFFICERS:

    Each congregation shall elect, at its AGM, a Treasurer and such other officers as the meeting decides. Other necessary officers shall be appointed by the Committee from amongst its members.

  3. CO-OPTIONS:

    Each Committee may co-opt members to fill any vacancy, and may in addition co-opt a further two members. All co-opted members shall serve until the next AGM of the congregation concerned.

  4. FUNCTIONS:

    Each Committee shall:

    1. Promote the spiritual life and mission of the congregation concerned, within any guidelines provided by the Ecumenical Church Council.
    2. Make detailed provision for worship, having regard to the traditions of the denominations represented in the congregation concerned, and to any guidelines provided by the Ecumenical Church Council.
    3. Support by prayer all those who have pastoral care of the congregation concerned.
    4. Provide for the general welfare of the congregation concerned.
    5. Administer the finance and property of the congregation concerned; and be held responsible to the owners of the building(s) used by the congregation concerned.
    6. Appoint to the Ecumenical Church Council the members set out in section 1 (ii) and (iii) of the Standing Orders of that Council.
    7. Maintain a roll of members of the congregation concerned, showing any admitted denominational allegiance of each member; and provide a copy of the roll to the Secretary of the Ecumenical Church Council for inclusion in the master roll.
    8. The Committees may appoint subordinate bodies at their discretion. All such bodies shall report regularly to the parent Committee.
  5. QUORUM:

    One half of the members of the Committee. which shall include one member of the Ecumenical Team, and provided that at least half of those present are lay people, shall form a quorum.

  6. MEETINGS:

    Each Committee shall met on at least four occasions each year, of which one shall be the AGM of the congregation concerned, to be held in February.

  7. STANDING COMMITTEE:

    Each Committee may appoint a Standing Committee to transact business between full meetings of the Committee. Each Standing Committee, if appointed, shall consist of one member of the Ecumenical Team with pastoral responsibility for the congregation concerned, and three lay members.

  8. AMENDMENTS:

    Standing Orders relating solely to the conduct of the Committees may be amended by a simple majority of the full Ecumenical Church Council. Amendments to the functions of the Committees may only be made by a majority of those present at an AGM of the Ecumenical Parish.


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