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If you are not in formal membership at Colwell Baptist Church, please can I ask you to consider becoming a member? I always summarise the two conditions for membership by saying that members are those who are committed to Christ (ie those who have made a definite decision to follow Jesus and normally, though not always, this would be expressed by someone being baptised - as a public sign of them choosing to live for Jesus in fellowship with His church)...and those who are committed to this church (ie, who sense that, for now, for this time, during this season in life, Colwell Baptist Church is the particular congregation to which they are committed to belong...those for whom CBC is their "spiritual home").

So if those two criteria apply to you, please would YOU consider becoming a Member? Two people have already applied for Membership and we will seek to make a decision regarding their applications at our upcoming AGM...but we would also like to invite OTHERS, too, to apply to become Members. All you have to do is contact one of the Leadership Team and let them know!!

Church AGM...

Just to remind all those who are members that our next two church Members Meetings will take place on Thursday 23rd September at 7.30pm in the church hall. We will begin with an Annual General Meeting, at which the chief matters of business will be the acceptance of our church accounts, and the election (and/or re-election) of church deacons.

Election of deacons...

It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of Fred's recent decision NOT to stand for re-election as our church treasurer at the AGM, due to family circumstances that many of us will be aware of. Fred has served the church diligently in the role of treasurer for well over ten years now and we want to thank and honour him for all that he has done to serve the church. At the same time, we also want to also seek God and ask for His guidance about who He might be prompting and preparing for us to take over from Fred's role.

The role of treasurer doesn't have to last for ten years - it is an initial three-year commitment as a member of the Leadership Team as deacon/treasurer, but is open to re-election afterwards if desired. In Fred we have been very blessed to have been served for such a long time by someone as dedicated to the role as he has been.

On the Charity Commission website, the role of a charity treasurer is defined as including:

  • making sure the charity keeps proper accounts
  • reviewing the charity’s financial performance
  • drawing up or reviewing policies for finance and investment
  • ensuring that the charity has robust and effective financial controls in place
  • liaising with the charity’s independent examiner or auditor
  • reporting on financial matters to charity Members

This list may seem daunting at first sight, but Fred is willing and able to work closely with an incoming treasurer to ensure an orderly handover of responsibilities. A church treasurer will automatically become a charity trustee or, in the language we are more familiar with, a deacon on the church Leadership Team. Therefor the same procedures for election apply - and I have included below the text from my (long, but only because it has to be) leaflet about the process.

As I have asked over recent weeks, please please prayerfully consider who YOU think God might be calling to take on this role. It might be you! If so, please ask one or two other members what they think, and ask if they would nominate you. If it is someone else, then please talk to THEM and ask them to pray about it.

Because Fred is not standing for re-election, and having lost Stuart some time back now, we are facing even more of a need to appoint additional people as deacons. There are openings not only for a new treasurer, but also for extra deacons in general. For this reason, please do read the leaflet below, and consider who you might nominate.

A number of the responsibilities that Fred has carried over recent years (such as the oversight of building maintenance etc), could easily be transferred to a new role - which we are terming "Property Steward". This is also a role for which we would like to recruit someone. This person might or might not be someone on the Leadership Team. Please ask anyone on the current team if you would like to know more about this role

Here's the long bit!...

(You can also find this as an A5, 3-page booklet in the church...)

Church Membership
To say that Colwell Baptist Church is a Baptist church is simply stating part of its name. However, clarifying what it means to be a Baptist church is to clarify something that is maybe less obvious – and that is often misunderstood. One of the most significant ways in which the church life of a Baptist congregation is very different to many other denominations, is in the matter of governance – or of how the church is run.

Within a Baptist congregation, all those who are formally Church Members share the right and responsibility to be involved with decision-making in all of the significant “matters that matter”. All matters of church faith and practice are discussed, and decisions made, by all the Members meeting together to “discern the mind of Christ”. The point isn’t to work as a democracy (where the majority rule) but to work as a theocracy where, together as Members, we seek to agree on what we sense God is saying to us and how He is leading us in matters of faith and church practice.

Church Deacons
Once a year we invite Church Members to pray and, if prompted to, to nominate someone who they feel God might also be calling to serve the church as a Deacon. Alongside Dave as the church’s Minister, our deacons form the church’s “Leadership Team” and work with Dave to oversee the day-to-day running of the church. Some of the responsibilities of the deacons are to do with practical matters like making sure we comply with Charity Law, follow our agreed Constitution, have valid insurance (building insurance and public liability insurance) and adhere to relevant Safeguarding procedures etc. Other responsibilities include more pastoral matters such as the church’s mission and outreach, our ongoing strategy and vision, the wellbeing of the congregation, the spiritual health of the church family etc.

Election of Deacons
The process for nominating and electing new deacons is a clearly defined process - and deliberately so as the role of deacon is a considerable responsibility for someone to undertake and is a role that we want to make sure God is involved in calling someone to. A nomination needs to be made in writing to Pam (our Church Secretary), not later than three Thursdays before the Church Meeting at which the diaconate election is due to be held (this is usually the church AGM). Nomination forms need the supporting signature of the person being nominated, yourself and, in addition, two other Members who also sense that God may be calling that person to join the Leadership Team as a deacon (so four signatures are needed in total). The person being nominated must agree to being nominated and must be eligible to serve as a deacon; they must have been a Church Member for at least a year, have been baptised as a believer by full immersion, and cannot be a close family member of an existing deacon.
If you are approached by someone asking if you are happy to be nominated, please consider the following;

As a deacon you would become a Managing Trustee of the church, which carries various legal responsibilities (you could find out more from the Charity Commission website (look up their publication “The essential Trustee – CC3”).

You would be elected, initially, for a three-year term and would be eligible to be re-elected (if you wished) after every three-year term. You would, however, be free to step down from the role at any point you wished. You might not feel like you are called to be a deacon of the church – but if others do, then maybe they have heard something from God that you haven’t. Pray about it and be honest with others about how you feel – but be open to the idea too. If elected, you will need to attend a Deacon’s meeting once a month and, when required, undertake other tasks from time to time as well. The best way to find out about what commitment would be needed is to ask one of the current deacons.

“Personally, I think that the most significant role of the Leadership Team is to keep the church focussed on its mission (to reach out, making disciples and making a difference in God’s world) and its vision (to be a friendly, caring church that welcomes everyone and invites them to follow the way of Jesus), and to guide the church in an effective strategy and pattern of activities that will serve this vision. It is helpful for the team to have a diverse range of gifts and personalities – everyone brings something unique and of value to a team. And that includes you!” - DAVE.

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