Constitution – as Adopted 23rd June 2013
(At our 2016 AGM, the name of our organisation was changed from Churches Together in Chelmsford, to Christians Together in Chelmsford. In consideration of this, and where over the last five years other changes have taken place, we are currently looking at amending our Constitution. Indicated within the below text in italics are some of the relevant points relating to this).
Article 1 Basis
The basis of CTiC is that of Churches Together in England (CTiE). It unites in pilgrimage those churches* in Chelmsford and district which, acknowledging God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and in obedience to God’s will, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, commit themselves to:
a. seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church which is His body, and
b. fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world to the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Religious Society of Friends, although they do not accept any formal creedal statement, nevertheless, is a welcome and equal member of CTiC. (Those individuals within the Quakers who accept the Basis of faith in Jesus).
*CTiC stands with local Christian organisations and indeed all Christians in the City on the same basis.
Article 2 Relationships
CTiC will act in association with the Essex Churches Consultative Council* and other such ecumenical bodies.
*now Churches Together in East London and Essex (CTEEL)
Article 3 Membership
CTiC is open to all the Christian Churches* in Chelmsford and district and those churches wishing to join should apply in writing to the Honorary Secretary. The application will then be considered at the following meeting of the Standing Committee, which will be authorised to make a decision as delegated by CTiC.
The representatives shall consist of the following:
a. The priests, clergy, ministers or leaders of each Church in membership of CTiC. Where a number of churches share a minister, the minister shall represent one of these churches and the other churches shall be represented by an officer. Where a church does not have a minister that church shall be represented by a church leader.
b. Two lay representatives of each member Church.
c. Two representatives of local branches of those inter-denominational bodies which are in membership of CTiC.
*Also Christian Organisations.
Article 4 Aims
To be a visible sign of the churches’ commitment to one another, in obedience to our Lord’s prayer ‘that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you: may they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.’ John 17 : 21.
In particular, CTiC shall seek (within its general objects) to:
a. Further the Lordship of Christ in human hearts and lives, and our unity in Christ.
b. Foster mutual regard, sympathy and understanding between member churches. (and organisations)
c. Encourage close co-operation between churches (and organisations) so that they are seen to act as Christ’s Church and not as an assembly of exclusive and separatist denominations, thus facilitating further steps towards fuller unity in Chelmsford and district.
d. Study local and national schemes of unity and shared organisations between denominations, and to discuss them and their implications.
e. Initiate discussion and possible action concerning contemporary and social issues, such as housing, the relief of poverty, the advancement of education in the light of Christian faith and witness, making approaches when considered appropriate to secular authorities and to publicise the CTiC’s views (including minority views) on such matters.
f. Support the work of Christian Aid by co-ordinating the administration and organisation of Christian Aid in Chelmsford and district.*
*Note – Christian Aid is presently Co-ordinated by the CTiC Treasurer, but although supported by, does so independently of CTiC
Article 5 Officers and Committee Members
The officers of CTiC shall be the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, honorary Secretary and honorary Treasurer, to be elected at the AGM. They shall hold office for one year and be eligible for re-election. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Members of the Committee may hold their office for not more than 3 years with an option to stand annually for a further 3 years. The honorary Secretary and honorary Treasurer may serve for not more than 5 consecutive years. An election may be held if any post becomes vacant between 2 successive AGMs.
Article 6 Meetings
CTiC shall meet together not less than on 3 occasions annually. One occasion shall be the AGM at which the annual accounts shall be presented (the accounts having been subject to an Independent Examination), the officers and Standing Committee elected, the Independent Examiner for the accounts appointed and annual reports presented.
Article 7 Administration
There will be a Standing Committee of CTiC, responsible for the implementation of CTiC’s aims and agreed policies. The Standing Committee shall consist of:
a. The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, honorary Secretary and honorary Treasurer.
b. Not more than 6 other members to be elected at the AGM, one of whom could serve as Assistant Secretary, if required.
c. The Chairman of any committee set up by the Standing Committee (see below).
The Standing Committee will have the authority to co-opt. One co-option would normally be a representative of the YMCA. The co-options will lapse at the following AGM, though they may be renewed by the AGM or at the next Standing Committee meeting.
The committee shall, if possible, ensure that there shall be a representative of each denomination either amongst its elected officers or other members. The Standing Committee shall set up a Free Church Committee and may also set up committees for special purposes, e.g. Procession of Witness, Christian Aid, etc. to which members may be co-opted from outside the membership of the CTiC in order that expert advice may be at their service. A schedule of all committees shall be presented to the AGM. The membership and purpose of each such committee shall be reviewed by the Standing Committee at least once in every 12 months.
Article 8 Chelmsford Churches Homeless Emergency Support Scheme (Chelmsford CHESS)*
The above charity, set up at the initiative of CTiC by a Constitution dated 5th March 1996, is accountable to CTiC.
By virtue of the aforementioned constitution the Chairman of CTiC, or a designated member of the CTiC Standing Committee, is a member of the Executive Committee of Chelmsford CHESS.
*Note – This Article is no longer current – CHESS does not now have any accountability to CTiC
Article 9 Finance
Towards the expenses of CTiC each member church shall, by 31st July, contribute an annual subscription to be decided upon at the previous AGM. Contributions may be graduated to allow for the differing sizes of congregations. In addition, the CTiC shall be empowered to request a contribution from each member church for the purpose of a special kind. CTiC will have the authority to receive private donations for the furtherance of its work.
Article 10 Amendment of Constitution
CTiC will have the authority to amend, at its discretion, articles 5, 6, 7 and 9. In addition, CTiC will have the authority to amend articles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 provided that the proposed amendments have been submitted to, and approved by, the majority of churches and other participating organisations in membership at the time of the AGM.