The church’s constitution was adopted on 25th April 1996 and amended on 26th October 2009. Part one explains what we believe and runs up until section 8. Part two explains our practice in church life and runs up until section 15. Two appendices then follow. The introductions to parts one and two are shown below.
Part 1: What we believe
We believe that the final authority in all matters of Christian faith and practice is the Bible. This outline is not meant to replace it, but to provide a convenient summary of Biblical teaching. It expresses the beliefs on which the Church is founded. All elders and deacons must give wholehearted assent to it, as must any involved in regular speaking or teaching of any kind within the Church. This outline is intended as:
- a guide to the teaching of the Bible, especially helpful to new members of the Church and a stimulus to live out the teaching of the Bible in a way which pleases God; and
- a standard to safeguard the teaching of the Bible, by which wrong teaching can be excluded and right teaching upheld.
Part 2: Our practice in church life
The object of this Church is to glorify God, to promote His worship, and proclaim and defend the Christian faith as revealed by God in the Scriptures. The Scriptures are, therefore, to be taught in their entirety.
Because the Church is founded by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is not like other organisations and groups of people. It is God’s family, and rules alone are not enough to ensure that it functions as God intends. However, in order the we conduct ourselves in a consistent and honourable manner and avoid misunderstanding, we seek to govern our Church life by the following guidelines, in the light of the Bible’s teaching in “What we believe”.
The following words were added to part 2’s introduction on 26th October 2009:
Although the Bible is our supreme authority, the church accepts the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith and the 1966 Baptist Affirmation of Faith as good and useful summaries of our beliefs. We uphold the system of doctrine which is common to these two documents and encourage its teaching in the life of the church.