Church constitution

What does our constitution provide?

"A constitution provides a framework for the church and enables routine decisions to be taken effectively. A clear constitution enables everyone in the church to understand how the church functions, how matters are brought forward for discussion, who may take decisions and how that process should work. As the church constitution is an open document it enables everyone to understand the arrangements, avoiding the potential problem of individuals being very familiar with church rules and regulations but not explaining them in a way that enables everybody to understand. A constitution should also help new church members to understand the church, the activities it supports, its style and ethos, and how they can participate in the life of a church." Muswell Hill Baptist Church

Our constitution

The name of the Church shall be the Chinese Evangelical Church in Edinburgh, (hereafter known as the Church).

The object of the Church shall be to advance the Christian faith primarily but not exclusively to people of Chinese origin in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.


  1. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice;

  2. We believe in the Triune God, the unity and equality of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead;

  3. We believe that man being the image of God, was originally created good, but has fallen into sin in Adam, becomes sinful in his nature and is deservedly under God's wrath and condemnation;

  4. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who died for man on the Cross, and His death is man's only way of redemption from sin and reconciliation with God;

  5. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ;

  6. We believe that man is justified by faith alone in Christ with no part from any of his works.

  7. We believe in the Holy Spirit Who is sent from the Father and the Son to make effective the redemption in Christ for the regeneration and sanctification of the believer;

  8. We believe in the one, holy, apostolic, catholic Church, which is the Body of Christ, whose mission is the building up of believers and the preaching of the Gospel of God through the Holy Spirit;

  9. We believe that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two Sacraments instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ for the Church;

  10. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again in person in His glory to judge the world and to receive His Church, His Bride into the eternal presence of God.


  1. Eligibility
    Membership shall be open to a person who:

    1. is a baptised Christian;

    2. and subscribe fully to our Constitution and Statement of Faith;

    3. and is willing to participate in life of the Church and to fulfil Article 4.4 of this Constitution;

    4. and has attained sixteen years of age.

  2. Application

    1. The application shall be made in a form prescribed from time to time by the Church Committee (hereafter known as the Committee) and thereafter submitted to the Committee.

    2. The application shall be approved by the Committee.

    3. An applicant who is already a full member in another church or fellowship overseas is not required to relinquish his/her membership in order to join the Church.

  3. Rights
    A member may:

    1. vote in a General Meeting.

    2. on attaining the age of eighteen, be nominated to hold office in the Committee.

    3. nominate or second candidate(s) for election into the Committee.

    4. submit proposal(s) in writing to the Committee or to a General Meeting.

  4. Membership does not imply the right to act on behalf of the Church without the consent of the Committee.

  5. Responsibilities
    Members are expected to:

    1. actively share in the life and ministry of the Church;

    2. attend regularly the meetings for worship, prayer, fellowship and the Lord's Supper;

    3. attend and vote at General Meetings.

  6. Suspension and Termination of Membership

    1. A member may withdraw his/her membership by giving notice in writing to the Committee.

    2. A member who fails to attend the meetings of the Church for more than six months may have his/her membership terminated by the Committee.

    3. When a member is found to live in a manner and/or uphold teaching/s contrary to the Statement of Faith as set out in Article 3 of this Constitution and to the teaching of Holy Scripture and thereafter shows no repentance, his/her membership shall be suspended or terminated by the Committee. The affected member shall have the right of appeal against such decision to the Committee. If the matter is not resolved, the affected member has the right to bring the matter to the Church General Meeting.


  1. The General Meeting shall be the final decision-making body of the Church.

  2. The Committee shall be the governing body of the Church and be responsible to the General Meeting for the conduct of both spiritual and temporal affairs of the Church.

  3. Any decision of the Committee may be overruled by a vote of two-thirds majority of the members present at a General Meeting.


  1. The Chairperson and Secretary

    1. The Chairperson of the Committee shall preside over all General Meetings of the Church and the Committee Secretary shall record the minutes of these General Meetings.

    2. They shall be designated as the Chairperson and the Secretary of the said General Meeting respectively.

    3. If the Chairperson and/or the Secretary of the Committee are/is not present after the scheduled time for a General Meeting, the members present may elect amongst themselves a new Chairperson and/or Secretary of the said General Meeting to perform the respective functions.

    4. The Chairperson at the General Meeting shall have no vote except a casting vote in the event of a tie. The Secretary shall exercise his/her vote as any ordinary member of the Church at a General Meeting.

  2. Voting

    1. Unless otherwise stated, motions shall be carried by a simple majority vote of the members present, excluding abstentions.

    2. All voting shall be in person only.

  3. Quorum

    1. The quorum for a General Meeting shall consist of not less than half of the total membership of the Church.

    2. If a quorum is not formed thirty minutes after the scheduled time for the General Meeting, the Meeting shall be adjourned by the Chairperson.

    3. A fresh notice of date, time and place shall be given seven clear days before the new General Meeting and the attendance then, shall constitute the quorum.

  4. The Annual General Meeting (AGM)

    1. The AGM shall be held between October and November each year; the date and venue to be decided by the Committee.

    2. Notice for the AGM shall be given to all members not less than twenty-eight clear days in advance.

    3. Copies of the agenda and the annual audited accounts and the financial budget for the coming year shall be available not less than fourteen clear days before the AGM.

    4. The AGM shall receive reports from the outgoing Committee, approve the budget, elect a new Committee and its Chairperson, and resolve motions on the agenda.

  5. The Special General Meeting (SGM)

    1. An SGM may be called at any time by the Committee or upon the written request of not less than one-third of the Church membership to the Committee.

    2. The notice of the SGM with the agenda shall be given to all members fourteen clear days in advance.


  1. Composition

    1. The Committee shall consist of the Chairperson and not less than two other members. The number of the incoming Committee shall be determined by the outgoing Committee.

    2. The Chairperson shall be elected by the AGM.

    3. The Committee shall appoint amongst themselves a Secretary, a Treasurer and other posts deemed necessary by the Committee.

    4. When the post of the Chairperson becomes vacant, the Committee shall convene a General Meeting to elect a new Chairperson.

    5. When any post other than the Chairperson's becomes vacant, the Committee may exercise its discretion whether to fill the vacancy and shall be empowered to co-opt a suitable person to fill it.

    6. Any person who for any reason ceases to be a member of the Church shall also cease to be a Committee member at the same time.

  2. Nomination and Election

    1. An ad hoc Nomination Committee shall be formed to nominate suitable Church members for election into the incoming Committee.

    2. The Nomination Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, member(s) of the outgoing Committee and an equal number drawn from the ordinary membership of the Church.

    3. The Nomination Committee shall announce a list of nominees not less than twenty-eight clear days before the AGM.

    4. Any member of the Church may add to such a list in a written proposal to the Nomination Committee with the signatures of three members of the Church not less than fourteen clear days before the AGM.

  3. Term of Office

    1. A term of office shall be two years.

    2. A Committee member shall hold office for not more than three consecutive terms.

    3. If there are less than three candidates, those committee members who have served for 3 consecutive terms can be re-nominated.

  4. Meeting

    1. The quorum shall consist of not less than three members or two-thirds of the total membership of the Committee, whichever number is higher.

    2. The Committee shall meet not less than once in every two months.

    3. A simple majority vote excluding abstentions, shall rule at a Committee meeting.


  1. The financial year of the Church shall be twelve months commencing from the first day of January.

  2. Money received shall be banked in the Church's name and may be withdrawn upon the signatures of two out of three authorised Committee members.

  3. An audited financial statement and an annual budget shall be presented for approval at the AGM.

  4. An auditor shall be appointed annually by the Committee.


  1. The Proposal for the employment of a pastor can ONLY be submitted by the Committee. Whereas a proposal for the termination of employment of a pastor can be submitted by either the Committee or by ordinary member(s) of the Church.

  2. Any proposal mentioned above must proceed to a Special General Meeting (SGM) where the proposal will be discussed, follow by a vote to accept or decline the proposal. All relevant items regarding an SGM in Article 6 apply.

  3. The employment of a pastor shall require the assent of not less than three-quarters of the members present at the SGM.

  4. During the first year of employment, the pastor is considered to be in probation, therefore the termination of employment can be decided solely by the Committee. Thereafter, the termination of the employment of a pastor must proceed to an SGM.


  1. Amendment(s) to this Constitution shall require the assent of two-thirds of the members present at a General Meeting of the Church.

  2. A proposal for such amendment/s can be submitted either by the Committee or by ordinary member(s) of the Church.

  3. Proposals by ordinary member(s) shall be signed by not less than one-third of the total membership of the Church and be submitted to the Committee not less than twenty- one clear days before a General Meeting.

  4. Members of the Church shall be notified of the proposed amendment/s not less than fourteen clear days before the General Meeting.

  5. Amendments to Articles 3, 9 and 11 of this Constitution shall be passed by not less than a three-quarter majority vote by the members present at a General Meeting.


  1. The Church may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a three-quarter majority vote by the members present at a General Meeting of the Church.

  2. The notice of such proposal for dissolution shall be given to the members of the Church not less than twenty-eight clear days before a General Meeting. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Church, provided if any property that remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, shall not be paid or distributed among the members of the Church but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution(s) having objects similar to all or some of the objects of the Church.

Remark: This Church constitution has English and Chinese versions.  If any discrepancy exists between the two, the English version shall be regarded as the original.

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