The Constitution
of
The Church of North India
AS ACCEPTED AND ADOPTED
AT THE SECOND ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SYNOD
JULY 9 13, 1974
AND SUBSEQUENTLY AMENDED
AT THE THIRD, FOURTH, SIXTH, NINTH, ELEVENTH AND TWELFTH ORDINARY
MEETING OF THE SYNOD HELD ON 2
nd
6
th
October, 1977,
3
rd
6
th
October, 1980, 3
rd
8
th
November, 1983,
3
rd
9
th
October, 1986, 5
th
-10
th
October, 1995,
4
th
8
th
October, 2001 And 16
th
21
st
October, 2005 Respectively
and
BYE LAWS
AS APPROVED BY THE 6TH SYNOD OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA,
3
rd
9
th
October, 1986
2013
- 1 -
Published by the Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (ISPCK), Post Box 1585, 1654,
Madarsa Road, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006 for and on behalf of
THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA.
© The Church of North India Synod, 1974, 1981, 1987, 2001, 2003, 2005
1. 1
st
Printing 1974, 3000 copies.
2. 2
nd
Printing (Revised) August 1981, 3000 copies.
3. 3
rd
Printing (Revised) December 1987, 5000 copies.
4. 4
th
Printing (Revised) June 2003.
5. 5
th
Printing (Revised) August 2006.
Reprint - August 2007, April 2009.
Reprint June 2013.
Laser Typeset by ISPCK, Post Box 1585, 1654, Madarsa Road, Kashmere Gate, Delhi 110006.
Tel. No. : 23866323, Fax : 91 11 23 86 54 90
e-mail - ashish@ispck.org.in, ella@ispck.org.in
Website www.ispck.org.in
Printed at Cambridge Press, Delhi.
- i -
THE CONSTITUTION OF
THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA
Contents
PART I
FAITH AND ORDER OF THE CHURCH
Pages
Contents
………………………………………………………………………………...
i - ix
CHAPTER - I
1 - 30
Section
I
The Relation to the Church Universal
1
Section
II
The Church and its Membership
1
Fundamental Principle
1
Regulations
2
Section
III
The Doctrines of the Church
4
Declarations (I) of the Constitution of the Church of India,
Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon.
5
Confession of Faith of the United Church of Northern India
6
The Doctrinal Standards of the Methodist Church (British
Conference)
9
The Baptist Church Covenant of the Council of the Baptist
Churches of Northern India
12
Declaration of Principle of the Baptist Churches
14
Section
IV
The Worship of the Church
15
Section
V
The Sacraments of the Church
16
Baptism
16
Holy Communion
19
- ii
Contents
Section
VI
The Priesthood of All Believers
20
Section
VII
The Ministry of the Church
20
A)
The Laity
20
Section
VIII
The Ministry of the Church - The Ordained Ministry
23
A)
Introduction
23
B)
The Bishops
24
C)
Presbyters
27
D)
Deacons
28
E)
Selection and Training of Ministers
29
F)
Appointment of Ministers
30
CHAPTER - II
The Polity of the Church
30 - 31
A)
The Diocese
30
B)
The Congregation
31
C)
The Synod
31
CHAPTER - III
Safeguarding of Faith and Order
31 - 32
CHAPTER - IV
The Autonomy of the Church of North India
33 - 34
PART II
ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER - I
Name, Dioceses and Objects
37 - 38
Section
I
The Name of the Church
37
Section
II
Objects and Purpose of the Church of North India
38
CHAPTER - II
Pastorate
38 - 61
Section
I
Pastorate : Its Membership and Care
39
Section
II
Objects and Purposes of the Pastorate
41
- iii
Contents
Section
III
Powers and Functions of a Pastorate
41
Section
IV
Membership of a Pastorate Committee
43
Section
V
Powers and Functions of a Pastorate Committee
46
Section
VI
General Rules for Election of a Pastorate Committee
47
Section
VII
Election of Member
50
Section
VIII
Office - Bearers
50
A)
The president
50
B)
The Secretary
51
C)
The Treasurer
52
D)
Handing Over Charge
54
Section
IX
Finance Committee
54
Section
X
Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service
55
Section
XI
Youth Fellowship
55
Section
XII
Sunday School
55
Section
XIII
Lay Leaders, Lay Readers, Local Preachers
56
Section
XIV
Presbyters with Limited Authorization
56
Section
XV
Meeting of the Pastorate Committee
56
Section
XVI
Election of Members of A Pastorate Committee
58
Section
XVII
Annual General Meeting of the Pastorate
58
Section
XVIII
Special General Meeting of the Pastorate
59
Section
XIX
Adjourned Meetings
59
Section
XX
Quorum
59
Section
XXI
Notices for Meetings
60
Section
XXII
Church Property
60
Section
XXIII
Court of the Pastorate
61
- iv -
Contents
CHAPTER - III
Diocese
61 - 95
Section
I
Diocese : Its Organization
61
Section
II
Objects and Purpose of the Diocese
62
Section
III
Diocesan Council
62
Section
IV
Relationship of the Diocesan Council with the Synod
63
Section
V
A)
Membership of the Diocesan Council
63
B)
General Rules Regarding Elected, Nominated and
Appointed Members
65
C)
Invitees to the Diocesan Council
66
Section
VI
Office Bearers of the Diocesan Council
67
Section
VII
Duties of Office Bearers of the Diocesan Council
68
A)
Office - Bearers Meetings and Decisions
68
B)
The Bishop
68
C)
The Assistant Bishop
70
D)
The Vice - President
71
D1.
Protem Chairperson
71
E)
The Secretary
71
F)
The Treasurer
72
Section
VIII
Diocesan Records
73
Section
IX
Powers and Duties of the Diocesan Council
73
Section
X
Meetings of the Diocesan Council
78
Section
XI
Executive Committee
80
Section
XII
Standing Committee
82
Section
XIII
Basic Principles for the Functioning of Standing Committees
82
Section
XIV
Membership and Duties of Standing Committees
84
1)
Finance Committee
84
- v -
Contents
2)
Stewardship Committee
85
3)
Property Committee
86
4)
Ministerial and Personnel Committee
87
5)
Law and Procedures Committee
88
6)
Religious Education Committee
89
7)
Christian Life and Evangelism Committee
90
Section
XV
Other Committees of the Diocesan Council
91
1)
Nominations Committee
91
2)
Court of the Diocese
92
Section
XVI
Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service
92
Section
XVII
Youth Fellowship
92
Section
XVIII
Sunday School Committee
93
A)
Institutional Boards of the Church of North India
93
B)
Boards of the Institutions and Other Boards of the Diocese
93
Section
XIX
The Church of North India Related Religious Orders and Communities
93
Section
XX
Property
Section
XXI
Questions of Faith and Order in a Diocese
94
CHAPTER - IV
Synod
95 - 144
Section
I
Synod : Its Status and Authority
95
Section
II
Objects and Purposes of the Synod
96
Section
III
Membership of the Synod
96
Section
IV
Functions and Powers of the Synod
98
Section
V
Finance
104
Section
VI
Office Bearers of the Synod
106
- vi -
Contents
Section
VII
Duties of the Office - Bearers
108
A)
General
108
B)
Moderator
109
C)
Deputy Moderator
111
D)
Protem Chairperson
111
E)
General Secretary
112
F)
Treasurer
113
Section
VIII
Meetings of the Synod
114
Section
IX
Executive Committee of the Synod : Its Membership
115
Section
X
Functions of the Executive Committee
116
Section
XI
Meeting of the Executive Committee
119
Adjourned Meeting
119
Requisitioned Meeting
119
Postal Vote
119
Section
XII
Election of Bishops
120
A)
Composition of the Episcopal Electoral Body
120
B)
Panel of Nominations for Episcopal Election
121
C)
Procedure of Election
123
D)
Episcopal Election Result
125
E)
Change in Election Procedure
126
Section
XIII
Commissions
126
Section
XIV
Standing Committees
128
Section
XV
Basic Principals for the Functioning of Standing Committees
128
Section
XVI
Membership and Duties of Standing Committee
130
1)
Finance Committee
130
2)
Stewardship Committee
132
- vii -
Contents
3)
Personnel Committee
133
4)
Christian Life and Evangelism Committee
133
5)
Law and Procedures Committee
135
6)
Committee of Reference on Faith and Order
136
7)
Literature and Mass Communication Committee
137
Section
XVII
Other Committees of the Synod
138
1)
Nomination Committee
138
Section
XVIII
The Church of North India Trust Association
139
A)
Membership
139
B
Duties and Functions
140
Section
XIX
Women’s Fellowship for Christian Service
140
Section
XX
Synodical Youth Fellowship
141
Section
XXI
Synodical and Regional Boards (Existed Prior to Union) Basic Principles
141
CHAPTER - V
Discipline of the Church
144 -159
Section
I
Scope and Purpose
144
Section
II
Church Courts and Their Jurisdiction
144
Section
III
Court of the Pastorate
145
Section
IV
Court of the Diocese
147
Section
V
Court of the Synod
150
Section
VI
Offences in Spiritual and Church Matters
152
Section
VII
Jurisdiction of Civil Courts
155
Section
VIII
Sentences
155
Section
IX
Procedures (General)
157
Section
X
Procedures when Judicial Process takes place
158
- viii -
Contents
A)
Parties
158
B)
Minutes and Records
158
C)
Witnesses
160
D)
Evidence
161
Section
XI
Appeals
163
A)
Notice of Appeals
163
B)
Judgement
164
C)
Records
165
D)
Rules
165
CHAPTER - VI
Council of Bishops
166 -167
Section
I
Membership and Meetings
166
Section
II
Functions and Duties of the Council of Bishops
166
CHAPTER - VII
The Marriage Law of the Church
167 -171
CHAPTER - VIII
Amendments and Alterations to this Constitution
171 -172
CHAPTER - IX
The Interpretations of the Constitution
172
SCHEDULE - I
Dioceses of the Church of North India with their Territorial Jurisdiction
173 -177
SCHEDULE - II
Diocesan Bishop’s Commissary : Form
178 -179
SCHEDULE - III
Moderators Commissary : Form
180 -181
APPENDIX - I
Plan of Church Union in North India and Pakistan
(Fourth Revised Edition, 1965), Part - I
182 -219
APPENDIX - II
An Extract from the Constitution of the Church of South India.
Chapter II, Clause 19
220
- ix -
Contents
PART III
BYE LAWS (RULES) FRAMED UNDER THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA
CHAPTER - I
Status of Bye - Laws and their Amendment
223
CHAPTER - II
Division of a Diocese
223 -225
CHAPTER - III
Readjustment of Boundaries Between Adjoining Dioceses
225 -226
CHAPTER - IV
Acceptance of Candidates for Ordination Procedure for Applying
And Selection
226 -227
CHAPTER - V
Certificate of Ordination and Licence
227 -228
CHAPTER - VI
Synod Membership : Status of a Bishop without a Diocesan Charge
228
CHAPTER - VII
Admission of Ordained Ministers of Other Churches into the
Church of North India
228 -231
CHAPTER - VIII
Admission of Congregations of Other Churches into the
Church of North India
232
CHAPTER - IX
Theological Commission : Bye - Laws
233 -235
- 1
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
PART I
FAITH AND ORDER OF THE CHURCH
Chapter I
SECTION I. THE RELATION TO THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL
Clause 1.
The Church of North India is part of the One Holy, Christ, which He is building up out of
persons of all generations and races.
The Church of North India is what it is as a Church by reason of what it has received from
GOD in Christ through bringing together into one life the several traditions of the Churches
that have united to constitute it.
The heritage is the fruit of the continuous working of God’s Spirit in His Church in all ages
from Apostolic times through the Reformation and down to our own day.
Clause 2.
The Churches which united to constitute the Church of North India were all linked with the
Church of apostolic times by an essential continuity of doctrine, of experience and allegiance
to the Lord Jesus Christ, and by a fellowship in the continued proclaiming of the gospel of
salvation through Him.
In different ways, they had all sought to maintain continuity with the early Church in all
matters of Order.
SECTION II. THE CHURCH AND ITS MEMBERSHIP
Sub - Section A. Fundamental Principle
Clause 1.
The Church of North India acknowledges that the Church is the Body of Christ and that its
members are the member of His Body.
Those are members according to the will and purpose of God, who are baptised into the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, receive the calling and grace of God with
repentance and faith, and continue steadfast therein.
- 2 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
By the same faith they maintain their vital union with the Head of the Body, through the
various means of grace which He has provided in his Church, and through Him they are united
in fellowship with one another.
Clause 2.
The Church, therefore, acknowledges that every member has an immediate and direct
relationship to God, shown equally by the life of faith and of individual conscience in response
to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Clause 3.
Respect for the conscientious convictions of individual members shall be accorded by the
Church, as long as they are in harmony with the mind of Christ and are not disruptive of the
fellowship of His Body.
Sub - Section B. Regulations
Clause 4.
The Church of North India, affirming this standard and ideal of membership in the Church of
Christ, accepts and admits as its members in full standing and as sharing in the full privileges
and obligations of membership those persons normally resident in its area, who have been
baptised with water in the name of Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, have openly
confessed their faith, and been admitted by Confirmation or other such Services to
participation in Holy Communion, abide by the Constitution of the Church, are not members of
any other Church which is not communion with this Church, are not open apostates, and are
not excluded from Communion or otherwise under discipline.
Clause 5.
The Church of North India also recognizes the following as members.
a. Children of Christian parents and children, whether they have been dedicated in infancy and
not yet admitted to communicant status, whose nurture in the Christian way is the special care.
b. Adults, who have been baptized, but have not yet been admitted to communicant status.
- 3 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
c. Persons who, having renounced former belief and practices and been publicly admitted to
catechumenate, attend worship and receive instruction in the Church preparation for Baptism.
Catechumens and dedicated children through a service of Blessing of Children can be
married and or buried as the case may be, with Christian rites.
Clause 6.
Dedicated children of Christian parents, and catechumens who intend to receive baptism but have
not yet received it, can be married and buried with Christian rites.
Clause 7.
The Church is also responsible for persons who have been excommunicated from the Church or
whose communicant status has been suspended by disciplinary sentence. The Church will so
exercise its responsibility for responsibility for them as to seek to bring them back to full
communion.
Clause 8.
While it is the accepted practice of the Church of North India that Christian parents are expected to
bring their children for Baptism or Dedication and to promise to instruct them in the Faith until
such time as they can make the act of personal faith and trust in their Saviour for themselves, it is
recognized that for various reasons the Baptism or Dedication of some children may be delayed.
The Church affirms, nevertheless, that such children also are within the circle of its responsibility
and have the right to Christian nurture and instruction, which the Church will seek to provide for
them.
Clause 9.
The privilege of participating in the government of this Church is confined to those members in full
standing who have attained the age of eighteen years.
Clause 10.
The Church, in virtue of its spiritual calling, affirms its sole right to define and declare through her
competent authorities those who are and those who are not her members, and to determine all
questions of their status within the Church.
Note : For alternative practice for admission to communicant membership, see Part 1 Chapter I,
Section V, Sub Sec A. (Clauses 5 to 13, Pages 17, 18, 19)
- 4 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SECTION III. THE DOCTRINES OF THE CHURCH
Clause 1.
The Church of North India holds the faith which the Church has ever held in Jesus Christ the
Redeemer of the world, in whom alone persons are saved by grace through faith, and in
accordance with the revelation of God, which He made being Himself God Incarnate.
It worships one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Clause 2.
It accepts the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the inspired
Word of God as containing all things necessary to salvation, and as the supreme and decisive
standard of faith, and acknowledges that the Church must always be ready to correct and
reform itself in accordance with the teaching of those Scriptures as the Holy Spirit Shall reveal it.
Clause 3.
It accepts the Creeds commonly called the Apostles and Nicene as witnessing to and guarding
that faith, which is continuously confirmed by the Holy Spirit in the experience of the Church
of Christ.
Clause 4.
The use of the Creeds in worship is an act of adoration and thanksgiving towards Almighty
God for His nature and for His acts of love and mercy, as well as joyful affirmation of the faith
which binds together the worshipers.
Clause 5.
The Church of North India is keenly aware of the fact that divergence of conviction on certain
other matters of faith and practice is something, which can only be borne within one fellowship
by the exercise of much mutual forbearance and charity.
Nevertheless, it believes that it is called to make this act of faith in the conviction that it is not
the will of the Lord of the Church that they who are one in Him should be divided even for
such cases as these. It further believes itself to be called to this venture in the confidence that
through mutual consultation with in one Church those of diverse convictions will be led
together in the unity of the spirit to learn what is His will in these matters of difference.
- 5 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Clause 6.
For the confession of its faith before the world and for the guidance of its teachers and the
edification of the faithful, it shall be competent for the Church of North India to issue its own
statements, provided always that such statement are agreeable to the Holy Scriptures.
Clause 7.
The Church of North India furthermore acknowledges the witness to the Catholic faith
contained in the Confessions of Faith adopted both at the time of the Reformation and
subsequently, and formulated by the uniting Churches or their parent Churches. In particular,
the Church of North India accepts the following statement as consistent with the doctrinal
standards of this Church :
A
DECLARATION (I) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHURCH OF INDIA,
PAKISTAN, BURMA AND CEYLON :
Of the Church’s Inheritance of Truth and Life
The Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon is a part of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
Church.
It holds the faith which the Church has never held in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, and in
accordance with the revelation of God which He, being Himself God incarnate, made, it worships one
God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity.
It accepts the ancient creed of the Church, commonly called the Nicene and the Apostles’ Creeds, as
authoritative summaries of that faith.
It accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments which the whole Church accepts,
and receives them, as living oracles of God, and tests all statements of doctrine by them, and teaches
nothing as required of necessity to eternal salvation but that which may be proved by them.
It lives, as the Church has ever lived, by the power of God’s grace. It maintains the accustomed
worship and holy rites of the Church, and pre-eminent among them, the two Sacraments ordained by
Christ Himself, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It continues and reverently uses and esteems the
- 6 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
ministry of Bishop, Priests and Deacons handed down from the primitive Church.
It teaches men to observe the commands of Jesus Christ, and places them in that vital union with Him
whereby they are enabled to do the will of God from the heart.
It has received and accepts the command to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and it prays that it may ever more and more
clearly exhibit in these lands the true character of the Holy Catholic Church of Christ its Lord, by the
power of indwelling Spirit until He shall come again to judge the world in righteousness and to receive
His own unto Himself in glory.
B
CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF NORTHERN INDIA
Preamble
The United Church of Northern India adopting the following as its Confession of Faith, to be
subscribed by ministers, licentiates* and elders, does not thereby reject any of the doctrinal standards
of the parent Churches, but on the contrary, commends them - especially the Westminster Confession
of Faith, and the Confession and Canons of the Synod of Dort, the Heidelberg Catechism, Luther’s
Catechism and the Augsburg Confession - as worthy exponents of the Word of God, and as systems of
doctrine to be taught in our Churches and seminaries.
(* Note : Licentiates are called probationers in the revised Constitution).
ARTICLE I
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and the only infallible rule of
faith and duty.
ARTICLE II
There is one God, and He alone is to be worshiped.
He is a Spirit, self-existent, omnipresent yet distinct from all other spirits and from all material things:
infinite, external, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom power, holiness, justice, goodness, truth
and love.
- 7 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
ARTICLE III
In the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one
God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.
ARTICLE IV
All things visible and invisible were created by God by the word of His power, and are so preserved
and governed and governed by Him, that while He is in no way the author of sin, He worketh all
things according to the counsel of His will, and they serve the fulfilment of His wise and good and
holy purposes.
ARTICLE V
God created man, male and female, after His own image, in Knowledge, righteousness and holiness,
with dominion over the creatures. All men have the same origin and are brethren.
ARTICLE VI
Our first parents, being free to choose between good and evil, and being tempted, sinned against God;
and all mankind descending by ordinary generation from Adam, the head of the race, sinned in him
and fell with him, To their original guilt and corruption, those capable of so doing have added actual
transgressions.
All justly deserve His wrath and punishment in this present life and in that which is to come.
ARTICLE VII
To save men from the guilt, corruption and penalty of sin, and to give them eternal life, God in His
infinite love sent into the world His eternal and only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom
alone God has become incarnate, and through whom alone men can be saved.
The eternal Son became true man and so was and continueth to be true man, in two distinct natures
and one person for ever.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin.
For sinful men He perfectly obeyed the Law of God, and offered Himself a true and perfect sacrifice to
- 8 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
satisfy divine justice and reconcile men to God.
He died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again from the dead on the third day.
He ascended to the right hand of God where He maketh intercession for His people, and whence He
shall come again to raise the dead and to judge the world.
ARTICLE VIII
The Holy Sprit who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, maketh men partakers of salvation,
convincing them of their sin and misery, enlightening their minds in knowledge of Christ, renewing
their wills, persuading and enabling them to embrace Jesus Christ freely Offered to them in the
Gospel, and working in them all the fruits of righteousness.
ARTICLE IX
While God chose a people in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and
without blemish before Him in love; having foreordained them unto adoption as sons through Jesus
Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace,
which He freely bestowed on them in the Beloved; He maketh a full and free offer of salvation to all
men, and commandeth them to repent of their sins, to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour,
and to live a humble and holy life after His example and in obedience to God’s revealed will.
Those who believe in Christ and obey Him are saved, the chief benefits which they receive being
justification, adoption into the number of sons of God, sanctification through the indwelling of the
Spirit, and eternal glory. Believers may also in this life enjoy assurance of their salvation.
In his gracious work the Holy Spirit useth the means of grace, especially the Word, Sacraments and
Prayer.
ARTICLE X
The Sacraments instituted by Christ are Baptism and Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is the washing with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and
is a sign and seal of our union to Christ, of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, and of our
engagement to be of the Lord’s. It is to be administered to those who profess their faith in Christ and to their children.
- 9 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
The Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the bread and of the cup as a memorial of Christ’s death and is a
sign and seal of the benefits thereof to believers.
It is to be observed by His people till He comes, in token of their faith in Him and His sacrifice, of
their appropriation of its benefits, of their further engagements to serve Him, and of their communion
with Him and with one another.
The benefits of the Sacraments are not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them,
but only from the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them.
ARTICLE XI
It is the duty of all believers to unite in Church fellowship, to observe the Sacraments and other
ordinances of Christ, to obey His laws, to continue in prayer, to keep holy the Lord’s Day, to meet
together for His worship, to wait upon the preaching of His Word, to give as God may prosper them,
to manifest a Christ like spirit among themselves and towards all men, to labour for the extension of
Christ’s Kingdom throughout the world, and to wait for His glorious appearing.
ARTICLE XII
On the last day the dead shall be raised, and all shall appear before the judgement - seat of Christ, and
shall receive according to the deeds done in this present life whether good or bad.
Those who have believed in Christ and obeyed Him shall be openly acquitted and received into glory:
but the unbelieving and wicked, being condemned, shall suffer the punishment due to their sins.
C
THE DOCTRINAL STANDARDS OF THE METHODIST CHURCH (BRITISH CONFERENCE)
The Methodist Church has never drawn up a formal ‘Confession of Faith’. Its doctrinal standards are
embodied in the following extract from The Deed of Union, which constitutes the legal basis of the
Methodist Church as formed in 1932:
The Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place in the Holy Catholic Church which is the Body
of Christ. It rejoices in the inheritance of the Apostolic Faith and loyally accepts the fundamental
principles of the historic creeds and of the Protestant Reformation.
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It ever remembers that in the Providence of God Methodism was raised up to spread Scriptural
Holiness through the land by the proclamation of the Evangelical Faith and declares its unfaltering
resolve to be true to its Divinely appointed mission.
The Doctrines of the Evangelical Faith which Methodism has held from the beginning and still holds
are based upon the Divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
The Methodist Church acknowledges this revelation as the supreme ruler of the faith and practice.
These Evangelical Doctrines to which the Preachers of the Methodist Church both Ministers and
Laymen are pledged are contained in Wesley’s Notes on the New Testament and the first four volumes
of his Sermons.
The Notes on the New Testament and the Forty - four Sermons are not intended to impose a system of
formal or speculative theology in Methodist Preachers, but to set up standards of preaching and belief
which should secure loyalty to the fundamental truths of the Gospel of Redemption and ensure the
continued witness of the Church to the realities of the Christian experience of salvation.
Christ’s Ministers in the Church are Stewards in the household of God and Shepherds of His flock.
Some are called and ordained to this sole occupation and have a principal and directing part in these
great duties but they hold no priesthood differing in kind from that which is common to all the Lord’s
people and they have no exclusive title to the preaching of the gospel or the care of souls.
The ministries are shared with them by others to whom also the Spirit divides His gifts severally as He
wills.
It is the universal conviction of the Methodist people that the office of the Christian Ministry depends
upon the call of God who bestows the gifts of the spirit, the grace and the fruit which indicate those
whom He has chosen.
Those whom the Methodist Church recognizes as called of God and therefore receives into its Ministry
shall be ordained by the imposition of hands as expressive of the Church’s recognition of the
Minister’s personal call.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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The Methodist Church holds the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers and consequently believes
that no priesthood exists which belongs exclusively to a particular order or class of men but in the
exercise of its corporate life and worship special qualifications for the discharge of special duties are
required and thus the principle of representative selection is recognized.
The Preachers itinerant and lay are examined, tested and approved before they are authorised to
minister in holy things. For the sake of Church Order and not because of any priestly virtue inherent in
the office the Ministers of the Methodist Church are set apart by ordination to the Ministry of the
Word and Sacraments.
The Methodist Church recognizes two Sacraments, namely Baptism and the Lords Supper as of Divine
Appointment and of per-petual obligation of which it is the privilege and duty of Members of the
Methodist Church to avail themselves.
Note : The General Conference of the Methodist Church of Australia agrees in essence with the foregoing,
and contains the following in the Laws of the Methodist Church of Australasia, in the edition
published under the authority of President - General in 1950:
Para 402 : The General Conference shall not be empowered to :
a. revoke, alter or change any of the doctrines of the Church as contained in the first forty - four of
the published sermons of the late Reverend John Wesley and in his Notes on the New Testament,
or established or promulgate any new doctrines contrary thereto;
b. revoke “The General Rules” issued by the Reverend John Wesley and the Reverend Charles
Wesley in the year 1743.
Para 69 : (Candidates for the Ministry)
I. A Superintendent nominating a candidate shall certify to the Synod that the candidate has
declared he has read the first forty four of Wesley’s published sermons, and has consulted
Wesley’s Notes on the New Testament, and that he assents to the teaching therein set forth, that he
has read the book of offices; and , further that he accepts the polity and discipline set forth in the
Book of Laws’.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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D
THE BAPTIST CHURCH COVENANT OF THE COUNCIL OF
THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF NORTHERN INDIA
1
In accordance with the Revelation of God given in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,
1. We believe in one God, Eternal and Almighty, who made heaven and earth, and whom we have come
to know as Father through the Lord Jesus.
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the only - begotten Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary and
became Man. He revealed in a life of humble service the glory of God, and for our sins he died, being
crucified in the time of Pontius Pilate. On the third day he rose again from the dead, and he ascended
into heaven. We acknowledge him as Saviour and Lord and we look for his coming again to reign.
3. We believe in the Holy Sprite of God, the Lord, the Giver of Life. He is the revealer of all truth, and
the Comforter’ who dwells in all who trust in Christ. He assures us that we are children of God, he
sanctifies us so that we may become like Christ, and unites all believers in fellowship with one
another.
4. We believe that salvation is received through faith in Jesus Christ and that whoever trusts in him
receives forgiveness of sins, obtains new life now, and become heir to the eternal life with God.
5. We believe that the Church is the people of God, constituted of those who trust in Christ. As the Body
of Christ it depends on him as Head, and is called to manifest his life in the world.
6. We believe that Baptism and Lord’s Supper are visible signs of the grace of God, through which
believers confess their faith and which express their union with Christ and their continual dependence
on him.
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Therefore, in accordance with the promise made in our Baptism we reach one covenant with God
and with one another that : -
1. In our personal life we will regularly read the Bible, and Pray, and in every way will endeavour to live
according to the will of God.
2. We will so endeavour that love and peace may reign in our family life and that our children may be
nurtured in the teaching of Christ to end that they may in due time acknowledge Jesus as Lord and
Saviour.
3. We will endeavour in all our business to act with justice and generosity towards all, and in it to show
forth the glory of the Lord.
4. We will seek every opportunity to witness to Christ by deed and word, and to help others to find the
salvation which he offers.
5. We will regularly attend public worship, and never without good cause be absent from the Lords
Supper. We will take responsibility in the affairs of the Church, and duly honour and respect the Pastor
and other officers of the Church.
6. We acknowledge that all we have, whether abilities or possessions, are given by God, and we will use
them as his faithful stewards for his glory, by caring for the needy, and by willing service and
generous giving to the work of the Church and the extension of His Kingdom.
7. We will endeavour to live in peace with all men. We will avoid unloving criticism of other’s faults,
and in all humility will be ready to acknowledge our own.
With the help of Holy Spirit we will try to fulfil all these promises of the Covenant. Amen.
Used liturgically, the congregation’s response in Part I is ‘Glory be to Thee, O God’,
In Part II is ‘O Lord, help me to keep this promise.’
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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E
DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLE OF THE BAPTIST CHURCHES
Baptist churches in accepting the Constitution of the Church of North India / Pakistan record the
following declaration of principle :-
‘That our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in
all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church
has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
‘That Christian baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, of
those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who “died for
our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried and rose again the third day”
‘That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take
part in the evangelization of the world’
Baptist Churches in freely accepting the Constitution of the church of North India / Pakistan take note
that it allows for the baptism of infants, which is a practice contrary to Baptist Conviction, but they
further take note that provision is made for the dedication of infants and the administration of Baptism
by immersion as the seal of conscious faith, and that profession of faith is required of those baptized in
infancy before admission to membership in full standing in the Church, thereby acknowledging the
nature of the Church as the fellowship.
Baptist Churches again take note that the Constitution of the Church of North India / Pakistan in being
episcopal involves some limitation on the freedom of the local Church, but they further take note that
the episcopate is to be constitutional, with reasonable provision for all believers to share in seeking the
mind of Christ in the affairs of the church so far as they are able, and that the church of North India /
Pakistan acknowledges Lordship of Christ in His Church.
Therefore, Baptist churches which in fellowship with other Baptist Churches, have process after
seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, decided to enter into the Church of North India / Pakistan,
have acted in exercise of the liberty that they have always claimed, Under the guidance of the Holy
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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Spirit, to interpret and administer the Laws of Christ, believing that, it is the will of God that they
should be one with all who sincerely love the Lord Jesus Christ, Recognizing the right of fellow-
believer to certain practices which they themselves cannot commend even as others recognize their
freedom to follow the demands of conscience and recognizing that Christian liberty is to be exercised
in fellowship with other believers.
In this they have sought, as Baptist Churches have always claimed to seek the Lord’s will as it has
been made known unto them, or as it yet shall be made known.
(Note : The three paras in inverted commas are ‘Declaration of Principle’ of the Baptist Union of
Great Britain and Ireland).
Clause 8.
Any other traditional declarations of faith, generally used for the instruction of the faithful in any
of the uniting Churches, may continue to be so used after the Union, So long as they are consistent
with the doctrinal, Standards officially set forth by Church of North India.
SECTION IV. THE WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH
Clause 1.
In the worship of the Almighty God, the church of North India aims at conserving for the common
benefit whatever spiritual riches have been gained by the uniting Churches in their separate
experience. Forms of worship which before Union were generally accepted and used in any of the
uniting Churches shall be permitted in the Church of North India. No form of worship or ritual to
which they conscientiously object shall be imposed on any congregation in the church.
Clause 2.
The Church of North India will, however seek to adopt and develop new forms of worship adapted
to the needs and experience of the country. It is expected that in due time the church will have
supplementary Book of worship which will express the unity and breadth of its faith and life, and
which will result naturally from fellowship in the United Church.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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These will include a variety of forms of worship, to meet the needs of various congregations, and
to preserve the distinctive values in the various traditions of worship.
Clause 3.
The Administration of the Sacraments must secure the essentials mentioned in para 3 and 14 of
Section V of Chapter I and the Church of North India, without seeking to impose rigid uniformity,
shall endeavour to secure the inclusion in any forms of the service of Holy communion of the
important elements set out in para 16 of Section V of Chapter I.
SECTION V. THRE SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
Clause 1.
The Church of North India believes that, while the operations of divine grace cannot be limited,
the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Communion were ordained by Christ himself, as means of
grace by which we are united to God and through which works in us.
Sub-Section : A. Baptism
Clause 2.
Baptism is sign of cleansing from sin, of engrafting into Christ, of entrance into the covenant of
grace, of fellowship with Christ in His Death and Resurrection and of rising to newness of life.
Clause 3.
Baptism shall be administered with water by immersion or affusion, or sprinkling in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Note : In immersion, the candidate is dipped completely under the water, In affusion, water is poured on
to the head of the candidate. In sprinkling, the minister dips his hand in the water and allows the
water to fall on the head of the candidate.
Clause 4.
In as much the Church of North India will have with in its membership both persons who practice
Child’s Baptism in the sincere belief that this is in harmony with the mind of Lord, and those
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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whose conviction it is that the Sacrament can only properly be administered to a believer, both
Child Baptism and Believer’s shall be accepted as alternative practice in the Church of North India.
Clause 5.
In the case of those who practice Child’s Baptism, the child shall be presented by its parents or
Godparents, who undertake to bring up the child in the nurture and love of God.
The order of the baptismal service shall make clear that the parents and other sponsors, together
with the whole Church, promise that the child shall be taught the Christian Faith and that shall be
so surrounded with a Christian atmosphere of prayer and love that he / she may be disposed to
make the act of personal faith and trust in Saviour as soon as he / she is capable of doing so.
Clause 6.
Before admission to the communicant membership of the Church, the candidate shall give
evidence of repentance, faith and love towards Jesus Christ, and shall be instructed in the Christian
Faith as set forth in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and in the duties and
privileges of membership. In this instruction it is recommended that appropriate use be made of the
Apostles’ Creed and where desired of the Nicene Creed.
Clause 7.
In making public profession of faith, the candidate affirms acceptance of the baptism
administered during childhood and recognizes in that baptism the outward visible sign of the
regenerating grace of God.
Clause 8.
The admission into communicant membership shall be through Confirmation by a Bishop or
through some such Service conducted by a Bishop or the Presbyter. Every such Service shall
include profession of faith before the assembled congregation, prayer for the gift of Holy Spirit,
the laying-on of hands bye the Bishop or Presbyter, and acceptance of full responsibilities of the
Church membership. Admission into communicate membership shall be sealed by the reception
of the Holy Communion.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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Clause 9.
A minister who has scruples has scruples in regard to the administration of Baptism to Children
shall be free to invite some other minister of the Church of North India to perform the rite.
Clause 10.
In the case of those who practice Believers’ Baptism, the children of Christian parents shall be
brought to a service of Child’s Dedication. In which it shall be made clear that:
a. The child is brought to God to be blessed by Him.
b. The Parents and / or Godparents together with the whole Church, promise that the child shall
be taught the Christian faith and shall be so surrounded with a Christian atmosphere of prayer
and love as to make the act of faith and trust in Jesus Christ as personal saviour as soon as he
/ she is capable of doing so.
Clause 11.
Before Baptism, the candidate shall give evidence of repentance, faith and love towards Jesus
Christ, and shall be instructed in the Christian faith as set forth in the Holy Scriptures of the Old
Testament and New Testament, and in the duties and privileges of membership. In this
instruction it is recommended that appropriate use be made of the Apostles’ Creed and where
desired of the Nicene Creed.
Clause 12.
In the baptismal service the candidate shall make profession of faith before the assembled
congregation.
Clause 12.
Baptism shall be followed by admission into communicant membership, the form of which
admission shall include prayer for the gift of Holy Spirit, the laying on of hands by the Bishop or
Presbyter and acceptance by the candidate of the full responsibilities of Church membership,
Such as an admission shall be sealed by the reception of the Holy Communion.
Notes : 1. The privilege of participating in the governance of this Church is confined to those members in
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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full standing who have attained the age of eighteen years.
2. At the conclusion of the service of admission into communicant membership, the Bishop or
Presbyter may welcome the new members into the fellowship of the congregation by giving them
the right hand of fellowship.
Sub-Section B. Holy Communion
Clause 14.
In the service of Holy Communion, bread and wine shall be set apart with the unfailing use of
Christ’s words of institution.
Clause 15.
Subject to the provisions in para 14, any form of service of Holy Communion which before the
Union was in use in any of the uniting Churches may be used in the Church of North India, And
any Presbyter and congregation shall have freedom to choose the form of service which they shall
use.
Clause 16.
The Church of North India recommends that every service of Holy communion includes the
following elements :
a. Thanksgiving for God’s glory and goodness, with the expression of penitence, and prayer that all
may communicate worthily.
b. Commemoration of Christ’s life and work through the ministry of the word and through the
recitation of the Creed.
c. Intercession for the Church and the world.
d. Showing forth and pleading before the Father, Christ’s sacrifice once for all offered, invoking
Christ’s merits for the whole Church, remembering His resurrection and ascension and outpouring
of the Holy Spirit, who continuously indwells and inspires the Church, and looking for Christ’s
Coming again in glory.
e. Presenting ourselves, our souls and bodies, as a living sacrifice to God.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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f. Communion and fellowship with God, with one another, with the people of God on earth, and with
all the company of heaven.
g. Offering to God our Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for the grace received in Holy Communion.
Clause 17.
It shall be the rule of order in the Church of North India that the celebration of Holy Communion
shall be entrusted only those who have by ordination received authority thereto i.e., Bishops and
Presbyters.
SECTION VI. THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
Clause 1.
The Church is a ‘royal priesthood’ of believers, all its member have direct access to God, and all
the member have their share in the commission and authority of whole Church. Confirmed by the
Holy Sprit, they all have the rights and duties of a priesthood of believes, offering to God in and
with Son the sacrifice of themselves and all their powers, and showing forth in life and word the
glory of the redeeming power of God in Jesus Christ. To the whole Church and to every member
of it belong the duty and the privilege of spreading the good news of Kingdom of God, and the
message of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Clause 2.
The ministry of the Church, alike in its service to the world, and in its priestly, pastoral and
prophetic aspects, derives from the heavenly pattern of the risen and ascended Lord, who is at once
the great High Priest, the Chief Shepherd of Souls, and the Eternal Word of God.
SECTION VII. THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH
Sub-Section A. the Laity
Clause 1.
The Church of North India recognizes that it is the duty and privilege of every member to share in
that service of God which is the Church’s ministry. This ministry includes the worship of God both
private and in public, Christian loving service both within the family of the Church and to the
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community at large, we the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelism. Within this
ministry, the Church recognizes and welcomes a rich diversity of gifts, both to men and women,
for the exercise of which it will seek to provide. It is a prime concern of Church that all its
members should contribute fully to its life of worship, witness and service.
Clause 2.
It is recognized that the contribution of members to the Church’s work for the redemption of the
whole life of persons may be given in such ways as the following :
a. By the life and witness of members in their daily contact with the world, wherein lie the Church’s
evangelistic task and opportunity.
b. By the participation of all in the public worship of the Church.
c. By sharing in the Church’s corporate acts of witness and service.
d. By the full-time service of the Church in the ministers of evangelism, education, healing and other
forms of Christian service.
e. By part-time and honorary service in the Church’s life in such varied forms as are offered by lay
preaching, Sunday school teaching, Youth work, Sick Visitation, Social welfare, Etc.
f. By sharing with the Bishops, Presbyters and Deacons in the spiritual care, nurture and government
of the Church, and in the conduct of public worship, including the Holy Communion. Such Duties
will include both participation in the spiritual government of the Church and responsibility
together with the ordained ministers for the temporal affairs of the Church, such as raising and
administration of funds, care for the Church’s property, ministration to the needy, etc. Provision
for these forms of ministry is made particularly in and through the Pastorate Committee.
Clause 3.
Those who are appointed to any office in the Church shall be communicant members not below
eighteen years of age in good standing. They shall be set apart for theirs office at a service of
public worship in which they will be reminded of the nature and importance of their office and in
which prayer will be offered that they may be empowered by the Holy Spirit for the faithful
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discharge of their responsibilities.
Clause 4.
The Synod and Diocesan Councils are empowered to make regulations for special forms of the lay
ministry such as are included in para 2, Sub-paras (d) and (e) above, and provision shall be made
for the regular selection and appointment of such workers, and for their periodical meetings
together and with the ordained ministers of the Church for fellowship and Consultation.
Clause 5.
Elders : Those who are appointed to share in the responsibilities indicated in para (2) (f) above
shall be men and women who are communicant members in good standing and who may not
already have other responsibilities as described in paras (d) and (e).
As God is the source of all authority in the Church they shall be chosen after prayer and careful
thought as persons who are recognized as having the appropriate spiritual gifts for this office and
shall be set apart either for a term or for life in a solemn public service of the church.
They shall be known as ruling elders.’ ‘lay deacons’, lay deaconesses’, or by other suitable
titles. Subject to any directions which the Synod may lay down, it will be the responsibility of the
Diocesan Councils to conserve and develop such lay ministries in the Church, and to seek to
integrate them into its developing life.
Clause 6.
The Church calls all its members to be faithful in the ministry of intercession, for it is only by the
work of the Holy Spirit that the varied ministry of the Church can go on.
Those who have opportunity for other forms of service are not to be slack in this service also, and
those who through sickness or for other causes are debarred from exercising other ministries are
called to intercession as to a special duty and privilege.
Clause 7.
The Church of North India also admits women into ordained ministry.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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SECTION VIII. THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH: THE ORDAINED MINISTRY
Sub-Section A. Introduction
Clause 1.
The ministry is committed to the Church as a function of the whole Body of Christ, and therefore,
while it is especially exercised by the ordained ministry it is thus exercised as a function of the
Body as a whole, and does not belong to the ordained ministry exclusively or in separation from
the body.
Clause 2.
The Church of North India believes that in ordination, God, in answer to the prayers of His
Church, Bestows on, and assures those, whom He has called and His Church has accepted for any
particular form of the ministry, a commission for it and grace appropriate to it. The ordained
ministry of the church has descended from Christ and His apostles, and under the guidance of the
Holy Spirit continues to derive its authority in the Church from Christ. The minister is in his / her
own charge the representative of the Church as a whole, and also represents his / her own charge to
the Church as whole.
Clause 3.
a. The ordained ministry of the Church of North India shall consist of Bishops, Presbyters and
Deacons.
b. Every Setting apart of Deacons Shall be performed with payer and by the laying on of hands of the
Bishop; every ordination of Presbyters shall be performed with prayer and by the laying on of
hands of the Bishop and Presbyters; and all consecration of Bishops shall be performed with prayer
and by the laying on of hands, in which at least three Bishops shall participate. Representative
Presbyters may also join with the Bishops in the laying on of hands, if the Diocese concerned so
desires. The Church of North India declares that in making this provision, it is its intention and
determination to maintain the unity of the ministry, but that the acceptance of this provision does
not involve any judgement upon the validity of regularity of any other form of the ministry.
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Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
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Clause 4.
An ordained minister of the Church of North India who for any reason has ceased to exercise his
/ her ministry shall not be re-ordained on beginning again to exercise that ministry.
Sub-Section B. The Bishops
Clause 5.
a. The episcopate shall be both constitutional and historic.
b. By constitutional means that Bishops shall be appointed and shall perform their functions in
accordance with the constitution of the Church.
c. By historic is meant the episcopate which is in historic continuity with that of the early Church. It
is accepted as a means of expressing the continuity of the Church down the ages and its unity all
over the earth.
d. The church is not committed to any one particular theological interpretation of episcopacy, nor
does it demand the acceptance of such an interpretation from its ministers or members.
Clause 6.
The functions and responsibilities of Bishops are as follows :
a. Pastoral Oversight The Diocesan Bishop has the general pastoral oversight of all the Christian
people of the Diocese, and more particularly of the ministries of the Church in the Diocese.
As the chief shepherd under Christ of the flock in the Diocese, a Bishop is responsible for
fostering the spiritual unity of the Diocese, and for entering as far as possible into personal
relationship with the members of his / her flock, especially by administering Confirmation or any
other rite of admission to communicant membership of the Church.
b. Evangelism: it is the duty of the Bishop to promote evangelistic work in the Diocese, both by own
example and by encouragement to other; and the Bishop Should continually remind both ministers
and people of their duty in this respect.
c. Teaching : The office of a Bishop is essentially a teaching office, and he / she should do all that is
within Bishop’s power for the edification of the ministers and the congregation over whom he /
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she has oversight by instructing them concerning the truth of the Christian faith.
On each bishop in the Diocese, and on the Bishops as a body, is laid the responsibility of publicly
stating, as need may arise, the doctrines of the universal church as understood by the Church of
North India, and their application to the problems of the age and of the country. But the bishops
acting as a body shall issue such statements only after consultations with the representatives of the
Presbyters and laity and such statement shall have any force as a rule of the Church until it be
adopted as such by the Synod.
d. Worship The Bishop of the Diocese shall acquaint oneself with the various methods of worship
and forms of service used in the Diocese, and in consultation with other Diocesan Bishops and in
accordance with the rules of this constitution shall advice the ministers and congregations in this
matter. The Bishop shall caused to be prepared, And shall issue, such special services and prayers
as may be required from time to time.
The Bishop shall also have authority, where there is grave dissension with respect to any form of
public worship, to forbid its continuance, and any such prohibition shall remain in force pending
any acting that the Executive Committee of the Synod or the Synod itself may take thereon.
e. Ordination The Bishop of the Diocese will accept candidates for ordination and ordain them,
acting in accordance with the rules of this Constitution. A Bishop will, if required, assist other
Bishops in the Consecration of persons duly elected or appointed to be Bishops.
f. Authorization The Bishop of the Diocese, acting in accordance with the rules of this
Constitution, or rules laid down by the Synod, will give authorization to ministers at the time of
ordination to officiate within the Diocese and authorization to other ordained ministers who may
from time to time come to undertake definite work in the diocese.
g. Discipline - The Bishop of the Diocese alone shall have authority in disciplinary cases, to
pronounce sentences of suspension form Holy Communion or of exclusion from Communion, and
to restore to the fellowship of the church those that are penitent. But the Bishop may exercise this
authority only in accordance with rules for the discipline of the Church contained in this
- 26 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
constitution, and such regulations as may be made under this constitution. The Bishop will have
special responsibilities with respect to the discipline of ministers.
h. Diocesan Council and Synod The Bishop of the Diocese shall be President of the Diocesan
Council and of its Executive Committee, and shall have the right to take part in proceeding of
any standing committee, Board or Council of the Diocese. The Bishop shall have the right of
suspending the operation of any decision on a matter, which he / she may judge to be one of Faith
and Order, in accordance with Clause 4 of Chapter III of Part 1.
Every Bishop of Diocese shall be, ex-officio, a member of the Synod of the Church of North India.
Clause 7.
a. The Diocesan Bishop shall be elected, both the Diocese concerned in any particular case and the
authorities of the Church as a whole having an effective voice in their appointment. The election of
Bishops shall be by an electoral body of not fewer than sixteen or more than twenty persons. Half
of this body shall be chosen by Synod and half by the Diocese Concerned.
b. Nominations shall be by nomination papers, each signed by at least five per cent of the members of
the Diocesan Council. These nomination papers shall be sent by a fixed date to the Secretary of the
Synod. Thereafter those members of the electoral body that have been chosen by the Synod shall
meet and may by voting add additional names. The election shall then take place, and shall be by
the whole electoral body.
c. A commissary may be appointed by a Diocesan Bishop, or in cases of emergency by the
Moderator, under rule framed by the Synod, to act during the Bishop’s absence from his / her
Diocese or incapacity to discharge his / her duties, or under a special commission to perform some
particular duty.
Clause 8.
Assistant Bishops may be appointed under rules framed by the Synod, when the Synod considers
such appointment necessary.
- 27 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Sub-Section C. Presbyters
Clause 9.
Presbyters are specially called and commissioned by God to be dispensers of His Word and
Sacraments, to Proclaim the message of salvation to the world, to declare God’s forgiveness to
penitent sinners, to build up the members of His Church in their most holy faith, and through the
councils of the Church and otherwise, to share with the Bishops and lay members in its
government and in the administration of its discipline.
Clause 10.
The authority of the whole Church shall be represented in ordination. In the ceremony of
ordination Presbyters and Bishops shall be associated in the laying-on of hands, and the laity shall
have a share in the process by which a candidate is approved for ordination.
Clause 11.
Ordinarily a person shall not be ordained Presbyter unless he / she has reached the age of twenty-
four years, and has been a deacon for at least one year.
Clause 12.
Where the ordinary provision of the ministry is inadequate, the Synod of the Church of north India
shall have the authority to make such provision as it thinks is needed for the administration of the
Sacraments in special circumstances by ordination, for this purpose, after a simple form of
preparation.
MINISTRY : DEACONS
Clause 13.
Such persons will be ordained as Presbyters, but they will normally serve under the supervision of
the Presbyters in charge of their area, and their authorization to officiate will be limited and will
not ordinarily carry with it the right to participate as Presbyters in the Diocesan Councils.
- 28 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Sub-Section D. Deacons
Clause 14.
While some persons who have been Deacons may later be ordained Presbyters, the diaconate
properly represents a distinctive calling in the Church. The distinctive functions of the Deacons
consist of :
a. A specific share in the public worship of the Church, which may include the preaching of the
Word and distribution of the elements in the service of Holy Communion.
b. Sharing responsibility in Church administration both local and more general.
c. A pastoral function under the direction of the Presbyter, Particularly in relation to the care of the
poor and the needy.
Clause 15.
While the Church of North India will be free to develop the form of the diaconate which it finds
most appropriate in the life of' the Church, it is hoped that it will be possible so to use this office as
to set other ministers free for the functions which more properly belong to their distinctive calling.
Clause 16.
Deacons shall be set apart through prayer and the laying-on of hands of 3 Bishop, (See Section
VIII. Sub-section E below).
Clause 17.
The ministry of the diaconate maybe undertaken for life by persons who have been accepted for
this ministry by the diocesan authorities and have received due training, which may be in some
respect different from what is proposed in Section VIII, Sub-section E. Clause 21.
Clause 18.
Ordinarily a person shall not be made a Deacon till he / she has reached the age of twenty-three
years.
Clause 19.
In the selection of candidates for the ministry the following principles shall be observed :
- 29 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SELECTION AND TRAINING OF MINISTERS
Sub-Section E. Selection and Training of Ministers
a. A consciousness of inward call on the part of the candidate and a period of service as a layman in
the Church.
b. The recommendation of the local Church of which the candidate is a member, and
c. The acceptance for training by the Diocesan Council, through a Ministerial and Personnel
Committee appointed by it, after such examination as may be considered necessary. In the
acceptance of a candidate regard shall be paid to the likelihood of his / her future regular
employment as a minister.
Clause 20.
The training of candidates destined for the Ministry of Presbyter shall normally include a period of
not less than 3 years at a recognized Theological Institution. Such training shall be closely linked
with the work of the Church, and shall include practice and pastoral work, preaching and conduct
of worship. The recommendations of the Theological Institution on the general progress and
fitness of the candidate as well as the result of any examinations taken by him shall be considered
by the Ministerial and Personnel Committee, before finally recommending the candidate to the
Bishop for ordination.
Clause 21.
After such a period of training there shall ordinarily be a period of not less than a year in
probationary service as a Deacon under the supervision of an experienced Presbyter before
ordination to the presbyterate.
Clause 22.
The Synod shall lay down such conditions regarding the preparation of those who are to be
ordained as to ensure that those persons be selected who have gifts for the ministry of the Word
and Sacraments, and that they be given preparation for the exercise of that whole ministry.
Clause 23. : The Synod shall lay down rules concerning the training of candidates for the permanent diaconate.
- 30 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
THE POLITY OF THE CHURCH
Sub-Section F. Appointment of Ministers
Clause 24.
The appointment of ministers shall be made by the Bishop of the Diocese after consultation with
the Diocesan Council or any other body prescribed by the rules of the Diocese.
Clause 25.
While due regard shall be given to the wishes of the Pastorate concerned, ministers shall be
appointed as may be deemed best in the interests of the Church as a whole, and it shall be the
responsibility of the Bishop and his / her Diocesan Council to see that as far as possible every
efficient minister shall be given an appointment and every Pastorate provided with adequate
ministration of the Word and Sacraments.
Chapter II
THE POLITY OFTHE CHURCH
Clause 1.
The Church of North India affirms that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Head of the Church.
Clause 2.
The Church of North India accepts the episcopal, presbyteral and congregational elements in
Church Order as the means through which the Lordship of Christ in His Church may be realized.
The harmony of these elements is to be shown in the oversight (episcope) relating to the
legislative, administrative, liturgical and pastoral matters assigned to the Synod, Diocesan
Councils and other organs of the Church’s life. The personal oversight of a Diocesan Bishop must
go hand in hand with this corporate responsibility, shared by Bishops, Presbyters, Deacons and lay
people acting together, as well as the corporate responsibility of the episcopate of the Church as a whole.
Sub-Section A. The Diocese
Clause 3. : The organization of the Church is on a territorial basis. The unit of such territorial organization
is the Diocese.
- 31 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SAFEGUARDING OF FAITH AND ORDER
Each Diocese is under the charge of a Bishop and functions through a Diocesan Council. Every
Diocesan Bishop is the Bishop of a defined territory, and has jurisdiction throughout that territory,
and no jurisdiction outside that territory. There should be no place in North India where members
of the Church of North India are not under the jurisdiction of some Bishop of that Church. It is the
duty of every Diocese acting as a whole to spread the knowledge of the Gospel throughout its
territory and to provide for the spiritual needs of the members of the Church who reside within it.
Sub-Section B. The Congregation
Clause 4.
The Church of North India believes that just as the Church of a whole region, being in fellowship
with other regional Churches, is ideally the embodiment of the Church Universal in that region,
and just as similarly the Church of a Diocese as a living part of a regional Church is the Church
Universal expressing its one life in that Diocese, so also in the purpose of God every local group of
the faithful, organized for Christian life and worship as a congregation or Pastorate within the
fellowship of the Diocese, expresses in that place the life of the same One Holy, Catholic and
Apostolic Church.
Sub-Section C. The Synod
Clause 5.
The organ of the whole Church, comprising all the Dioceses, is the Synod which is the supreme
supervisory, legislative and executive body of the Church.
Chapter III
SAFEGUARDING OF FAITH AND ORDER
Clause 1. : The matters of Faith and Order include :
a. The faith and doctrine of the Church.
b. The conditions of membership in the Church, and the rules which govern exclusion from
Communion in the Church.
c. The functions of the ordained ministry of the Church.
- 32 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SAFEGUARDING OF FAITH AND ORDER
Clause 2.
If any preposition concerning any of the above comes before the Synod, the following procedures
shall be followed :
a. The proposition will be considered by the Diocesan Bishops, sitting separately for that purpose,
who shall present the proposition to the Synod with their opinion, and with or without suggested
amendments.
b. Thereafter the proposition, whether amended or not by the Synod, if approved by a two-thirds
majority of the Synod, Shall be submitted to the Diocesan Councils for their Opinion.
c. If two-thirds of the Diocesan Councils vote by a simple majority in favour of the adoption of the
proposition, it shall be considered at the next ordinary meeting of the Synod, Where it shall be
deemed to have been passed only if it is approved in substantially the same form by a simple
majority in each of the groups of Bishops, Presbyters and laity sitting separately, and by a three-
fourths majority of the Synod voting as a unit.
d. If the proposition is rejected by only one of the three groups of Bishops. Presbyters and laity. it
shall again be referred to the Diocesan Councils for their opinion. and if it is again approved by a
two-thirds majority of these Councils. voting as above. It shall be considered afresh by the Synod
at its next ordinary meeting, when the decision reached by the procedure laid down in para (c)
above shall dispose of the matter.
Clause 3.
There shall be a Standing Committee of Reference on Faith and Order appointed by the Synod,
Composed of Bishops, Presbyters, and laity, presided over by the Moderator of the Synod.
Clause 4.
If any matter arising in a Diocesan Council is considered by the presiding Bishop to be one of Faith and
Order, included under any of the above three heads, he / she shall refer it through the Moderator of the
Synod to the Committee of Reference. The decision of the Committee of Reference as to whether it is a
matter of Faith or Order or not shall be final.
- 33 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Chapter IV
THE AUTONOMY OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA
Clause 1.
In common with the whole Christian Church, the Church of North India declares its belief in the
Holy Catholic Church, of which it is a part according to the Scriptures and as witnessed to by the
Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. The Church is a body created by the Lord of the Church and by Him
alone members are incorporated into it ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit by His sole authority. Therefore, the Church of North India affirms that the Lord Jesus
Christ is the only Lord and Head of the Church.
Clause 2.
In keeping with this fundamental truth the Church of North India claims that it shall of right be
free in all spiritual matters from the direction or interposition of any civil government.
Clause 3.
While it is not possible to give an exhaustive and rigidly exact definition of the content of such a
phrase as matters of religion or ‘spiritual matters the Church of North India understands it to
imply the autonomy of the Church in such spheres as the following:
a. Worship, which being directed to God alone is not subject by way of command, prohibition or
prescribed form to any save a Church authority.
b. Membership, which being membership in the body of Christ is beyond the jurisdiction of any save
a spiritual authority (cf. Part I, Chapter I, Section II, Sub-section B, Clause 10).
c. Spiritual office, appointment to which, whether it be that of Bishop, Presbyter, Deacon, lay elder or
other spiritual responsibility is a Spiritual act carried through in an act of worship before God,
from whom comes the gift of the ministry. Removal from spiritual office, partakes of the same
character.
d. Confession of Faith, the soundness of which, as agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, only a
spiritual authority is competent to determine.
- 34 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
e. Proclamation of the Gospel, which the Church carries on in obedience to its Lord.
f. Instruction of its people in the Faith, by which the Church in every generation is built up.
g. Church Polity, including wider Union : the Church alone, Being satisfied that the basis of a
proposed union is such as to ensure the continuity of the Church which enters it, can in the exercise
of its spiritual autonomy resolve to enter upon a union.
Clause 4.
The Church of North India shall be an autonomous Church and free from any control, legal or
otherwise. of any Church or Society external to itself. At the same time the Church of North India
on account of its origin and history, must have special relations with the Churches through which it
came into existence, and it will endeavour so to regulate its acts as to maintain fellowship both
with these Churches and with other branches of the Catholic Church with which the several uniting
Churches were at the time of union in communion.
Clause 5.
The Church of North India as a part of the Church Universal, will give full weight to the
pronouncements of bodies representative of the whole Church and in particular desires to take part
in the deliberations and decisions of an Ecumenical Council, if such should in the mercy of God be
some day called together.
- 35 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
PART II
ORGANISATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
CHURCH
- 36 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
ORGANISATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
CHURCH
- 37 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
PART II
CHAPTER I
NAME, DIOCESES AND OBJECTS
SECTION 1 : THE NAME OF THE CHURCH
Clause 1.
The Name of this Church is :
The Church of North India
Clause 2.
The Church of North India is a Church constituted by the Union consummated on November 29,
1970 at Nagpur, of the following Churches:
The Council of the Baptist Churches in Northern India.
The Church of the Brethren.
The Disciples of Christ.
The Methodist Church (British and Australasian Conference.)
The United Church of Northern India.
The Church of North India shall be open to further union with any church that may wish to join
her, after a deep and thorough study of the tenets, constitution, Faith and Order of the church
willing to join and acceptance of the constitution of the Church of North India by the joining
church.
(For later accessions to the Union with Church of North India the following shall be added:
On …. the …. Church signified its acceptance of the constitution of the Church of North India and
entered into Union with it.)
- 38 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
PASTORATE
Clause 3.
Dioceses : The organization of the Church of North India is on territorial basis. The units of such
territorial organization known as Dioceses are listed in Schedule I.
The Executive Committee of the Synod shall have power to make changes in this list as and when
required following action by the Synod in pursuance of Part II, Chapter IV, Section IV, Clause 2 of
this Constitution. Such changes shall not amount to amendments to this Constitution and the
provisions of Part II, Chapter VIII shall not apply in this case.
SECTION II. OBJECTS AND PURPOSES OF THE CHURCH OF NORTH INDIA
The objects and purposes of the Church of North India, operating through its Synod, Dioceses and
Pastorates, shall be to proclaim by word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Lord and
Master of the Church, for the salvation and good of all mankind through unity, witness and service
which may include educational, medical, social, agricultural and other services, and also through
worship and other activities of the Church which promote spiritual growth, self-reliance, social
justice and moral regeneration, irrespective of caste, creed or colour.
Chapter II
PASTORATE
Note. :
Notwithstanding the adoption of Chapter II of Part II of this Constitution, each Diocesan Council
shall have the power either to adopt Chapter II of Part II of this Constitution as it is and make rules
there under or to prepare its own Constitution for the Pastorate by making such adaptations to the
provisions of this Chapter as may be considered necessary, keeping in view the conditions and
needs of Pastorates in the Diocese. Such a Constitution shall come into force only after approval
by the Synod or its Executive Committee.
- 39 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SECTION 1. PASTORATE : ITS MEMBERSHIP AND CARE
Clause 1.
a. A Pastorate is an organized congregation, or a group of congregations, recognized as a Pastorate
by the Diocesan Council, under the pastoral care of the Presbyter-in-Charge. In some Pastorates
other ministers may be appointed to assist the Presbyter-in-Charge of the Pastorate and to work
under his / her supervision.
b. Persons are to be received into the Pastorate of the Church of North India as members through
Baptism, Confirmation and / or on submission of an application in writing for membership on the
prescribed form duly approved by the Synod of the Church of North India or it's Executive
Committee.
c. Any member of the Church of North India who takes a second Baptism in any other denomination
not in communion with the Church of North India by immersion or otherwise be considered as one
who has severed his/her membership with the Church of North India from the date of his/her
second Baptism. Such a person, therefore, be deemed to belong to the Church in which he/she has
taken the second Baptism and no more will be a member of the Church of North India.
If such a person expresses in writing his/her desire to come back to the Church of North India, the
Bishop of the Diocese will he competent to take necessary action to accept such a person back into
the Church of North India.
d. If a pastorate created under an instrument of Trust or under any law of the land, seeks to join the
Church of North India, in a Diocese under which jurisdiction such pastorate is situated, the
Diocesan Council shall be authorized to accept such a pastorate or church as a Pastorate of the
Diocese, subject to dissolution of the Trust or Amendments to the instrument of Trust, deleting
such sections of the instrument which may be in conflict with the Constitution of the Church of
North India, by creating an instrument of Union or Merger in the Church of North India.
- 40 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Clause 2.
The Church of North India also recognizes as members the following :
a. Children of Christian parents and children, whether they have been dedicated in infancy and not
yet baptized, or baptized but not yet admitted to communicant status, whose nurture in the
Christian way is a special care.
b. Adults, who have been baptized but have not yet been admitted to communicant status.
c. Persons who having renounced former beliefs and practices and been publicly admitted to the
catechumenate attend worship and receive instruction in the Church in preparation for Baptism.
Clause 3.
Dedicated children of Christian parents, and catechumens who intend to receive baptism but have
not yet received it, can be married and buried with Christian rites.
Clause 4.
The Church is also responsible for persons who have been excommunicated from the Church or
whose communicant status has been suspended by a disciplinary sentence. The Church will so
exercise its responsibilities for them as to seek to bring them back to full communion.
Clause 5.
A person's membership of a Pastorate shall terminate on death, apostasy, resignation, or
withdrawal of membership, or transfer of membership, continuous absence from the Pastorate for
one year without intimation, ceasing to be a member of the Church of North India, or joining
another denomination, or accepting ordination in another denomination.
Clause 6.
A person shall cease to be member of the Church of North India if his/her membership is
terminated under the disciplinary action as per part II, Chapter V, Discipline of the Church - as per
Constitution of the Church of North India. Bishop alone shall have the powers to pronounce the
sentence of Termination from Membership.
- 41 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
SECTION II. OBJECTS AND PURPOSES OF THE PASTORATE
The Pastorate .shall fulfill the objects and purpose of the Church of North India i.e., to proclaim by
word and deed the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Lord and Master of the Church for the
salvation and good of all human kind through unity, witness, and service which may include
educational, medical, social, agricultural and other services, and also through worship and other
activities of the Church which promote spiritual growth, self-reliance, social justice and moral
regeneration irrespective of caste, creed or colour.
SECTION III. POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF A PASTORATE
The following shall be the powers and functions of a Pastorate:
Clause 1.
The Pastorate shall hold an Annual General Meeting of all communicant members of the Pastorate
within six months after the close of its financial year. If in any Pastorate there are two or more
congregations and distance makes joint meetings difficult or impossible, the Presbyter-in-charge,
with the approval and permission of the Bishop of the Diocese, shall arrange for separate meetings
in such local congregations which constitute the Pastorate to transact all the business of the
Pastorate including election of members for the Pastorate Committee as may be allotted to the
area, in the meetings of the respective local congregations.
Clause 2.
The following business shall be transacted at the Annual General Meeting. While discussion shall
be open to all communicant members with the permission of the President, voting on all items
shall be restricted to members whose names appear on the Electoral Roll.
a. to. receive the report of the Presbyter-in-Charge of his/her work and responsibility in the Pastorate;
b. to receive and approve the report from the Secretary;
c. to receive and approve the annual financial statement and the auditor's report, and budget for the
ensuing year as presented by the Treasurer;
d. to elect the Pastorate Committee and any other Committee/ Committees;
- 42 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
e. to appoint one member on the Executive Committee of the 'Youth Fellowship of the Pastorate
from among its communicant members. A member appointed on the Executive Committee of the
Youth Fellowship shall be a person who is below 30 years of age;
f. to elect representatives and panel of alternates to the next higher councils of the Church, unless the
Diocesan Council provides otherwise;
g. to receive the reports from the respective Secretaries on the work of the Pastorate Youth
Fellowship, the Women's Fellowship for Christian Service, and the Sunday School, etc.
h. To appoint a Court of the Pastorate, in accordance with Section XXIII, Chapter II, Part II
and Chapter V Part II of the Constitution.
Clause 3.
The Pastorate shall have the general administrative authority in its area or jurisdiction as well as
certain responsibility in Church discipline, acting through its Pastorate Committee.
Clause 4.
The Pastorate with its Presbyter-in-charge shall be responsible for evangelistic Programme within its area.
Clause 5.
a. In any situation when funds of a Pastorate are being mismanaged or are in danger of being
misused, in the opinion of the Bishop or the other Office Bearers of the Diocese, the Bishop shall
authorize the Presbyter-in-charge and/or appoint any other person or persons to receive all pledges,
contributions and Sunday offerings and send them to the Diocesan Central Fund as the
contribution of the Pastorate every month.
b. In-any Pastorate where Pastorate committee along with the Presbyter-in-charge act in a prejudicial
manner and refuse to send the Pastorate's assessment and contribution to the Diocesan Central
Fund, the Executive Committee of the Diocesan Council shall take immediate steps to intervene
and bring about normalcy in the Pastorate, failing which it shall disband the Pastorate Committee,
appoint an ad hoc committee to take any steps necessary to safeguard the Pastorate and to restore
order in the Pastorate.
- 43 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Clause 6.
The Pastorate shall look after any other functions as defined in the Constitution or as are entrusted
to it by the Diocesan Council.
Clause 7.
The Pastorate shall be subject to all such rules and regulations as may be issued by the Diocesan
Council, or the Synod through the Diocesan Council.
Clause 8.
The Pastorate shall observe the same financial year as that of the Diocese.
Clause 9.
Pastorate : The Pastorate with its Presbyter-in-Charge shall be responsible for promoting interest
among individuals, families, groups and congregations for prayer and financial support for the
existing mission work and for any new mission activities approved by the Synod.
SECTION IV. MEMBERSHIP OF A PASTORATE COMMITTEE
Clause 1.
Every Pastorate shall have a Pastorate Committee which shall consist of a minimum of 6 members
and a maximum of 18 members, besides the ex-officio members, the total number to be determined
by each Pastorate Committee concerned, depending upon the numerical strength of the
communicant members of the Pastorate and the area involved. The Presbyter-m-Charge, Associate/
Assistant Pastor and ordained Deacons in active service of the Church, if any, shall be the ex-
officio members of the Pastorate Committee. The Presidents or Secretaries of the Women's
Fellowship and Youth Fellowship of the Pastorate as decided upon by the organization concerned
where these exist, and Secretary / Superintendent of the Sunday School in the Pastorate shall
also be ex-officio members of the Pastorate Committee. The other members of the Pastorate
Committee shall be elected members.
They shall be elected as required by the Pastorate in the Annual General Meeting of the Pastorate,
according to the slab as given below in clause 2.
- 44 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
In addition to the elected members the Bishop may nominate up to 3 persons from within the
Pastorate from amongst the members in good standing of the Pastorate, to represent interests which
he / she may think desirable to he represented in the Pastorate Committee.
Clause 2.
The elected membership of the Pastorate Committee will be determined on the basis of
communicant members in the Pastorate according to the following slab or as may be adopted by a
Diocesan Council:
Communicant Members
Upto 100...
6 persons shall be elected. Out of them at least
1/3 shall be from either gender and 1 person
from among the youth.
From 101 to 300...
9 persons shall be elected. Out of them at least
1/3 shall be from either gender and 1 person
from among the Youth.
From 301 to 600...
12 persons shall be elected. Out of them at least
1/3 shall be from either gender and 1 person
from among the Youth.
From 601 to above...
15 persons shall be elected. Out of them at least
1/3 shall be from either gender and 1 person
from among the Youth.
In case Pastorate consists of more than one congregation scattered at the distant geographical
locations such as in a number of villages, the Pastorate Committee shall be formed by the
representatives of the Congregations elected by the Congregations concerned as per procedure
prescribed in Section VI, Clauses 6 to 11 under Chapter II, Part II of this Constitution.
Clause 3.
If there is a life elder in any Pastorate, he / she shall be a member of the Pastorate Committee for
his / her life time. But no Pastorate shall designate any elder as life elder hereafter without the
express permission of the Diocesan Council.
- 45 Soft Copy By Ritesh R Ingle
Note : Amended in the XII Ordinary Synod Meeting of the Church of North India held in Ranchi from 16
th
to 21
st
October 2005.
Clause 4.
Only such lay persons shall be eligible to be ex-officio or nominated members of the Pastorate
Committee as are members in good standing as defined in Clause 6 below, and whose names
appear on the Electoral Roll of the Pastorate according to the Diocesan bye-laws governing the
Electoral Roll, unless they are otherwise debarred from being members of the Pastorate Committee
by rules or decisions passed by the Diocesan Council.
Those lay persons who become ex-officio members of the Pastorate Committee under the
categories given in Clause 1 above, but are below the age of 18 years shall not have the right to
vote.
Clause 5.
A lay person shall be recognized as a member of the Church in good standing at a particular time if
such a person has been a communicant member in a Pastorate, has participated in the life and work
of the Church, has been supporting the Church financially or otherwise, according to the rules
approved by the Diocesan Council, and is not under a sentence of discipline of a court of the
Chur