4. Covenants, Rules & Declaration – Admission to Membership


Composition of the Church.

1.1 A local church is a company of believers who have exercised repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and whose profession evidences its reality in lives of Godliness. Church membership is therefore only for those who confess a regenerate nature and give satisfactory evidence of forsaking all known sin, possessing saving faith in Christ, and yielding joyful obedience to the will of God as revealed in Scripture and, in accord with God’s covenantal promise, unto the children of those believers.


1.2 Every candidate for membership shall be baptised with water, unless previously so baptised in accord with the Word of God.


1.3 Every candidate for membership prior to their reception shall give public assent to the doctrines of the church and shall sign a minute in the church minute book making reference to that assent viz. to the Church Covenant, Rules, and Declaration.

Membership requirements are i) A Profession of Faith ii) A Right standing in the church and in the world & iii) Right Perspectives being – 1]. Godward, & 2]. Manward.  (See below)

1]. Godward – Whilst i & ii above are considered essential (and perhaps by some as all that is necessary) it was agreed that a ‘subject for membership’ should know and understand that they are part of the body of Christ (i.e. the Church) ‘called to serve’ where they are i.e. locally (the local Church) and that, if rightly so, purely by the Will of God in Providence.  This being the case then the applicant is already a member of the church in God’s eyes and the ‘formality’ only is lacking.

2]. Manward – in order to the grateful acknowledging of 1]. above, and also for the building up and edifying of the Church according to Scripture, a ‘formal’ application for membership is supremely desirable as both biblical testimony and as honouring to God, first, and to this / the local church thereafter.

In these Perspectives iii 1]. & iii 2]., the Providence of God is acknowledged (though not as an infallible guide) while the Word of God leads into one accord i.e. our understanding of the doctrine [Jn.7:17].

Regarding iii 2]. It is agreed that members must needs be in agreement with TFCC’s Vision, based on its Doctrine (Theology), i.e. based on its understanding of the Bible’s teaching as concluded in its Statement of Faith which is ‘The Savoy Declaration of Faith’ 1658.


1.3a It is acknowledged that initially some ‘subjects for membership’ may not be able for conscience sake [perhaps any not knowing or fully understanding that doctrine; its implications, consequences and responsibilities] to accept this last agreement (iii 2.) and therefore arrangements are made that whereby those who can agree with Perspective iii 1., whilst unable to agree with Perspective iii 2., could nevertheless become members and be able to fulfil (carry on the work of) their calling to TFCC (in accord with Perspective iii 1.) by having a rightful say at members meetings and by having a rightful vote on matters proposed and seconded in all issues and areas affecting TFCC EXCEPT that of Church Government.

It is therefore agreed that Church Officers only would have the final say in prescribing what were ‘matters of Church Government’ and that ONLY those members that can ascribe to both Perspectives iii 1. & iii 2., above could ever become or remain as Church Officers; and this so that the Doctrine and Confession of the Church and its Government, who are giving these concessions, cannot be overturned.

Ongoing teaching and essential resources will be provided with regard to better knowledge and understanding of the doctrines.



1.4 Every candidate shall be given a copy of The Savoy Declaration of Faith 1658, Church Covenants, Rules, and Declaration.


1.5 Application for membership shall be made to the Elders/Pastors, and every candidate shall be interviewed privately by two such officers or in exceptional circumstances by two other members appointed by the Church and shall give to them an account of their ‘faith’ and ‘call’ by grace. This shall be reported to the Eldership and if the application is unanimously approved by them it shall be placed before the church meeting. A period of one month shall be given for any member who has any reason for believing an applicant unsuitable for membership to make it known to the Eldership. If at the expiry of this period no objections have been received, the church meeting shall vote on the application and if approved by the members present, the Elders shall take steps to admit the applicant by giving the right hand of fellowship at the next Lord’s Table. At this time the public assent referred to in 1.3 shall be given.

If, however, before expiry of the month period reason has been received for withholding membership, and the Elders/Pastors are no longer unanimous, they shall endeavour to interview the applicant and if still not in agreement membership will be withheld and the application shall lapse.

If, however, the Eldership remain unanimous the application shall again be referred to the Church meeting and if a vote in favour is not obtained the application shall lapse.

The applicant shall be informed of the reason for non-acceptance, and whether or not the Elders propose to review the matter within a certain period.

Transfer of Membership.

1.6 No member may be received automatically by transfer from another church, but all applications shall be received as detailed herein.


1.7 Every candidate shall have attended the church regularly for not less than six months prior to application.

On to – Duties of Membership

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