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Minister: Rev’d Russell Furley-Smith


    (As agreed at Church Meeting on 19th November 2017)


The Manual of the United Reformed Church sets out procedures for the management of the local church particularly in sections dealing with the responsibilities of individual churches, i.e. “The structure of the URC” and “Information for Local Churches”. The following rules supplement the Manual, detailing the practice in Purley.

Church Membership

  1. Church Membership shall be by election at a Church Meeting upon the nomination of the Elders’ Meeting.
  2. The Elders’ Meeting shall every two years revise the membership roll, bearing in mind the desirability for Church Members to be in active association with the life of the Church
  3. The Elders’ Meeting shall enquire into and advise upon all cases of Church Members no longer in active association with the church
  4. The Church Secretary shall submit a statistical report of the membership to each Annual General Church Meeting (AGM).
  5. The Minister and Church Secretary shall, as appropriate, advise the Elders’ meeting upon cases of discipline.
  6. The vote of the Church Meeting shall be necessary for the removal of the name of any Church Member from the roll.

Church Meeting

  1. A Church Meeting shall normally be held once every two months and not less frequently than once a quarter.
  2. All individuals regularly attending Church Services shall be encouraged to attend Church Meetings and to participate actively whilst understanding fully that only Church Members may vote.
  3. Motions other than alterations to the Church Rules (see Rule 19 below):
  4. New business shall be introduced by the Minister(s) or Elders Meeting, or by a Church Member’s giving notice through the Secretary at a Church Meeting at least three weeks before the business is discussed.
  5. A motion may be put for immediate consideration only if a minimum of one fifth of the Resident Membership* as declared at the previous AGM is present and at least three quarters of the Members present agree that the motion is of such nature that it should be debated immediately. Such a motion may be carried only if three quarters of the Members present are in favour.
  6. The Church year shall end on 31st March and the AGM shall be held as soon after that date as possible, currently in June.

Officers and the Elders Meeting

  1. The Officers of the Church shall consist of a Secretary who has normally served on the Elders’ Meeting at Purley, a Treasurer and an Assistant Treasurer. Normally either the Treasurer or the Assistant Treasurer will have served on the Elders’ Meeting at Purley. The Officers of the Church shall be nominated by the Elders’ Meeting and elected by the Church Meeting, normally the AGM.
  2. The Elders’ Meeting shall normally consist of ten members. This shall include the Church Secretary. When the Church Secretary is not a serving member of the Meeting they will be co-opted onto the Meeting. A Treasurer may be co-opted onto the meeting as necessary. Any co-options are in addition to the 10 elected members.
  3. Members who have been in fellowship with the Church for at least six months shall be eligible for the office of Elder.
  4. Elders shall serve on the Elders’ Meeting for a period of five years and two shall retire annually in rotation and shall not be eligible for re-election for one year. The Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer shall serve for a period of five years initially. In the case of the Secretary and Treasurer, the Church Meeting may extend their terms of office normally for one further consecutive period of up to five years. In the case of the Assistant Treasurer Church Meeting may extend his/her term of office for further periods of up to five years.
  5. The Church Secretary shall announce at a Church Meeting not less than 5 months before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) the names and number of the Elders due to retire at the next AGM. Each Church Member will be invited to propose the names of sufficient Church Members to fill these vacancies, on proposal forms provided, by the date of a Church Meeting not less than 3 months before the AGM. The Minister(s) and/or the Church Secretary will then discuss with each Church Member who has received two or more proposals the entering of their name in the ballot for election to the Elders Meeting at the AGM. The names of the Church Members willing to let their names be placed on the ballot for election shall be notified to a Church Meeting not less than one month prior to the AGM. The Church Secretary will prepare nomination forms for those Church Members who agree; the nomination form to be signed by the nominee and two of their proposers.

In the event of the number of nominations exceeding the vacancies, an election shall be by secret ballot at a Church Meeting normally the AGM. If two or more nominees obtain an equal number of votes in the ballot a further secret ballot shall be held immediately to determine who will fill the vacancy

  1. The Church shall have power to fill any interim vacancies that may occur on the Elders’ Meeting, if it is found desirable to do so. Such appointment, for the remaining period of the vacancy, may take place at any Church Meeting, and agreed, normally, by a show of hands.
  2. Any Church Member who is unable to attend a Church Meeting at which Elders are to be elected may apply to the Secretary for a voting paper and provided this is received completed not later than the commencement of the Meeting it shall be included in the ballot.

The following honorary Church appointments shall be made by Church Meeting:

  • the Convener and two elected members of the Finance and Stewardship Committee
  • the Convener of Management Committee
  • the Convener of the Communications and Outreach Committee
  • the Convener of the World Church Partnership Committee
  • the Convener of the Contracts Committee
  • the Registrar of Marriages and Deputy
  • the Safeguarding Co-ordinator and Deputy

The appointments shall normally be for a period of five years after which the holders shall be eligible for re-appointment.

Changes to Church Rules

22. Notice shall be given specifying any proposed alteration to these rules at a Church Meeting at least three weeks before that at which the alteration is to be proposed and put to the vote.

* Total number of Members on the Roll less those classified as Non-Resident

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  • David Wiggs

    I am the webmaster for Purley United Reformed Church and have been involved with the church since my late teens. I work in Croydon and live in Caterham.

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