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The Constitution

Foundation Principle: In solemn renewal of the declaration made in the Congregational Library, London, on 13 May 1831 and affirmed by the Conference in Lyndhurst Road Congregational Church, London, on 13 May 1972 and by the Assembly in Westminster Chapel on 14 October 1972, the Federation of continuing Congregational Churches is founded on a full recognition of their own distinctive principle, namely, the scriptural right of every separate Church to maintain perfect independence in the government and administration of its own particular affairs; and therefore that the Federation shall not in any case assume legislative authority, or become a court of appeal.

ARTICLE 1. NAME The name of this voluntary association is the Congregational Federation.

ARTICLE 2. MEMBERSHIP Membership of the Federation comprises Congregational or Independent churches, each having a separate roll of members, and paying an affiliation fee to the Federation, the amount of such affiliation fee being that recommended by the Assembly.

Personal Membership will be available for individuals who wish to maintain the Congregational tradition. The Personal Membership fee is that recommended by the Assembly.

ARTICLE 3. OBJECT The object of the Federation is the advancement of the Christian faith and in furtherance thereof but not otherwise:
(a) To spread the knowledge of Christ throughout the land;
(b) To encourage congregations of believers in local places to maintain corporate worship in free assembly alike in consecrated buildings and in the homes of the people;
(c) To spread the knowledge of Christ beyond the seas through the agency of such bodies as the Council for World Mission;
(d) To further the spirit of unity in Christ with all other believers in Him;
(e) To mediate the call of God to Christian service at home and abroad whether by way of the ordained ministry or otherwise;
(f) To do all other such things as are necessary to the attainment of this object.

ARTICLE 4. RELATIONSHIPS The Foundation Principle of the Federation precludes it from making any decision binding on any Church; it can do no more than offer recommendations. It does not claim to speak on behalf of Churches unless it is authorised by them to do so for a particular purpose on a particular occasion. Any obligation accepted by a Church to another Christian body is not held by the Federation as a barrier to fellowship within the Federation.

ARTICLE 5. THE ASSEMBLY The Assembly is held at least once in each year on a date and at a time and place fixed by a previous Assembly. At least 56 days notice of an Assembly is given to each member Church and Personal member.


(a) The Assembly appoints such Officers as it thinks fit. The Council comprises the Officers, Chairs of Committees, three representatives from the Congregational Federation in Scotland, two representatives from the Congregational Federation in Wales and one representative from each Area Association in England, the President Emeritus, Chair of Council, General Secretary, two representatives of the Youth Association, a representative from Congregational Federation Ltd. and a representative for the Personal members.
(b) A quorum at a Council Meeting is 50% of the members of the Council as defined at Article 6(a)

ARTICLE 7. FINANCE Officers and members of Council, Committees and Boards are entitled to reimbursement of all necessary out-of-pocket expenses; of these only the General Secretary and such others as may be recommended by Council and approved by Assembly may receive a salary. With its Annual Report, the Council submits to the Assembly a statement of accounts, duly audited, together with a Budget of income and expenditure. When adopting the Budget, the Assembly recommends the minimum amount of the affiliation fees for Churches and individuals.

ARTICLE 8. ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION This Constitution may be altered when the following conditions are fulfilled:
(a) The wording of the proposed alteration must be circulated to all member churches and personal members at least 56 days before the Assembly.
(b) The resolution embodying the proposed alterations must then be discussed and, if appropriate, amended by the Assembly. In the event of a marked division of opinion at the Assembly, the matter will be referred back either to the Council or to the churches, otherwise the agreed wording will be sent to each member church and to each personal member.
(c) At least 50% of the member churches must vote on the proposed alteration (each member church has one vote). The period allowed for voting shall be six months.
(d) At least 90% of the votes cast must be in favour of the proposed alteration.
(e) The consent of the Charity Commission must be obtained if the proposed alteration concerns the Name or Object of the Federation.

April 2005