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CONSTITUTION OF CHURCHES TOGETHER IN KENT

1. Vision Statement

In accordance with Churches Together in England, Churches Together in Kent unites in pilgrimage those churches in the county of Kent, the Medway Unitary Authority and the London Boroughs of Bromley & Bexley - hereafter referred to as 'Kent' - which, acknowledging God's revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God's will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves:

to seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is his body; and
to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world
to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. Areas covered and ways of working

Churches Together in Kent covers the civic areas of the County of Kent, the Medway Unitary Authority and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley. Membership includes all those churches affiliated to Churches Together in England.

The work of Churches Together in Kent shall be co-ordinated by regular meetings of Church Leaders in Kent and the Enabling Group (see 4 and 5 below)

3. Aims and Objectives

To encourage local mission together
To explore new ways of being ecumenical
To maintain communication and information with the Local Churches/Christians Together Groups in the area.
To respond as may be thought appropriate to matters of social concern.
To promote and seek by prayer and other appropriate ways the fullness of unity in the Church founded by Jesus Christ, and to promote co-operation and dialogue between the churches and Christian communities in the area.
To act as a regular forum for study and debate on all matters of Christian unity and common concern, including the deployment of Ministry (lay and ordained) and the sharing of resources.
To act as the Sponsoring Body for all existing Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) in the area.
To encourage and further Local Covenants among churches and to advise Congregations who wish to enter into such Covenants.
To encourage and further the creation of Local Ecumenical Partnerships in the area.
To facilitate the relationships between the member Churches and the media.

4. Church leaders

The group of Church Leaders (denominational representatives) shall meet regularly for prayer, fellowship and to give strategic direction to Churches Together in Kent.
They will have pastoral oversight of the Ecumenical Chaplaincies of the area.
The County Ecumenical Officer shall service its meetings.
The Group of Church Leaders in Kent shall elect from its members, for a three-year period, two or more Co-Chairs.
Churches Together in Kent will be served by a County Ecumenical Officer whose terms and conditions of service shall be decided by the member churches.
The County Ecumenical Officer and Denominational Ecumenical Officers shall serve as the Enabling Group of Churches Together in Kent.

5. Enabling Group

The Enabling Group shall meet regularly to manage the operational aspects of the work of Churches Together in Kent.
Communication and reporting between the Enabling Group and the Church Leaders' Group will be ensured by the exchange of Minutes between each Group, and through the work of the County Ecumenical Officer.
They will be responsible for maintaining contact and good relationships with all the Local Ecumenical Partnerships in the Churches Together in Kent area, including making appropriate arrangements for reviews, support and oversight.
They may invite the attendance of others with Ecumenical responsibility in the Churches Together in Kent area.
The person responsible for the Churches Together in Kent website shall be a member of the Enabling Group.
The County Ecumenical Officer shall service its meetings.

6. Finance

The financing of the work shall be by contributions from the member churches concerned, as recommended by Churches Together in Kent;
Further income may be generated from the activities of Churches Together in Kent and from seeking grant aid from appropriate outside bodies;
Churches Together in Kent may hold funds for ecumenical activities in Kent;
Bank accounts shall be maintained and the status of these accounts shall be reported regularly to the Church Leaders' Group and the Enabling Group;
The County Ecumenical Officer shall manage the finances of Churches Together in Kent under the supervision of the Co-Chairs and in co-operation with the Enabling Group.

7. Kent Christian Forum

The Kent Christian Forum will be held as a gathering for:
the celebration of our common mission in the Gospel;
the sharing of what we do together;
being a source of inspiration to all Christians
The Forum shall meet at least once in each calendar year.
There will be an open invitation for all to participate in the Forum.

8. The Annual General Meeting (AGM)

There will be an Annual General Meeting to:
receive reports
approve the independently-examined Accounts
elect the Vice-Chair of Churches Together in Kent
consider any other business previously notified
appoint an Independent Examiner of the Accounts
One of the Co-Chairs will act as Chair of The AGM.
The County Ecumenical Officer will act as Secretary of the AGM
Membership of the AGM shall be as follows:
Members of the Church Leaders' Group (or their representatives)
Members of the Enabling Group (or their representatives)
Local Churches/Christians Together Groups may appoint two members each (or their proxy), for a period of up to five years.
Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) may appoint two members each (or their proxy), for a period of up to five years.
The appointment of Kent representatives to the Churches Together in England Forum will be notified to the AGM.

9. Amendments to the Constitution

The above Constitution may be amended, as proposed by the Church Leaders' Group, and approved by a majority at the Annual General Meeting, or at a special meeting convened for this purpose.

3 March 2012

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