Shire & Soke
Churches Together in Northamptonshire and Peterborough
The Council (formerly the Northamptonshire Ecumenical Council, later Churches Together in All Northamptonshire, merged with Greater Peterborough Ecumenical Council) shall be known as "Shire & Soke - Churches Together in Northamptonshire & Peterborough".
Shire & Soke unites in pilgrimage those churches in the county of Northamptonshire and the Peterborough area, which acknowledge God's revelation in Christ, confess the name of 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 one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
a)To promote and seek by prayer and other appropriate ways the fullness of unity in the church founded by Jesus Christ;
b)To promote and encourage all appropriate forms of local ecumenism;
c) To support, encourage and assist all present and future Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs);
d)To act as the sponsoring body of LEPs where appropriate;
e)To act in a consultative and pastoral relationship with those working in LEPs;
f)To offer advice to the appointing authority on all appointments in such LEPs;
To negotiate the financial arrangements of LEPs with participating denominations;
h)To ensure provision for the evaluation of each designated LEP;
i)To ensure that there is adequate negotiation with secular and ecclesiastical authorities over matters of planning and provision of sites and buildings;
j)To facilitate area-wide ecumenical involvement in such matters as local radio, chaplaincies etc;
k)To relate both at local and national level with existing and future ecumenical agencies, eg. Churches Together groups, Churches Together in England.
- a)The Church Leaders (or their nominees):
- The Bishop of Peterborough and the Bishop of Brixworth;
- The Regional Ministers of the Baptist Union;
- The Chair of the Northampton Methodist District;
- The Bishop of Northampton
- The Bishop of East Anglia
- The Moderator of the East Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church
- The Divisional Commanders of the Salvation Army.
- One Minister and one lay person from:
- the Church of England;
- the Baptist Association
- the Methodist church
- the Roman Catholic church
- the Church of Scotland
- the United Reformed Church
- the Salvation Army
- c)The two members from the Forum of Churches Together in England if not already members of the Council.
- d)One member from each of the properly constituted Churches Together groups and LEPs within the county of Northamptonshire and the Peterborough area.
- e)Those churches which are in full membership with Churches Together in England under article 3 of the Constitution of Churches Together in England, shall be entitled to be members of the Council of Shire & Soke.
- f)An invitation to membership or observer status may be offered to other Christian bodies as the Council shall determine.
a)Chair - elected by the Council for two years;
b)Vice-Chair - elected by the Council for two years;
c)Secretary - County Ecumenical Officer appointed by the Council;
d)Treasurer - elected by the Council for two years.
The Council shall normally meet three times in each year, of which the May meeting shall be the Annual General Meeting. An executive committee shall normally meet four times a year and shall be made up of the Chair, Vice-chair, CEO, Treasurer, denominational officers and such other persons as may be required.
The financing of the Council's operation shall be by contributions from the member churches and from subscriptions from Churches Together groups as determined by the Council
Amendments to this constitution must be approved by a simple majority of the Council and will only take effect from the next Annual General Meeting following.