Church Membership Procedure
Revised April 2017.
About our Church
The Memorial Church (Unitarian) Cambridge (‘The Church’) is an independent, democratic, selfgoverning, self-financing religious community. Its governing body is the church committee, which is elected by the church members. The Church is founded on an ʻopen trust’ which imposes no doctrinal tests upon either its ministers or its members.
The Church’s ethos is outlined in its ‘Covenant’, which says that ‘we meet in the love of truth and in the spirit of Jesus for the worship of God and the service of humankind’.
The Church co-operates with other like-minded congregations through its affiliation to the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches (‘General Assembly) whose constituent congregations, societies and individual members unite in a spirit of mutual sympathy, tolerance and respect. The General Assembly recognises the worth and dignity of all people and their freedom to believe as their consciences dictate; and holds that truth is best served where the mind and conscience are free. The General Assembly’s ‘Object’ is: To promote a free and enquiring religion through the worship of God and the celebration of life; the service of humanity and respect for all creation; and the upholding of the liberal Christian tradition; encourage and unite in fellowship with bodies which uphold the religious liberty of their members, unconstrained by the imposition of creeds; affirm the liberal religious heritage and learn from the spiritual, cultural and intellectual insights of all humanity.
Friends of the church are those who have asked to have their names added to the Church’s mailing list. They receive regular updates about news and events related to the church, including copies of the church newsletter, either in print form or by email.
Members of the church are those who, after a discussion with the Minister and/ or Chairman, and by agreement of the church committee, have signed the church membership book.
Anyone who has been attending services at the Church for six months may apply to become a member.
People transferring their membership from another Unitarian Church may be accepted as members without waiting six months on the recommendation of their previous church.
Although Members are not asked at assent to any specific credal statements, they are expected to be in sympathy with Unitarian values as expressed in the ‘Covenant’ of this Church and in the ‘Object’ of the General Assembly.
By becoming a Member of the Church, you are making a commitment to contribute to Church life by taking part in worship services and other Church events; to offer your skills, abilities, knowledge and time to help ensure that the Church can flourish; to contribute financially according to your means to the work of the church and the upkeep of its buildings and the support of its ministry.
When deciding on their financial contributions for the work of the Church, Members are asked to bear in mind that a quota payment (£35 per member in 2016) is made to the General Assembly annually. Members receive regular updates about news and events related to the church, including copies of the church newsletter, either in print form or by email
Members of the Church share a responsibility for the running of the Church and deciding its priorities, plans and projects, by having a vote at Church business meetings. They are eligible to stand for election to serve on the Church committee, or as its Officers (i.e. Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer).
The church’s membership list shall be kept up-to-date on a regular basis.
Once a year, the Minister, Chairman and Treasurer shall review the list of members for the purpose of deciding our quota payment to the General Assembly. The quota shall be paid for all Members and Friends who have made a financial contribution to the Church greater than the current year’s General Assembly quota.
New Members will be welcomed into the congregation at a Membership service once a year.
A Member may resign his or her membership, by notifying the Minister or Chairman of the Church in writing. Former members are welcome to continue on the Church mailing list as Friends.
If a Member fails to attend services for a period of six months without having given prior notification of being unable to do so, or ceases to contribute in any way to the running of the church, the committee has the right to withdraw his or her membership. If a Member’s conduct or opinions are not in sympathy with Unitarian values as expressed in the Covenant of this Church and in the ‘Object’ of the General Assembly, his or her membership may be withdrawn. The member will be contacted before a decision is taken and shall have the right of appeal.
Approved by Church AGM, 23 April 2017.