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IXTHUS CHURCH COUNCIL RULES AND REGULATIONS
Membership and Licensing
The Ixthus Church Council (“ICC”) is comprised of member churches which have been admitted into membership. Member churches must satisfy the criteria for membership of ICC and agree to abide by its Constitution and Rules and Regulations. Each Member church must have at least one minister who is a Licensee of ICC.
A group of churches within a country or region, of the same confession, may choose to participate in ICC as one member.
The General Secretary shall maintain the official lists of Member churches that have been accepted into ICC, noting any special arrangement accepted by the Council Body.
A church that wishes to join ICC shall apply in writing to the General Secretary.
The General Secretary shall submit all such applications through the Council Body together with such information as he or she considers necessary to enable the Council Body to make a decision on the application.
Churches and Licensees applying to join ICC ("applicant churches") are required first to express agreement with the Basis of Faith on which it is founded and confirm their commitment to the Purposes and Functions of the Council as defined in article III of the Constitution.
Applicant churches should give an account of how their faith and witness relate to these norms and practices:
i. In its life and witness, the applicant church professes faith in the Triune God according to the scriptures, as is reflected in the Basis of Faith.
ii. The applicant church maintains a ministry of proclaiming the Gospel and celebrating the sacraments; the Holy Eucharist and Baptism.
iii. The applicant church recognises the presence and activity of Christ and the Holy Spirit outside its own boundaries and prays for the gift of God's wisdom to all in the awareness that other member churches also believe in the Holy Trinity and the saving grace of God.
i. The applicant church must produce evidence of sustained autonomous life and organisation.
ii. The applicant church must be able to take the decision to apply for formal membership in ICC and continue to belong to the fellowship of ICC without obtaining the permission of any other body or person.
iii. The applicant church must nominate at least one of its ordained Ministers to be licensed by ICC. If the applicant church does not have a minister recognised by an ordaining body, the proposed Licensee must apply for ordination under the auspices of ICC.
iv. The Licensee will be ICC’s first point of contact and will be responsible for ensuring the Member church understands the obligations and responsibilities of membership with ICC.
v. The applicant church must ordinarily have at least twenty-five members. The Council Body, for exceptional reasons, may dispense with this requirement and accept a church that does not fulfill the criteria of size.
vi. Applicant churches must recognise the essential interdependence of the Member churches belonging to ICC, being of the same confession, and should make every effort to practice constructive ecumenical relations with other churches within ICC.
Decision on Acceptance
The Council Body shall consider applications for membership according to the consensus model of decision making.
i Applicant churches must pass an initial assessment.
ii The application shall be accepted for a specified interim period of participation in the work of ICC. The Council Body shall assess thereafter and notify the applicant church the outcome of their application in becoming a new Member church. In the event that an application has been rejected, the applicant church can request feedback on the Council Body’s decision.
A Member church which desires to resign its membership in ICC can do so at any time. No further fees would be due and no refund will be payable by ICC.
Where a Licensee wishes to end their licence, another Minister of the Member Church must become a Licensee. In the absence of a licensed Minister, the Member church must resign its membership.
A Member church which has resigned but wishes to rejoin ICC must re-apply for membership for consideration by the Council Body.
VIII. Responsibilities of the Membership
Ixthus Church Council upholds and maintains high standards of service and witness and always refers to the Bible as ‘The Standard Bearer’. Therefore, the criteria set forth must be adhered to by its members and Licensees to enable it to fulfil its Purposes and Functions as set out in the Constitution.
a. The Member Church must be willing to be responsible and accountable to ICC and to abide by its Rules and Regulations. ICC will not interfere or dictate to the Member church in matters of its self-governance and management unless invited to do so or in the event that such matters contravene the ethos, Rules or Basis of Faith instituted by ICC.
b. Member churches must continue to represent a recognised congregational Church (individuals are not included).
c. Financial Commitment;
• An Annual Subscription shall be paid to ICC by each Member church not less than such amount or amounts that the Council shall from time to time determine.
• An Annual Subscription shall be paid to ICC by each Licensee not less than such amount or amounts that the Council shall from time to time determine.
• Subscriptions for each year shall fall due on the anniversary of the member church’s joining of ICC.
• Any member church or Licensee whose subscription is more than one year in arrears shall be reported to the Council Body who will consider its on-going commitment to membership.
d. A Member church must regularly attend bi-annual ICC conferences demonstrating its ongoing unity with Member churches and commitment to the Vision of ICC as laid out in its Purposes and Functions.
e. The church is expected to maintain regular communications with ICC for the purpose of continued and healthy relations.
f. We reserve the right to revoke church membership and ministers’ licences under ICC should the membership criteria not be upheld or the Rules and Regulations not be adhered to.
g. A Member church or Licensee cannot make or exercise a decision on behalf of ICC without the prior notification and written approval of the International President.
h. A Member church or any of their associations cannot act or engage in any capacity in the name of or on behalf of ICC without providing prior notification and written approval from the International President. The International President’s decisions are conclusive.
i. The Member church is expected to uphold ecclesiastical protocol at all times and without exception.
j. The Member church is responsible for their adherence to their national laws.
k. Churches in the UK are required to take all necessary measures to safeguard vulnerable people including by undertaking DBS checks on all those that may work with such individuals.
l. Churches in the UK must take the necessary action to comply with the GDPR.
m. Member churches have a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable people from being misguided or mislead and ICC expect all those who hold a ministerial licence to conduct themselves accordingly. Any abuse of this nature can result in the revoking of your licence and your membership with ICC without appeal.
Ministerial Ordinations and Consecrations
Applicants for Ordination
The following criteria are required for the Ordination of a Reverend under the auspices of ICC.
a. Each application for Ordination must be made via the General Secretary which will then be reviewed and considered by the Council Body.
b. Applicants for ordination must already be in pastoral ministry overseeing a congregation and evidence the same with members who are committed to fully supporting their Pastor/Leader. Alternatively the applicant must be a Pastor assisting an Overseer’s congregation. If it is the latter, the applicant must enclose with their application form a letter of intent from their Overseer, putting them forward to be ordained.
c. Applicants for Ordination must submit a minimum of two written references. References must be from confirmed Ministers or a person of good standing within the community. All references must be written on official letterheads, signed by the referee and returned to ICC’s Head Office.
d. Upon the successful review of the application the General Secretary will contact the candidate to arrange payment of fees.
e. Once all fees have been fully settled, a suitable date will be set for the ordination.
Applicants for Consecration
The following criteria are required for the Consecration of a Bishop under the auspices of ICC.
a. Firstly, a Bishop must be chosen; secondly, a Bishop must be placed; thirdly, he or she must be made a Bishop. An applicant cannot nominate themselves.
b. A Planning Committee must be in place on behalf of the Bishop Elect. The Planning Committee will be responsible for organising the Bishop Elect’s application and will liaise with the General Secretary throughout the application process. The contact details of the person or persons in charge of the Planning Committee must be submitted to the General Secretary.
c. Each application for Consecration must be made via the General Secretary of Ixthus Church Council which will then be reviewed and considered by the Council Body;
d. A Letter of Intent, written and signed by the Elders of the applicant’s Church, stating why they are putting them forward to be consecrated, must be provided to the General Secretary;
e. Each candidate for Consecration must present with their application a portfolio outlining the work they have been involved in which will then be reviewed by the ICC Council Body;
f. Applicants for Consecration must submit a minimum of five references stating their association with the applicant and why they think the applicant should be eligible for consecration into the office of Bishop. References must be by confirmed Ministers with at least one from a person of good standing within the community. All references must be written on official letterheads and signed by the referee.
g. Upon the successful review of the application, the General Secretary will contact the committee to arrange the payment of fees, which will mainly be the consecration fee and the notice fee. Further, candidates and members of their planning committee will be invited to meet with the International President of ICC to discuss and finalise a date for the consecration.
h. In order for the Office to be recognised in the UK, a Notice will appear in The London Gazette prior to the Consecration, and any objections must be received in writing to ICC within 67 days of the Notice appearing in The London Gazette.
Three Bishops are required to take part in the officiation of the consecration of a Bishop-Elect, in accordance with all vestment procedures and protocol.
All memberships, ordinations and consecrations are awarded from London, where the International President will sign the awarded Certificate, with the Chapter President of the relevant jurisdiction countersigning.
All ministers/bishops must undertake their office in line with the biblical principles of their office in terms of character, witness and faith.
ICC reserves the right to reject any application for membership, Ordination or Consecration at its sole discretion. ICC reserves the right to terminate the membership or the offer of a membership, Ordination or Consecration at any time and at its sole discretion.