The Manual of Law, Practices and Procedures

Reformed Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa


The Bantu Presbyterian Church of South Africa was formed in 1923, and its first 'General Assembly was held at Lovedale Missionary Institution under the moderatorship of Rev: William Stuart of Burnshill. I t at once became most essential that there should be a manual of law, practice and procedure to be followed for the proper conduct of the affairs of the Church which 'would serve as a guide to-all the courts of the Church and-herindividual members.

As the making up of such a book would take some time to complete, the General Assembly resolved to adopt the Manual of Practice and Procedure of the United Free Church of Scotland, until such time as it will write its own book.

In 1944 the Assembly decided to compile its own book of law, practice, and procedure, and appointed a committee to undertake the task. When this committee was working on this book it had the Manual oj Practice and Procedure, 1927 edition, used by the United Free Church of Scotland, before it.

The Bantu Presbyterian Church has been very fortunate in that it was so closely related to the United Free Church of Scotland a's its daughter and in that way it could enjoy the use of the 1927 edition of the United Free Churchof Scotland.

The Committee since its appointment has had to undergo many changes in its personnel, and as a result its work could not be quickly accomplished.
The main part of this book deals with the Kirk Session, Deacons' Court, the Congregation, the Presbytery, the General Assembly, Church Discipline, and . Church Procedure. Then follows a number of appendices of various types. These wilt
act as guides to the various types of Church Courts in carrying out their duties as such.

In 1954 General Assembly the draft work was sent down to all the congregations of the Church for their information and examination. in terms of the resolution under minute 2791 of 1954 Assembly.

In 1955 Assembly, under minute 2841, the draft was approved by the congregations unanimously. Then the Assembly appointed a special committee with certain powers to revise the draft, confer with Church of Scotland Publications' Committee, and to arrange for the publishing of the book, It is hoped that the book will prove a sufficient guide both to the Courts of the Church as well as to the individual members of the Church in the discharge of their duties. It is also hoped that each and every member of the Church will develop a habit of consulting the book whenever necessary. It is believed that if the little book is faithfully and conscientiously used a world of good will have been done for the Church.

The Committee now submit the result of their labours to the Church in the hope that, with God's guidance, the Church will benefit by it.

September 1958. D. V. SIKUTSHWA, Convener

The Church Manual (Download as pdf)

The Church Manual