The Assembly includes celebration, inspiration, reflection and deliberation. It is the place where churches are directly represented through their delegates, alongside ministers and members of Council.
The Assembly is usually convened once a year in the form of the Baptist Assembly
event. These events are organised and run together with BMS World Mission and are open to all.
Each year, the Assembly reviews the life of the Union and BMS World Mission over the last 12 months, and receives updates on ongoing projects and areas of work. Some of this is done through formal plenary sessions, some through interactive seminars, workshops and gathering points. During the Assembly the President is inducted for the forthcoming year, and some formal business is carried out – the Treasurer is elected, new General Secretaries are appointed and any constitutional changes are voted upon. Sessions of the Assembly are open to everyone to attend, but only Members of the Assembly are able to vote. Members of the Assembly include people appointed as delegates by their churches, ministers and various other categories such as members of Council and officers of the Union. Click here for an extract of our constitution for more information on who is a member of the Assembly
As shown by the recent survey on Assembly
, there are a number of different expectations of Assembly! As we work towards our vision of growing healthy churches in relationship for God’s mission it is important that Assembly is place for everyone and fulfils a number of different roles:
To celebrate and give thanks for what God has achieved through the life and work of the churches and the instruments of the Union, and to be open to God’s prophetic word to us.
To express the unity, and affirm the identity, of the Baptist community within the Church Universal, thereby deepening the fellowship among us. As a gathering of covenanted churches, associations, colleges and ministers Assembly has an ecclesial reality as a focus of that covenant relationship.
To be the voice of the churches, associations and colleges together, providing the arena through which the churches can address the instruments of the Union and challenge them to respond to issues arising from the life of the churches. It does this not as a body of delegates expressing pre-mandated views, but as those who together seek to discern the mind of Christ. Nevertheless, it will do that all the more effectively if a process of discernment has also taken place prior to Assembly in the churches themselves.
To commission and pray for God’s blessing on those who undertake recognised roles and ministries, and who thereby enter into covenant relationship with the Union and its constituent members in a fresh way.
To express our ongoing commitment to, and desire to learn from, the activity of God in mission across the world. It does this in partnership with other Baptist bodies such as BMS World Mission, as well as BWA, EBF and in fellowship with the wider Christian community.