Re-statement of site purpose 20 March 2011


Now that this site has been in existence since September 2010 and widely read since January 2011 we feel it is time to re-state our purpose.


Since this site began there has been a lot of other online activity relating to Struthers Memorial Church. We welcome the public debate as it connects in a way that is proving valuable to many people who are in contact with us. We state again - we want to understand what the leadership of SMC have as their teachings and beliefs.


We have never been seeking a meeting with the leadership as part of this exercise - though we have all done that many times in the past. We are not seeking to know any more what SMC leaders may or may not say to us in private. We are only asking to know what can be shared in public.


We do not believe that who we are is the issue. We want to know what the SMC leadership can share with anybody, whoever they are, about their teachings and beliefs.


We think that if anyone has sought to characterise this kind of questioning as an attempt to destroy the church, that is irresponsible. We simply think it is right for us to be able to ask a public charity questions. We think it is right for the charity leadership to recognise the rights of people to ask about their beliefs and ask about issues which have caused them pain and difficulty in the past. It is an unfortunate habit of the SMC leadership to see something like this, and other sites about SMC, and claim to see in them many conspiracies and things which are not, in reality, there. Can we ask that they now deal with what is in front of them.  



It is our hope and intention to take this website offline as soon as possible. That can be easily acomplished. For example:


  • If the banning policy is made public the article asking about it becomes redundant


  • If the childcare policies - especially the guidelines issued to those working in the church with regard to praying with children  - can be publicly examined, then questions from the past can be evaluated against it and we will know whether mistakes were made or not.


  • If the policy and practice is that leaders stay in post until death, that would be surprising, but if that was shared publicly, then clearly pointless for us to be asking about.



Please believe it is the truth when we say that the reason we are highlighting these things is that we are genuinely concerned. That concern has only increased since this website started for 2 reasons:


  1. the many concerning testimonies now online which were not known of last September and which share many of our concerns. We do not dismiss these. These are real people sharing pain and hurt and we take them very seriously.


  1. the continuing lack of official answers - which we anticipated, but the real reasons for which, we and others can still only speculate on .



There is a solution to all of this which has been at the heart of what we have been asking for from the start. We believe there needs to be a document outlining the beliefs and teachings of Struthers Memorial Church, that people can read and formally agree to before they will be expected to come under its conditions.


This would ensure no one again would misunderstand what they were getting involved with when they started attending meetings at SMC. They would know from their earliest days, in whatever branch, the form and detail of the teachings and obligations they were coming under; and the responsibilities of the leadership towards them. If this existed we could avoid the one most repeated complaint about SMC - that people did not realise what rules and controls they were coming under until they were told they were under obligation to observe them or be in rebellion.




So we restate - we believe there needs to be a publicly available “Requirements of Membership” document outlining the beliefs and teachings of Struthers Memorial Church that people can read, ask questions about and consent to before they will be expected to come under its conditions.




We also believe that such a document would greatly help those with unresolved issues about SMC from the past.


We also believe such a document would have a healthy effect in that it would inevitably and rightly put in place boundaries and consistent limits on what leaders can say to, and expect of, members.


If that existed there would be no reason for this website to exist. We think this suggestion is reasonable and it is intended to be helpful.


Whether it ever happens is not in our power to decide but people will be rightly astonished and alarmed that such a document does not already exist.