Struthers Memorial Church and the Website Admission
Since this website began we have indicated that if Struthers Memorial Church were to clarify any of the issues we have raised over the last 5 years; and seek to make public information that made its practices, teachings and beliefs clearer we would welcome that. It has always been our view that people should be free to choose to attend SMC, or not to attend, but that they should have available to them from the start all the information they would need to understand what is going on in the church and its associated groups.
While we never held out much hope that the Struthers leadership would do this -
Perhaps they will report their findings to the waiting public at some point. Struthers have publicly stated the following:
The Directors are in regular communication with OSCR and will comply with any appropriate recomendations from the regulator following completion of the review.
(2013 Report and Accounts page 2)
Those formerly involved with this charity will be very interested to know what those recommendations turn out to be.
Presumably as a result of OSCR requiring it -
Good and about time.
So as we note progress (or at the very least some change) we feel at liberty to comment.
What Struthers claims to be and what Struthers is...
When the Struthers charitable company was set up on 19 December 2007 it set out in
its publicly available “articles of association” its aims -
The articles of association on page 6 say:
The structure of the company consists of
(a) the MEMBERS who have the right to attend the annual general meeting (and any extraordinary general meeting) and have important powers under the articles of association and the Companies Acts, in particular, the members take decisions in relation to changes in the articles themselves.
(b) the DIRECTORS who hold regular meetings in the period between annual general meetings, and generally control and supervise the activities of the company, in particular, the directors are responsible for monitoring the financial position of the company
The revised Struthers church website on the page “ABOUT”
Before 2007 the church was led by an Executive Council and each branch kept an up-
If people read that as 2 separate ways of operating that would not surprise us.
It is hard not to be sceptical about the pretence that the directors will give people in the church access to membership in the way the articles of association claim.
Membership of the company shall be open to any individual having a special interest in the work of the company and who has been nominated for membership by two directors of the company (page 7)
We long ago asked for a clarification of what constituted a “member” in Struthers.
The confusing use is of the term “members” in these articles of association; and
the contradictory use in each year's Report and Accounts which implied membership
was open to many -
The new website makes it very clear – no one but the 5 directors is a member of Struthers church. All powers, rights and privileges of membership belong only to them.
Few people knowing how Struthers has operated over the last few decades would expect the now 5 directors to involve anyone who might “have an interest in the charity” by voting them into a position of “membership” i.e. sharing power and widening the decision making base by giving them a genuine say in the way the charity works.
But is it more sadly typical still to see the website not only downplay any chance
of members being elected and responsibility (sorry power) be shared; but then to
indicate that even the 5 directors are not actually exercising the claimed joint
leadership at all -
In spite of what a sensible, normal person who can understand plain English might
believe by actually reading the Struthers articles of association -
So we ask the Struthers Directors -
Could it be that even the Struthers directors doubt that an organisation that sought
to gain the benefits of being a charity might not get them if it was honest about
its being set up and run for over a generation in the form of a hereditary monarchy?
Or, if you prefer, an elective dictatorship? Or perhaps -
Better yet let the Struthers leadership tell us, It was often said “the church is
not a democracy” Well – to be fair -
Whatever you choose to call it -
Before anyone tries to argue that it is okay if the person is, for the sake of argument, a sweet harmless old lady, we would strongly recommend reading the comments of the 50+ people who have posted and shared their experiences of how this form of church government worked for them in practice. Their testimonies are on the Struthers Church discussion forum. http://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?14,11374,page=139
Still needed -
So in conclusion -
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.
Further we do not think it is unreasonable for the public to expect consistent information between the Struthers key founding document and its main public website.
Struthers Memorial Church -
If you think that is the only way to ensure the growth and expansion of the Struthers
Churches then say so. (We will still be free -
If you believe the checks and balances required by the New Testament to be irksome
to your freedom to do what you like as leaders, and that God has told the original
People will find out eventually.
We all did.