Aylesbury Seventh-day Adventist Church is part of a world-wide organisation whose head office (the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists) is located in Maryland, USA. The church is a part of the South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Watford, England.
Structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
With a membership of over 17 million world wide the Seventh-day Adventist Church consists of four layers:
- General Conference (GC) Is split into 13 Divisions world-wide
- Trans European Division (TED) The Trans-European Division is comprised of 22 European countries.
- British Union Conference (BUC) The British Union Conference comprises North England Conference, South England Conference, Irish Mission, Scottish Mission and Welsh Mission.
- South England Conference (SEC) Watford Town, is one of over 200 churches located in the South England Conference.
The local church structure is as follows:-
The most prominent church office is that of the pastor or minister. The position of church pastor is not elected by the local church, but rather appointed by a local conference. When the minister transfers to the local church for pastoralship he also transfers his membership to that local congregation. The pastor works with the head elder of the church and is responsible for guiding the church's spiritual direction, chairing the church board and leading out in services.
Working with the pastor in the local church is the elder who is appointed by the local church and ordained by the local pastor. The elder is a religious leader in the local church and is able to conduct ordinances. The elder, or elders (who are led by a "head elder"), is largely responsible for the running of the church and the distribution of responsibility in the church.
The deacon, like the elder, is an elected and ordained role. The deacon's primary roles are the assistance in running of services, the visitation of members, the care of the sick, and the maintenance of church property.
The deaconess holds a similar position to a deacon. The duties of a deaconess are very similar to the deacon, with particular emphasis placed on assistance in running certain services, and care of the sick and others in need.
The clerk is an elected position, and is responsible for the keeping of church records. The clerk facilitates the addition and removal of members from church records at the request of the church and helps with the generation of church reports to be presented to the conference.
The treasurer is an elected position responsible for the management of church funds. The treasurer is responsible for keeping accurate accounts and the safeguarding of the finances of the local church.
There are several other elected positions in the local church depending on the size of the congregation. All roles and responsibilities can be found in the Church Manual