Section One


This Booklet had its beginnings with a recognition by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia that with the changes in the composition of the nation and the coming into the Church of those with little prior knowledge of Australian Presbyterianism and its Scottish and Reformed heritage, there was an increasing need for a simplified statement explaining the constitution and some of the basic procedures of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.

Of course, no simplified summary or introduction can take the place of the formal documents which provide the constitution of the Church. These remain the sixty-six Books of the Bible, the Westminster Confession of Faith as amended by the General Assembly of Australia, read in the light of the Declaratory Statement contained in the Basis of Union as adopted by the Church on 24 th July, 1901, and the various other General Assembly of Australia and State constitutions and rules commonly referred to as the Standing Orders and Codes . In all formal matters, the wording in these documents must be the basis for any decisions.

Nevertheless, it is the hope and prayer of the Code Committee of the General Assembly of Australia that elders, members and adherents will be encouraged to understand more of the structure of the Church beyond their local congregation and something of how the Church to which they belong functions. As this understanding grows, it is hoped that there will be a greater sense of unity and prayerfulness for the work of evangelism to which Christ has called the universal Church.