What is Parish Membership?
All Orthodox Christians are members of the Church Community by virtue of their baptism. We can come and go to a church in any country around the world without anyone asking us if we are members.
In countries such as Australia, however, Church communities were required by the government to set up operation as legal entities according to corporate structures. And so, many, but not all Church Communities have been set up as Associations under Corporations Law.
Consequently, we need people to choose to step up to a higher level of involvement and sign up as financial members, elect a Board of Directors at an Annual General Meeting and operate based on a Constitution, i.e. Memorandum and Articles.
Everyone is welcome to apply for membership, although some conditions need to be met, such as being Orthodox Christian in the first place.
Membership provides someone with the right to vote, be elected and serve on the Board. This democratic structure at the local level is also reflected at a national level, with each parish-community being a member of a National Clergy-Laity Congress that determines the manner of governance of the greater family of churches, the Archdiocese of Australia. At a global level, our Parish and Archdiocese come under the spiritual care of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Church is no one’s property, yet it belongs to everyone. As people grow and mature spiritually, they come to a sense of responsibility, care and guardianship of an ancient and traditional communal body. We encourage you to sign up and do your bit!