Sound church governance important

We thank Mr Liu Fook Thim for his feedback ("Develop framework to curb misuse of church funds"; last Saturday).

The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) is a voluntary fellowship of churches, hence, it does not have executive authority over its members.

Churches may withdraw from membership at any time.

The main role of NCCS is to facilitate good working relationships among Protestant churches in their mission and ministry, to consolidate Christian views and responses to major issues in the public square, to encourage member churches in their social and national responsibilities, and to contribute to inter-religious harmony.

NCCS has no jurisdiction over the governance or workings of individual churches, a point acknowledged by the writer.

There are legal frameworks already in existence in our society that empower appropriate agencies to step in when there are perceived wrongdoings.

In the light of the City Harvest case, we have emphasised to our member churches the care and attention that must be given to sound governance.

Where there is reason for disquiet, we encourage members of churches to raise issues of concern within their own communities first, and to utilise their internal provisions for sound governance and corrective actions.

If there are possible criminal implications, then it is valid to report the matter to the state authorities.

NCCS will do its best in an advisory capacity and facilitating role for member churches, and will continue to seek and promote the welfare of our city-nation.

Ngoei Foong Nghian (Rev Dr)
General Secretary
National Council of Churches of Singapore

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2015, with the headline 'Sound church governance important'. Print Edition | Subscribe