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Manual of The Mother Church/The Mother Church and Branch Churches



Article XXIII.

Local Self-government. Section 1. The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, shall assume no general official control of other churches, and it shall be controlled by none other.

Each Church of Christ, Scientist, shall have its own form of government. No conference of churches shall be held, unless it be when our churches, located in the same State, convene to confer on a statute of said State, or to confer harmoniously on individual unity and action of the churches in said State.

Titles. Sect. 2. “The First Church of Christ, Scientist,” is the legal title of The Mother Church. Branch churches of The Mother Church may take the title of First Church of Christ, Scientist; Second Church of Christ, Scientist; and so on, where more than one church is established in the same place; but the article “The” must not be used before titles of branch churches, nor written on applications for membership in naming such churches.

Mother Church Unique. Sect. 3. In its relation to other Christian Science churches, in its By-Laws and self-government, The Mother Church stands alone; it occupies a position that no other church can fill. Then for a branch church to assume such position would be disastrous to Christian Science. Therefore, no Church of Christ, Scientist, shall be considered loyal that has branch churches or adopts The Mother Church's form of government, except in such cases as are specially allowed and named in this Manual.

Tenets Copyrighted. Sect. 4. Branch churches shall not write the Tenets of The Mother Church in their church books, except they give the name of their author and her permission to publish them as Tenets of The Mother Church, copyrighted in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Manual. Sect. 5. Branch churches shall not adopt, print, nor publish the Manual of The Mother Church. See Article XXXV, Sect. 1.

Organizing Churches. Sect. 6. A member of this Church who obeys its By-Laws and is a loyal exemplary Christian Scientist working in the Field, is eligible to form a church in conformity with Sect. 7 of this Article, and to have church services conducted by reading the Scriptures and the Christian Science textbook. This church shall be acknowledged publicly as a Church of Christ, Scientist. Upon proper application, made in accordance with the rules of The Christian Science Publishing Society, the services of such a church may be advertised in The Christian Science Journal. The branch churches shall be individual, and not more than two small churches shall consolidate under one church government. If the Pastor Emeritus, Mrs. Eddy, should relinquish her place as the head or Leader of The Mother Church of Christ, Scientist, each branch church shall continue its present form of government in consonance with The Mother Church Manual.

Requirements for Organizing Branch Churches. Sect. 7. A branch church of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., shall not be organized with less than sixteen loyal Christian Scientists, four of whom are members of The Mother Church. This membership shall include at least one active practitioner whose card is published in the list of practitioners in The Christian Science Journal.

Privilege of Members. Sect. 8. Members in good standing with The Mother Church, who are members of the faculty, instructors, or students in any university or college, can form and conduct a Christian Science organization at such university or college, provided its rules so permit. Also members in good standing with The Mother Church, who are graduates of said university or college, may become members of the organization by application to, and by the unanimous vote of, the active members present, if the rules of the university or college so permit. When called for, a member of the Board of Lectureship may lecture for said university or college organization.

No Close Communion. Sect. 9. The Mother Church and the branch churches shall not confine their membership to the pupils of one teacher.

No Interference. Sect. 10. A member of The Mother Church may be a member of one branch Church of Christ, Scientist, or of one Christian Science society holding public services, but he shall not be a member of both a branch church and a society; neither shall he exercise supervision or control over any other church. In Christian Science each branch church shall be distinctly democratic in its government, and no individual, and no other church shall interfere with its affairs.

Teachers' and Practitioners' offices. Sect. 11. Teachers and practitioners of Christian Science shall not have their offices or rooms in the branch churches, in the reading-rooms, nor in rooms connected therewith.

Recognition. Sect. 12. In order to be eligible to a card in The Christian Science Journal, churches and societies are required to acknowledge as such all other Christian Science churches and societies advertised in said Journal, and to maintain toward them an attitude of Christian fellowship.