COMPLAINTS Procedure

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

MATTHEW 18:15-17


Hope Church Sutton wants to take the matter of sin and injustice within the church seriously, as does the Bible. Always, the main aim of a complaints procedure is restoration of a broken relationship.

Jesus tells us in Matthew ch18, that the first port of call in a complaints procedure is to speak to the person whom you have the complaint against. They may realise their error and apologise. They may explain their actions and you realise you have made a mistake yourself. Either way, it is right and fair to give the person a chance to explain themselves.

Secondly, if that does not work, you ask a couple of wise people at church what they think. Their objective wisdom may help you see your complaint is not reasonable. Or, if they agree with your complaint, they can go with you to the person you have the complaint against and, together with those others, perhaps that person will now listen to your complaint.

If that fails, then with much patience and desire to restore the relationship, do come and speak to the elders or pastors and they shall intervene. In cases where even the elders cannot broker restoration and justice, then various sanctions can be imposed up to excommunication (which is extremely rare). Always, at each stage, there is patience and a desire for restoration.

Finally, you may have a complaint against an elder or staff member. At Hope Church Sutton, we encourage a culture of respect, honesty and openness.  We always strive to care for individuals and to serve everybody - without discrimination - in a way that will please and honour our Lord Jesus.  However, we will sometimes make mistakes and we realise that may be painful for those affected.  If you have any concerns or complaints about any member of our church staff or one of our church elders, please will you let them know personally?  They would love the opportunity to discuss those concerns, to learn from any mistakes made and to preserve the unity of the church.

If the staff member involved does not address your concerns, then please let us know by contacting Mark Fossey or Tim Saunders (senior pastors) or one of the elders.  However, if you continue to have concerns, Hope Church is part of The Co-Mission Churches Trust and you should follow the procedures outlined in their Complaints Procedure (see link here).