Church of Tonga

CHURCH OF TONGA

Official Name : Church of Tonga / Siasi 'o Tonga

Head Office Location: ??

Current Leader: ??

Major Contact Details:??

The Church of Tonga is the second very traditional independent church in the Kingdom.

'It's self-understanding is more that of an autonomous local church than that of a Wesleyan Church'

Actually, there is no difference at all in the basic teachings, structure and style of the Church of Tonga and the Free Church of Tonga, all except that the Church of Tonga has got its own hymnbook ' different from that of the FCT.

The members of the CT are more like traditional. The members today are children and grandchildren of the first and the earlier members. The mid 70's showed a decrease in the numbers of members, but in representing about 7% of the population and their activities on all the inhabited islands of the Kingdom, as well as the Tongan communities overseas, the CT still plays a significant part in the coloured tapestry of Tonga's church life.

6% of all members are considered clergymen, with 300 pastors in Tonga and 70 pastors abroad.

Challenges are faced everyday. The CT's main challenge today is the need to adapt the Church to its members' requirements without giving up the traditions that were handed down by the founders. 'A major setback in a cautious policy of a greater openness was the decision in 1992 to leave the Tonga National Council of Churches.'

'The official reason was the perceived dominating and overly political influence on the Council of the Free Wesleyan and Roman Catholic Churches, and the financial contributions that must be paid as a member.'

Finances are indeed a problem encountered by the CT as a result of no support from outside the Church Body.