The Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC) is the largest religious denomination in the Cook Islands. It has approximately 10,000 members or residents who associate themselves with the church, out of the total Cook Islands population of 18,000. The church also has congregations in New Zealand and Australia.
The CICC Act 2003 (revised, 2015) stipulates the foundation of the church to be as follows:
Jesus Christ is the foundation and head of the church.
The church believes the Bible to be the inspired word of God and thereby follows its teachings.
The Act confirms the main purpose and belief of the church, which is practising the teachings of Jesus Christ and worshipping the Lord.
The Bible outlines the purpose of our faith which has been confirmed my many generations of Christians since the beginning of time. We believe that God created the world and all that is within including man, and that his underlying purpose is for us all to become his own children. He came into this world through his son Jesus Christ, lived, died and rose again so that we shall have salvation through Him. He continues to work through the Holy Spirit to bring mankind into his kingdom.
We believe that through faith, mankind will receive salvation, by repenting of his sins and trespasses, and through God’s grace for those who come to him. The resurrection of those saved in Christ, is dependent on complete faith in him and adhering to his commands and wishes as stipulated in the Bible.
We believe that God is calling his own people to build his church, to worship him, and to spread the Good News about is kingdom through preaching and works until the end of time. That will be the time the Messiah will rule over the whole world
Vision & Goals
The vision of the CICC is to worship and serve God, and to make Jesus known to all people. This was confirmed by the Executive Council in 2006, and endorsed by the CICC General Assembly in 2007.
It shall be the sacred duty of the church to seek for the attainment and fulfilment of God’s Will through the following goals:
To preach salvation
To provide a means of worship
To provide religious fellowship
To hold up moral stands as stipulated in the Bible
To promote the aims and objectives of organisations which have aims and objectives similar to those of the church
The CICC Act provides details on the above goals.
The London Missionary Society (LMS) introduced Christianity into the Cook Islands in 1821. In 1965 the LMS operations ended in the country which heralded in the creation of the Cook Islands Christian Church and assumed management of church activities formerly performed by the LMS. It has a constitution passed by Parliament in 1968, which was updated in 2003. A bicentennial committee was established by the CICC general assembly in 2009 to develop a programme of events leading up to the 200th anniversary of Christianity in the Cook Islands in 2021. This programme will be launched by the committee during the 29th general assembly of the CICC which will be held from 23 – 30 October 2011 in Aitutaki.
From its humble beginnings, the CICC now has 23 branches in the Cook Islands, 22 in New Zealand, 20 in Australia – and growing. The first CICC branch in NZ was established in 1978, and 1991 in Australia. The church employs 60 full-time pastors – one in each of its 60 branches - and another 10 are involved in church planting, and teaching at the Takamoa Theological College on Rarotonga. The church has partnership arrangements with; (i) the Pacific Conference of Churches, (ii) Uniting Church of Australia, (iii) Maohi Protestant Church of French Polynesia, (iv) Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, (v) Congregational Union of New Zealand, and (VI) Cook islands Presbyterian Fellowship of Melbourne. The church is a founding member of both the Pacific Conference of Churches and the Pacific Theological College.
The biennial general assembly is the overall decision-making body of the CICC. In-between the assemblies, a 11-member executive council manage the affairs of the church, including spearheading implementation of the resolutions passed by the assembly. The executive council comprises the president, general secretary, general treasurer, Takamoa College principal, legal adviser, regional representatives for the northern islands, southern islands, Rarotonga, New Zealand, Australia, and the committee of ministers. Renewal of office holders by the general assembly takes place every 4 years.
The CICC headquarters is based in the Mission House at Takamoa. The office is headed by the General Secretary who, by virtue of its constitution, is also the church’s Chief Executive Officer. Responsible to the executive council, he is the overall administrator of the church and has 3 full-time support staff.
First published in September 2005, the CICC produces a bi-monthly newsletter as a means of informing both its members and the general public, on events within the CICC family. It is distributed both electronically, and in printed form for those not accessible to the internet. The editor of the publication is the General Secretary of the CICC, Mr. Nga Mataio. The church also produces 2 annual publications for use in its 60 branches in the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australia. The Pure Epetoma is used during the special week-long service in the first week of January every year, while the Karere is used for fellowships on Sundays throughout the year. The Cook Islands Maori Bible in both soft and hard covers, and the Cook Islands Maori Hymn Book is available only in printed form from the CICC Headquarters in Rarotonga. Orders/enquiries can be forwarded to the General Secretary. These 2 publications are not available elsewhere. CDs on traditional hymns and Sunday School hymns, plus DVDs on special events such as Gospel Days, youth rallies, etc. are also available. Contact the Director of Publications for enquiries.
Other activities performed by the Publications Dept. can be found elsewhere on this website.
Contacts for more information
Enquiries on the individual church branches – please use the document “Contact Addresses of CICC Ministers and Officials” which can be found elsewhere on this website.
Enquiries on the church departments (youth, publications, social welfare, evangelism) – as above