1st January 2007
the name of the Association is the National Unitarian Fellowship.
Subject to the matters set out below the Charity shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by the members of the Executive Committee constituted by Clause H of this constitution ("the Executive Committee").
The Object of the Charity is to promote religion within the understanding of the Unitarian tradition in particular but not exclusively by providing a channel of communication between people who value a free and positive approach in their quest for spiritual truth.
The Charity shall reach its membership by means of newsletters, discussion documents, the internet and other established resources.
In furtherance of the Object but not otherwise the Executive Committee may exercise the following powers:
- power to raise funds and receive donations, provided that the Executive Committee shall not undertake any substantial permanent trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law;
- power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the object or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;
- power to support any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for similar objects;
- power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the Object.
- Membership of the Charity shall be open to any person over the age of 16 years who is in agreement with its Object and has paid the annual subscription laid down from time to time by the Executive Committee.
- Every member shall have one vote.
- The Executive Committee may terminate the membership of any individual who is deemed not to be in agreement with the Object of the Charity or whose activities within the Charity are deemed to be detrimental to the good working and fellowship of the Charity, provided that the individual concemed shall have the right to put his/her case to the Executive Committee, supported by a friend, before a final decision is made.
- Honorary Officers;
- The Executive Committee shall, as required, elect a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and a Minister. Each of the Honorary Officers shall normally serve for a period of five years.
- The four Officers will not be eligible for re-election or election to the Executive Commission for a period of one year.
- Executive Committee:
- The Executive Committee will consist of the four Honorary Officers and eight ordinary members.
- The eight ordinary members shall be elected by the membership by postal voting and shall each serve for a period of three years.
- Ordinary members will not be eligible for re-election for a period of one year after their membership of the Executive Committee ceases.
- Members of the Executive Committee are always to act in compliance with Charity Commission law.
- The proceedings of the Executive Committee will be conducted by post or email on Committee Papers prepared and circulated by the Secretary. Simple majority rules will apply.
- In matters of extreme urgency the four Officers may make a decision without further consultation.
- A member of the Executive Committee shall cease to hold office if he or
- is disqualified from acting as a member of the Executive Committee by virtue of section 45 of the Charities Act 1992 (or any statutory reenactment or modification of that provision);
- becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder, illness or injury of managing and administering his or her own affairs;
- notifies a wish to the Executive Committee to resign (but only if at least four members of the Executive Committee will remain in office when the notice of resignation is to take effect). Members of the Executive committee not to be personally interested No member of the Executive Committee shall receive remuneration or be interested (other than as a member of the Executive Committee) in any contract entered into by the Executive Committee.
- Proceedings of the Executive Committee
- Since it is normally impracticable for the Executive Committee to meet, decisions shall be taken by correspondence on the basis of Committee Papers prepared and circulated by the Secretary as issues arise.
- Every issue shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Executive Committee, except that in any matters of urgency a decision may be taken by the four Officers without further consultation.
- Receipts and Expenditure
- The funds of the Charity, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into accounts operated by the Executive Committee in the name of the Charity at such bank as the Executive Committee shall from time to time decide. All cheques drawn on the account shall be signed by the Treasurer and either the President or the Secretary.
- The funds belonging to the Charity shall be applied only in furthering the Object.
The Executive Committee shall cause all investments held by or on behalf of the Charity to be vested in not less than three individuals appointed by them as holding trustees. Holding trustees may be removed by the Executive Committee at their pleasure and shall act in accordance with the lawful directions of the Executive Committee. Provided they act only in accordance with the lawful directions of the Executive Committee, the holding trustees shall not be liable for the acts and defaults of its members.
The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1992 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that Act) with regard to:
- the keeping of accounting records for the Charity;
- the preparation of annual statements of account for the Charity;
- the auditing or independent examination of the statements of account for the Charity;
- the transmission of the statement of account of the Charity to the Commissioners.
- Annual Report
The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1992 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of the Act) with regard to the preparation of an Annual Report and its transmission to the Commissioners.
- Annual Returns
The Executive Committee shall comply with their obligations under the Charities Act 1992 (or any statutory re-enactment or modification of that Act) with regard to the preparation of an annual return and its transmission to the Commissioners.
- Annual General Meeting
- There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Charity which shall be held in March or April.
- Every Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Executive Committee. The Secretary shall give at least 21 days notice of the Annual General Meeting to all members of the Charity. All the members of the Charity shall be entitled to attend and vote at the meeting.
- The Chairperson of the meeting shall be the President, or in his/her absence another member nominated by himlher for this purpose.
- The Executive Committee shall present to each Annual General Meeting the Report and Accounts of the Charity for the preceding year.
- The Secretary or other person specially appointed by the Executive Committee shall keep a full record of proceedings at every general meeting of the Charity.
- Any notice to be served on any member of the Charity shall be in writing and shall be served by the Secretary or the Executive Committee on any member either personally or by sending it through the post in a prepaid letter addressed to such a member at his or her last known address and any letter so sent shall be deemed to have been received within 10 days of posting.
- Alterations to Constitution
- Subject to the following provisions of this clause the Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of members voting by post.
- No amendment may be made to Clause A, Clause C, Clause I, this Clause and Clause S without the prior consent in writing of the Commissioners.
- No amendment may be made which would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity at law.
- The Executive Committee shall promptly send to the Commissioners a copy of any amendment made under this clause.
If the Executive Committee decides that it is necessary or desirable to dissolve the Charity it shall give not less than 28 days notice in writing stating the terms of the proposed resolution. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those voting by post the Executive Committee shall have the power to realise any assets held on behalf of the Charity. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any debts and liabilities shall be transferred to the British and Foreign Unitarian Association to be used for the benefit of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in the first place for the benefit of a similar constituency as the Charity and afterwards as the General Assembly may determine.