Based on a model constitution prepared by the National Churches Trust and approved by the Charity Commission, HMRC and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date of Constitution: 22nd June 2016

The charity’s name is: Friends of Holnest Church

To help conserve, maintain, and improve the fabric, furnishings and fittings of:The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holnest, and to,
1) support the upkeep of the building and its grounds;
2) foster public interest in the building and its grounds.

The trust shall be managed by a committee of trustees who are appointed at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), of the charity.

In order to carry out the charitable purposes, the trustees have the power to:
1) raise funds, receive grants and donations and collect annual subscriptions;
2) apply funds to carry out the work of the charity;
3) ensure that all projects meet the requirements of all statutory obligations;
4) co-operate with and support other charities with similar purposes; and
5) do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes.

The membership of the charity shall be open to anyone, over the age of 18, interested in helping the group achieve its aims and will abide by the rules of the group. Once accepted by the trustees membership lasts for one year and is subject to an annual membership fee. Membership may be renewed on an annual basis and trustees will maintain an up-to-date membership list. The trustees may remove a person’s membership if they believe it is in the best interests of the charity. The member has the right to be heard by the trustees before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend.

1) the AGM must be held every year, with 14 days notice given to all members telling them what is on the agenda. Minutes must be kept of the AGM;
2) there must be at least 4 members present at the AGM;
3) every member has one vote, or, in the case of family membership, each family has one vote;
4) the trustees shall present the annual report and accounts;
5) any member may stand for election as a trustee; and
6) members shall elect between 3 and 10 trustees to serve for the next year. They will retire at the next AGM but may stand for re-election.

1) trustees must hold at least 3 meetings each year. At their first meeting after the AGM they will elect a chair, treasurer and secretary. Trustees may act by majority decision;
2) at least 3 trustees must be present at the meeting to be able to take decisions. Minutes shall be kept for every meeting;
3) if trustees have a conflict of interest they must declare it and leave the meeting while the matter is being discussed or decided;
4) during the year, the trustees may appoint up to two additional trustees. They will stand down at the next AGM; and
5) the trustees may make reasonable additional rules to help run the charity. These rules must not conflict with this constitution or the law.

1) money and property must only be used for the charity’s purposes;
2) trustees must keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request;
3) trustees cannot receive any money or property from the charity, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses; and
4) money must be held in the charity’s bank account. All cheques must be signed by two trustees.

If the trustees consider it is necessary to change the constitution, or wind up the charity, they must call a General Meeting so that the membership can make the decision. Trustees must also call a General Meeting if they receive a written request from the majority of members. All members must be given 14 days notice and told the reason for the meeting. All decisions require a two thirds majority. Meetings must be minuted.

1) Winding up – any money or property remaining after payment of debts must be given to a charity with similar purposes to this one;
2) Changes to the Constitution – can be made at AGMs or General Meetings. No change can be made that would make the organisation no longer a charity;
3) General Meeting – called on written request from a majority of members; and
4) Trustees may also call a General Meeting to consult the membership.

This constitution was adopted on 22nd June 2016 by the people whose signatures appear [on the constitution document]. They are the first members of the charity and will be the trustees until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date.