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YORK INTERFAITH GROUP CONSTITUTION


1. The organisation is known as York Interfaith Group

2. Aims: York Interfaith Group (YIG) aims to foster good relationships, mutual understanding, harmonious social activities and unifying actions among people of all faiths and beliefs.

3. Objectives: York Interfaith Group will:
a) be a forum for communication between faith groups; b) demonstrate the ability and desire to discuss matters pertaining to faith and become a unified group through shared concerns; c) foster positive attitudes (engendering trust, overcoming ignorance and prejudice), within and between faith groups and in the wider, secular world; d) enable people of different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to meet, and, to experience as far as possible the backgrounds, beliefs and cultures of others. e) promote the aims of the Interfaith Network at a local level in the city of York and surrounding area including developing respectful relationships which do not blur or undermine the distinctiveness of different faith traditions. f) work with other groups with similar aims, sharing best practice.

4. Membership;
Attendance at York Interfaith Group events is open to all and anyone who asks may receive an electronic copy of the monthly newsletter. Membership of York Interfaith Group will be open to all those who wish to further the declared aims of York Interfaith Group. All membership is subject to acceptance by the Management Committee. (For various membership options see appendix A.)

5. Structure of York Interfaith Group:
There shall be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) at which a Management Committee (MC) will be appointed from within the subscribing members of York Interfaith Group. The Management Committee will consist of: - a Chairperson; a Vice-Chairperson; a Secretary; a Treasurer, Communication & Publicity Officer and other named officers and members as deemed necessary, not exceeding 9. (For roles and responsibilities of the Management Committee officers see appendix B.). The Management Committee is responsible for preparing the list of nominees from the membership of York Interfaith Group for the AGM. Nominations for members of the Management Committee are to be submitted to the Secretary at or before the York Interfaith Group meeting at list one month prior to the AGM with a reminder that each faith group is entitled to nominate at least one member. In the event of no nominations being submitted from the membership for specific posts on the Management Committee, the incumbent officers would be invited, if they wished, to be re-elected at the AGM to serve provisionally for another year. Once a new management committee is elected if there are still positions unfilled then the said committee would try to find new people to fill the posts. If new people are found these would be voted in at an EGM.

  • The Management Committee meetings should be held at least four times a year
  • The Management Committee meetings will be Chaired by the elected Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or an agreed deputy.
  • All paid-up members shall be notified of an AGM at least 21 days in advance and shall be eligible to attend and to vote. This includes the option of a postal vote (see section 10)
  • A quorum for Committee meetings should be one half of its members plus one.

6. Sub-Committees/Working Groups:
The Management Committee can, where necessary, set up a small working group or sub-committee for a specific purpose. At least one member of the Management Committee should be present within the sub-committee / working group.

7. Open Meetings:
York Interfaith Group regularly holds a number of open meetings each year, according to a programme agreed by the Management Committee, with suggestions taken from York Interfaith Group members. These Meetings will be Chaired by a nominated York Interfaith Group member. In the case of their absence it will then be chaired by a York Interfaith Management Committee member. York Interfaith Group will organise a programme of various public events during the National Interfaith Week.

8. Finances

  • York Interfaith Group has a bank account in its name. Signatories for cheques to be any two of four members of the management committee or as otherwise agreed by the management committee.
  • Accounts are to be audited either internally by two committee members or by an accountant approved at the previous AGM and presented at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Funding for a programme of meetings and events is to be agreed by the Management Committee and where necessary, grants will be applied for.
  • Subscriptions from members will be required; the level of these to be reviewed and approved at the Annual General Meeting.

9. Changes in the Constitution:
Changes to be made only at the AGM or at a meeting called for the purpose (of making changes) for which 21 days advance notice has been given of the meeting and the proposed changes. The changes should be agreed by two thirds of members who vote, before they can be written into the constitution.

10. Methods of voting
York Interfaith Group members are eligible to vote at all meetings called by the Management Committee for the purpose of making any changes. Proposed changes will be sent to all members in advance of any meeting. Those members who wish to vote but will be absent on the date of an Annual General Meeting (AGM), Emergency or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) or Special General Meeting (SGM) may submit a postal or email vote to the secretary before the meeting.

11. Appeals / Conflict / Disciplinary Procedure
In the event of any formal written complaint, grievance or matter requiring disciplinary action being brought to the attention of the Management Committee, the said committee will convene to deal with the complaint within 28days. Should the complaint, grievance or matter requiring disciplinary action concern a member of the Management Committee that person will not take part in that meeting but may make any submissions to it. If the matter cannot be resolved within the group it should be resolved with the assistance of a mediator and in the absence of agreement a second mediator should be nominated by the Chairperson of the National Interfaith Network for the time being.

12. Dissolution:
The members should be informed and written notice given 21 days in advance of the SGM of the proposal to dissolve the organisation. The Group may be dissolved at any time if agreed by two thirds of the voting membership present at the SGM. Should dissolution be necessary, the assets of York Interfaith Group should pass to a group with closely similar objectives, and operating in the York area. If no such group exists, the assets should pass to the Interfaith Network UK.


Appendix A: Membership.

Individual membership
Individual members pay an agreed annual subscription and sign the appropriate form with personal and contact details and other relevant information. They are entitled to receive all communications from YIG, electronically or by post, have voting rights in all matters pertaining to the group, can be nominated to the Management Committee and any office on it, and may be co-opted to sub-committees or working groups.

Group Membership.
Group Membership is primarily a mutually-agreed declaration of support between other groups or faith-communities and YIG. This entails publicising and support of each other's activities. A representative of the group will complete a Group Membership form, with contact-details and any other relevant information about the group or faith, and will receive all communications from YIG, electronically or by post, for distribution within the group. By group membership the group is entitled to one vote in all decisions pertaining to YIG, and may nominate one member for election to the Management Committee.
Group membership does not preclude individual membership of YIG.


Appendix B: Individual roles on the Management Committee
(All elected annually at Annual General Meeting (AGM), or if necessary according to extra provisions in the Constitutions.)

Chairperson.

  • Usually presides over meetings of the Management Committee (MC)
  • Represents York Interfaith Group in relation to other bodies.
  • Maintains the integrity of the Constitutions.
  • Liaises with other officers as appropriate to ensure the smooth running of MC business.

Vice-Chair.
  • Supports the Chairperson, and deputises as necessary

Secretary
  • Takes minutes and notes action-points at MC meetings.
  • In consultation with the Chairperson prepares the agenda for MC meetings, then distributes the agenda, minutes and other documents before and after meetings
  • Sends written communications to York Interfaith Group (YIG) membership/other persons or groups as requested by the MC or Chairperson.
  • Keeps electronic records of MC communications and documents, including a full list of members, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.

Treasurer
  • Keeps records of membership and deals with annual subscriptions and membership forms, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.
  • Deals with all financial business on behalf of YIG, in accordance with Constitutions Section 8.

Communications and Publicity Officer
  • Establishes and maintains contact with local faith-groups, local government and Interfaith Network UK, on behalf of YIG; produces a monthly newsletter and distributes it to members; draws important interfaith issues/opportunities to the attention of the Chairperson and MC.
  • Has access to the membership list, in accordance with the Data Protection Act.


March 2007/ January 2008/ January 2009/ January 2012/ January 2015/ January 2018