The formal constitution of the Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England is given in the panel below. It was adopted by the organizing team in March 2021.
The name of the organisation shall be “The Campaign for Equal Marriage in the Church of England”.
The aims of the organisation are to campaign for the Church of England to remove the current discrimination against married same-sex couples in the Church and to enable same-sex couples to be married in their parish church. Our specified campaign objectives include:
- For same-sex couples to be able to be married in Church of England parishes.
- For people in such marriages to have the same opportunities for lay and ordained ministry in the Church of England as anyone else.
- That the consciences of everyone should be protected – no member of the clergy should be forced to conduct a marriage they disagree with. No member of the clergy should be prevented from celebrating a marriage of a same-sex couple.
In order to achieve these aims the organising group shall have the following powers:
- To raise, hold and disburse funds on behalf of the membership of the group. This includes the holding of a bank account on behalf of the organisation, and the trading of merchandise to raise funds
- To invite and receive contributions, donations and grant funding
- To take out appropriate insurances
- To pay for the services and/or the expenses of trainers, speakers and other persons or organisations to enable the group to achieve its aims
- To arrange and/or promote activities which further the aims of the organisation, including paying for an appropriate venue in which to carry out such activities
- To make payment of any out-of-pocket expenses to its members, volunteers and others who incur such expense on the group’s behalf
- To work in partnership with other groups, charities and statutory organisations in achieving its aims
- To purchase, hire or lease any equipment or resources necessary. Any purchases will remain the property of the group
- To maintain a list of supporters and their contact details, maintained securely and confidentially and in line with GDPR regulations
- To do all other lawful things as will enable the group to achieve its aims.
The organisation is a single-issue campaign, not a membership organisation open to the public through subscription. It does maintain a list of supporters which can be joined through the campaign website or through contacting the organising group. Membership of the organising group is outlined in clause 5, and the term ‘members’ in this document refers to members of the organising group.
5. Organising Group
The campaign will be run by an organising group consisting of not less than five members. The group will appoint a Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and other such officers as it may determine appropriate. Such appointments will take place at an Annual General Meeting, with nominations to be received in writing by the Secretary at least seven days before the AGM. In the event of no nomination being received for one or more offices, the person presiding at the Annual General Meeting shall call for nominations from the floor.
Office holders of the group shall hold office for a year and shall be eligible for re-election at the subsequent AGM. Vacancies among office holders which occur during the year may be filled until the next AGM by a decision of members of the organising group.
The organising group may invite someone to become a member of the group, provided that the invitation is first approved by at least two-thirds of the existing group membership.
6. General Meeting
The Organising Group shall hold meetings on occasions agreed by its members. These may be held online or in person, as agreed by the group in advance. Notice of the meeting shall be given to members at least 21 days in advance.
7. Annual General Meeting
Once in each year an Annual General Meeting of the group shall be held, being not more than 15 months after the holding of the preceding Annual General Meeting or the adoption of this constitution. At least 21 days notice shall be given by the Secretary to members of the group.
The business of each Annual General Meeting shall be:
- To consider the annual report of the group on its activities during the preceding year
- To elect the Honorary Officers of the group in accordance with Clause 5
- To consider any other business of which due notice has been given.
8. Special General Meeting
The Chair of the group may at any time at their discretion, and shall within 14 days of receiving a written request so to do from a group member which gives reasons for the request, call a Special General Meeting of the organising group to consider the business specified on the notice of meeting. Such notice shall be given in writing to all group members at least 14 days in advance of the Special General Meeting.
9. Rules of Procedures at Meetings
At general meetings all members shall have one vote. In the case of an equality of votes the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.
A quorum at general meetings shall be when at least 50% of the membership or five members are present, whichever is the smaller.
Minutes of meetings shall be kept, recording all proceedings and resolutions. Draft minutes shall be circulated to the membership following the meeting and be put forward for approval as an accurate record at the subsequent general meeting.
The group may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those members present at a meeting of the group of which meeting at least 21 days notice shall have been sent to all members of the group.
A meeting to consider the dissolution of the group shall normally be convened by its officers, but in the event that the group ceases to have functioning officers, such a meeting may be convened by any of the members.
Any assets held by or in the name of the group after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall be transferred to the members in equal proportions and shall be applied towards purposes similar to those of the group.
11. Alterations to the Constitution
A resolution proposing to alter this constitution shall be received by the Secretary of the group at least 28 days before the Annual or other General Meeting at which it is to be considered. Twenty-one days notice of the General Meeting shall be given in writing to all members of the group, and such notice shall specify the alteration or alterations proposed. An alteration shall require the approval of a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting at a General Meeting.
This Constitution was adopted by the organising group at their meeting of 13 March 2021.