A new Constitution was adopted by a resolution passed on 11 April 2021. There were minor amendments of form on 19 July 2022 and the amendment of charitable objects approved by the church committee on 23 February 2023.
A pdf copy of this document can be accessed at the following link:
And, for the record and those interested in such things, below is the church’s former constitution:
Adopted 24 April 2005; Amended 20 April 2008; Amended 11 April 2021; Amended 15 May 2022
UNITARIAN CHURCH CAMBRIDGE Founded 1904. Church opened 1928.
The name of the Congregation shall be Unitarian Church Cambridge meeting at The Memorial Church, Emmanuel Road, Cambridge.
The Object of the Congregation shall be in accordance with that of the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches: to promote a free and enquiring religion through the worship of God and the celebration of life: the service of humanity and respect for all creation; and the upholding of the liberal Christian tradition; and In the love of truth and in the spirit of Jesus unite for the worship of God and the service of humankind (founding object, from Membership Book).
3.1 Full membership shall be open to any person who:
3.1.1 expresses sympathy for the Object of the Congregation,
3.1.2 has attained the age of eighteen years, and
3.1.3 applies, and is accepted by the Committee.
3.2 Further rules applying to membership were approved at the Annual General Meeting in March 2004.
4.1 The Financial Year of the Congregation shall run from 1st January to 31st December. An Annual General Meeting of the Congregation shall be held no later than four months after the financial year-end, and at such time and place as the Committee may decide. At the Annual General Meeting, the Annual Report and Accounts for the year shall be presented, the Officers of the Congregation and members of the Committee shall be elected; an Independent Examiner or Auditor shall be appointed; and motions of which twenty-eight days’ notice have been given to the Secretary shall be considered. Any other motion or proposal may be discussed and voted on by permission of two-thirds of those present. One-fifth of the subscribing members shall form a quorum at the Annual General Meeting.
4.2 Twenty-one days prior to Annual General Meeting the Secretary shall display a Nomination Form on which the names of persons nominated as officers and members of the Committee may be written, together with the names of those proposing and seconding their nomination.
4.3 The Officers and Committee members are subject to annual election. If the number of nominations received exceeds the number of vacancies an election shall be held. The election shall take the form of a secret ballot which shall be conducted during the Annual General Meeting. In the event of a tie between candidates the person to be elected shall be determined by a second ballot.
4.4 One or more Extraordinary General Meetings (EGMs) may also be held and shall be called by the Secretary at the request of either the Committee or by written request to the Secretary of not less than 20% of subscribing members of the Congregation. Only such business of which notice has been given to the Secretary shall be transacted at the EGM. Not less than fourteen days notice shall be given. One- fifth of the subscribing members shall form a quorum at the EGM.
4.5 Motions shall be voted on by a show of hands, or by a secret ballot on demand of not less than five members present.
4.6 Motions shall be decided by a majority of those voting and present. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall have a second and casting vote.
4.7 Participation in meetings by electronic means:
(a) A meeting of the Congregation or of the Committee may be held by suitable
electronic means agreed by the Committee in which each participant may
communicate with all the other participants.
(b) Any Member participating at a meeting by suitable electronic means agreed by
the Committee in which a participant or participants may communicate with all the
other participants shall qualify as being present at the meeting.
(c) Meetings held by electronic means must comply with rules for meetings,
including chairing and the taking of minutes.
5. OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS
5.1 The Officers of the Congregation shall be: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other such Officers as the Congregation shall decide.
5.2 The following term limitations shall normally apply: Chair 5 years, Vice-Chair 3 years, Secretary 7 years, Treasurer 7 years.
5.3 Officers shall be subject to election or re-election at each Annual General Meeting.
5.4 Up to six ordinary members may be elected to the Committee annually. An ordinary committee member may not normally serve for more than 3 consecutive years.
6.1 The affairs of the Congregation shall be managed by the Committee which shall be the Managing Trustees of the Congregation. The Committee shall comprise the Officers and up to six other members of the Congregation.6.2 The quorum shall be five.
6.3 The Minister shall be invited to attend Committee meetings in an advisory capacity, but shall not be a Trustee and shall not be entitled to vote.
6.4 The Committee shall be responsible for the proper conduct of the financial affairs of the Congregation and in accordance with the Trust Deeds. Investments shall be in accordance with the objects of the Congregation.
6.5 In the event of vacancy in the Officers by death or resignation, the Committee may fill such vacancy and the person appointed shall hold office until the following Annual General Meeting.
6.6 In the event of a vacancy among the ordinary members, the Committee may co-opt a member who shall serve until the following Annual General Meeting.
6.7 The Committee may appoint one or more subcommittees upon such terms as it deems appropriate.
6.8 The Committee may invite members to assist in church activities such as acting as representatives or visiting the sick.
7. CUSTODIAN TRUSTEES
7.1 There shall be seven Custodian Trustees including the British and Foreign Unitarian Association (Incorporated).
7.2 On the death or retirement of a Custodian Trustee a new Trustee shall be approved by a General Meeting.
8. INDEPENDENT EXAMINER OR AUDITOR
The Independent Examiner or Auditor shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting and shall not hold Office or be a member of the Committee.
9. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
9.1 Alterations or additions to this Constitution may be made only at an Annual or Extraordinary General Meeting of the Congregation in accordance with Rules 4.1, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 and with the consent of three-fourths of the members present.
9.2. Any amendment to the Constitution shall be made in writing to the Secretary twenty-eight days prior to the General Meeting.
10. WINDING UP PROVISION
10.1 If the Committee decides that is necessary to dissolve the Congregation, it shall call a meeting of all members of the Congregation, of which not less than twenty-one days’ notice (stating the terms of the proposal) shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a two-thirds majority of those present the Committee shall then transfer the assets to the Custodian Trustees.
10.2 The individual Custodian Trustees shall arrange for the assets remaining after dissolution to be transferred the British and Foreign Unitarian Association (Incorporated) as the holding Custodian Trustee.
10.3 The members of this congregation may by a majority of three-fourths of those present and voting at a meeting resolve that the assets and engagements of Unitarian Church Cambridge are transferred to another body whose objects or purposes are substantially the same as those declared in the Constitution adopted on 24 April 2005 and amended 20 April 2008.