1. The name of the Society shall be THE CHAPELS SOCIETY.
2. The objects of the Society shall be to advance the education of the general public in the architecture and history of chapels, meeting-houses and related structures for nonconformist and allied congregations and of any other places of worship and former places of worship in the United Kingdom. In furtherance of the above-mentioned objects but not further or otherwise the Society shall have the following powers:
i) To promote the survival of chapels, meeting-houses and other places of worship and former places of worship.
ii) To assist and advise informally trustees congregations and individuals with respect to the historical and architectural significance of such properties (insofar as it is able and without incurring legal liability for such advice).
iii) To promote and carry out or assist in promoting and carrying out research, surveys and investigations whether by members of the Society or otherwise.
iv) To promote and support whether directly or indirectly the publication (in any suitable medium) of the outcomes of such research, surveys and investigations as may be undertaken by the members of the society, collectively or severally, or otherwise at the request of Council.
v) To arrange and provide for or join with others in arranging and providing for the holding of meetings, lectures, classes, seminars, training courses, exhibitions, visits, study tours, and similar events.
vi) To establish, where necessary, local branches (whether autonomous or not).
vii) To bring together in conference representatives of voluntary organisations, Government departments, statutory authorities and individuals.
viii) To collect and disseminate information on all matters affecting the said objects and exchange such information with other bodies having similar objects whether in this country or overseas.
ix) To raise funds and invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whatsoever by way of subscriptions and otherwise provided that the Society shall not undertake permanent trading activities in raising funds for the said objects.
x) To undertake, execute, manage or assist any charitable trusts which may lawfully be undertaken, executed, managed or assisted by the Society.
xi) To employ and pay any person or persons to supervise, organise and carry out the work of the Society and make all reasonable and necessary provision for the payment of pensions and superannuation to or on behalf of these employees and their widows and other dependants.
xii) To purchase, take on lease or in exchange, hire or otherwise acquire any property and any rights and privileges necessary for the promotion of the said objects and to construct maintain and alter any buildings or erections necessary for the work of the Society.
xiii) To make regulations for any property which may be so acquired.
xiv) To sell, let, mortgage, dispose of or turn to account all or any of the property or assets of the Society, subject to such consents as may be required by law.
xv) To invest the monies of the Society not immediately required for the said objects in or upon such investments, securities or property as may be thought fit, subject nevertheless to such conditions (if any) as may for the time being be imposed or required by law.
xvi) To do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the said objects.
3. Membership shall be open to all persons who are in agreement with the objects of the Society and shall comprise: i) Ordinary members who shall pay an annual subscription to be determined by the Society in Annual General Meeting. ii) Life members who shall pay a single subscription the equivalent of twenty times the annual subscription then in force. iii) Corporate members who shall pay an annual subscription and have such rights as the Society shall from time to time agree. iv) Honorary members who shall be appointed by the Council and shall pay no annual subscription but enjoy all benefits of the membership except the right to vote at an Annual General Meeting. Members shall be approved by the Council of the Society. Renewal of membership shall be at the discretion of the Council, any refusal being subject to the approval of the next Annual General Meeting.
4. The Officers of the Society shall be a President, Secretary, Treasurer, Visits Secretary, and Editor who shall be elected by members at the Annual General Meeting; vacancies occurring between annual meetings may be filled by resolution of Council. All officers are honorary: that is, they are unpaid but may claim reimbursement of expenses. The President shall be elected for a term of three years; the other officers shall be elected annually. All officers shall be eligible for re-election.
5. i) The Council shall consist of the Officers together with six ordinary members who shall be elected for a term of three years. This term may be renewed by election for a further three-year period, after which they will not be eligible for a further period of one year. The Officers and elected members of Council shall act as Trustees for the Registered Charity.
ii) The Council shall have the power to co-opt up to four further members as they see fit to assist in furtherance of the objects of the Society and the discharge of the responsibilities of the Council. The names of any persons so co-opted shall be notified to members at the Annual General Meeting. Co-opted members of Council shall not act as Trustees for the Registered Charity and shall not be entitled to vote on resolutions put to Council.
6. The Council shall open and maintain such bank accounts and deposit fund accounts in the name of the Society as it shall consider convenient and shall authorise in writing the Treasurer, the Secretary and the President to sign cheques and issue instructions on behalf of the Society, the signature of any one of these being deemed sufficient.
7. An Annual Meeting of members of the Society shall be held once in each calendar year at a time and place to be decided by the Council. Members shall be notified by post not less than four weeks prior to the date of the meeting. The meeting shall receive a Report and Accounts for the previous year, elect officers, appoint an independent examiner for the accounts and transact such other business as may be necessary.
8. The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of members present at an Annual General Meeting provided that twenty-one days notice of the proposed amendment has been given to all members. No amendment shall be made to clause 2, 8 or 9 without the approval of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales.
9. The Society may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at an extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which twenty-one days notice shall have been given to the members. In the event of the dissolution of the Society the Council shall transfer any remaining property of the Society to such other Charity or Charities registered with the Charity Commissioners under the Charities Act for the time being in force as the Council shall think fit and as the Charity Commissioners shall approve.
The constitution of the Chapels Society was adopted at the Inaugural Meeting of the Society on 24 September 1988; it was revised at subsequent Annual General Meetings, and the text above adopted on 9 July 2005. Article 5 was amended at Annual General Meeting on 8 July 2017.
The Chapels Society is a Registered Charity in England (No. 1014207)