THE CONSTITUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN CHURCHES (UK) PREAMBLE
Towards the end of 1979, it became necessary for the various churches of African and Afro-Caribbean origin to come together to form a united body for the pooling of gifts and resources for the advancement of the Christian faith and for mutual assistance and encouragement. The end of 1979 brought some of the churches together and gave birth to the Council of African and Allied Churches, subsequently known as the Council of African and Afro-Caribbean Churches (UK). The Council is a collection of individuals and autonomous churches which pledge faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and who are committed to witnessing to Him collectively, unto the eternal Glory of God. The Council does not have, nor shall it attempt to exercise any ecclesiastical authority over its member churches or bodies, preferring to offer its services and expertise at the gracious disposal of its members and the global Christian community.
ARTICLE 1 NAME
The name of the Council shall be known as the Council of African and Caribbean Churches (UK), otherwise known as CACC, and hereinafter referred to as The Council. MOTTO “Christ is our cornerstone”
ARTICLE 2 AIMS
The advancement of the Christian faith. The promotion of principles of Christian fellowship. The promotion of ecumenical consciousness and fraternal relationships among its members and with other churches anywhere in the world. The education of its members and the general public. The institution of academic research into indigenous African and Caribbean Christianity and theology. The advancement of the identity of African and Caribbean churches as equal partners with other churches in the proclamation of the Good News. The promotion and working for human dignity, freedom, equality, and justice anywhere in the world.
ARTICLE 3 OBJECTS
To be a medium through which all African and Caribbean Churches, and those churches who share aims similar to the Council’s may work out objects set forth in this Constitution. To encourage its members to co-operate for common witness and evangelism, thereby fostering unity in one faith. To perform with joint effort those services which individual churches cannot conveniently provide for themselves, especially in the training of ministers and pursuance of charitable projects for social welfare and advancement. If called upon to do so, to intercede wherever there is conflict between member-churches or internally in those churches in order to restore peace and mutual understanding. To plead for and work towards the unity of Christians everywhere. To assist, or act on behalf of, any persons that may need support and assistance in the areas of social deprivation, social injustice, immigration difficulties, or racial harassment, where the council believes that fundamental human rights have been infringed. In furtherance of the aims and objects as above, the Council shall: Organise religious and public activities, such as open air preaching and gospel concerts, conferences, on its own, or in conjunction with other organisations with similar objectives. Provide and maintain an information centre. Cause to be written and printed and circulated appropriate publications for the information and education of the general public. Employ and pay persons to carry out the work of the Council. Honour and give honorary awards to church dignitaries in recognition of their contributions towards the propagation of the Gospel and the advancement of the unity of the body of Christ. Do all lawful things as shall further the statement of the objectives above.
ARTICLE 4 MEMBERSHIP
Membership shall be open to all churches “Confess the Lord Jesus as the Son of God and the Saviour of the world“. Individuals may join as personal members. Other organisations pursuing related or similar objectives may be accepted into Affiliate Membership. Affiliate members shall be entitled to attend all meetings of the Council and shall exercise votes as detailed in this Constitution. All applications shall be investigated in the light of information provided on the Application form and followed with an interview by selected members of the Executive Committee of the Council. Notwithstanding, applications shall be accepted on the recommendation of at least two current executive members of the Council. Member churches shall pay annual subscriptions which shall be determined by the Executive Committee from time to time. Each member-church shall be represented by no more than two persons on the Executive Committee, or in the case of Affiliate members, one representative. The Executive committee shall have the power to refuse to accept any application, or withdraw the membership of a current member for inactivity or failure to maintain subscriptions, or for other reasons in the interest of the good name of the Council.
COMPOSITION AND ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
The General Assembly The Executive Committee The Ways and Means Committee Uni-purpose Sub-Committees * * * * Uni-purpose Sub-Committees
A. The Annual General Meeting
The highest governing body of the Council shall be the General Meeting, which shall consist of three representatives from each member, individual members, and the elected officers of the Council; it shall meet at least once in every year (The Annual General Meeting) and at other times as necessary. The business of the General Assembly shall include the election of officers, the adoption of an annual report and audited statement of accounts, the appointment of auditors and the transaction of such business as necessary. Such other general meetings of the Council may be called at any time by the Executive Committee by giving not less than fourteen clear days’ notice in writing to the appointed representatives of all members. Representatives from not less than one third of the members shall be required to form a quorum for all meetings of the General Assembly.
Wherever possible decisions of the Council shall be taken by consensus but where a resolution is put to vote it shall be decided by a simple majority of voting members present and voting. Each member-church shall be entitled to no more than three votes at the Annual General Meeting, and other meetings of the General Assembly, or in case of Affiliate Members one vote, the vote to be exercised in all cases in person by the appointed representatives of the Bodies or their alternates. In case of an equality of voting, the Chairperson of the Council shall be entitled to a casting vote.
B. The Executive Committee
The Executive committee shall be composed of two appointed representatives of each member-church, and one representative for Affiliate members. Individual members of member-churches with specialist knowledge may be co-opted temporarily onto the Executive Committee from time to time as Advisors according to need and the duration will be determined by the Executive committee. The Executive committee shall be responsible for the general administration of the affairs of the Council, in accordance with decisions and resolutions passed by the General Assembly. Decisions at the Committee’s meetings shall be decided by a simple majority of members present and voting. Each member shall have one vote, and in case of any equality of voting, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote. The Executive committee may appoint sub-committees with specific mandates including: public relations and fund-raising, community and social advancement projects, education and training, research and publications, and ecumenical relations. The Executive Committee shall meet at least four times in a year. The Executive Committee shall have power to adopt and issue Standing Orders and/or Rules for the conduct of its business. Such Standing orders/Rules shall come into effect immediately provided, always that they shall be subject to review by the General Assembly and shall not be inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution.
C. Ways and Means Committee
The Ways and Means Committee shall consist of all officers of the Council and a representative each of its sub-committees. The Ways and Means Committee shall be responsible for carrying out such business on behalf of the Executive Committee in between meetings of the latter; it shall carry out a periodic and regular audit of the operations of the Council; it shall collate reports from the sub-committees for the Executive Committee; it shall perform such tasks that the Executive Committee shall mandate it to perform.
ARTICLE 6 OFFICERS
The Council shall have the following Officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Assistant General Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity and Public Relations Officer. All officers of the Council shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Council and shall hold the position for a period of 2 years, and shall be immediately eligible for re-election. The Chairperson shall preside over all sessions of the Executive Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. The Chairperson shall have power to expend, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, and through the appropriate bodies of the Council, moneys contributed for the general purposes of the Council or of any of the special objects or operation thereof. The Chairperson may exercise a casting vote except in the matter of the election of officers. The Chairperson shall represent the interests of the Council to the outside world within the context of the aims and objects of the Council. iii. The Vice-chairperson shall assist the Chairperson in performing his duties, and shall act on his behalf in his absence. iv. The General Secretary shall perform all secretarial duties of the Council between meetings, and shall see to it that accurate records of the proceedings of the Council are kept. He shall in consultation with the Chairperson, issue notices of meetings and record the minutes. v. The Assistant Secretary will assist the General Secretary and act in his absence. vi. The Treasurer shall collect all moneys contributed or donated to the Council and deposit same into a bank approved by the Executive Committee in the name of the Council. The Treasurer shall prepare a statement of the Council’s account and issue a balance sheet every financial year, which will be audited by an auditor appointed by the Annual General meeting. The Treasurer shall keep a liquid sum of 50.00 (fifty pounds) for incidental expenses. vii. The Publicity and Public Relations Officer will be responsible for the promotion of general public awareness of the existence of the Council and draw attention to its activities by all conventional means available.
ARTICLE 7 ASSETS AND FINANCE
The Council shall have power to acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise any land, building and appurtenances and fittings, or other property whatsoever which may be required for the purposes of the said Council, and to build upon such land or buildings as it may consider necessary in the interest of the Council. The income and property of the Council wheresoever derived shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Council. No portion thereof shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or profit to its members; notwithstanding this, nothing shall prevent the payment in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to any employee, officer or member of the Council in return for any services rendered to it. The funds of the Council shall be raised through subscription to be determined from time to time by members; voluntary public contributions, appeals, and any other legal means in furtherance of the fulfilment of its aims. The Executive Committee shall submit to the Annual General Meeting estimates of the income and expenditure of the Council for the following financial year. Emergency appeals for funds may be made at the discretion of the Executive Committee. The Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary shall operate all accounts of the Council. All withdrawals shall require the signatures of the Chairman (or in his absence the Vice Chairman), and either the Secretary or the Treasurer.
ARTICLE 8 TRUSTEES
A. APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES
The Council shall, in all cases where it considers it expedient, nominate and appoint Trustees or a Trustee of any part or parts respectively of its properties with power for the Executive Committee to declare the trusts thereof; from time to time if it seems expedient to the Committee, it may revoke any such trusts or the appointment of such Trustees or Trustee; upon such revocation, the same property shall be conveyed or transferred to such person or persons and upon such trusts as the Committee may direct but only for the benefit of the said Council.
B. DUTIES OF THE TRUSTEES The trustees shall, upon the authority of a resolution of the Executive Committee, invest, re-invest, or vary the investment of the funds of the Council as may be resolved upon; the Trustees shall be completely discharged from all liability while complying with the resolution. The Executive Committee may authorise the Trustees to instruct the bankers to honour the signature or signatures of any person or persons named for financial transactions in the banking account of the Council, in which case the Trustees shall give such instructions and shall be relieved from all liability in respect of payment made from the said account in the manner authorised by the resolution whilst it is in force. In the execution of the trusts thereof, no Trustee shall be liable for any loss to the property of the Council arising by reason of any improper investment made in good faith, so long as he shall have sought professional advice before such investment, or for the negligence or fraud of any agent employed by him or by any other Trustee hereof in good faith, provided reasonable supervision shall have been exercised, although the employment of such agent was strictly not necessary or by reason of any mistake or other omission made in good faith by any Trustee, except in the instance of willful and individual fraud, wrongdoing, or wrongful omission on the part of the Trustee who is sought to be made liable.
C. CESSATION OF TRUSTEESHIP Trusteeship shall be ceased by: (i) Revocation; (ii) Behaviour incompatible with trusteeship; (iii) Withdrawal by Trustee; or (iv) Death.
ARTICLE 9 AUDITORS
The General Assembly, at its Annual Meeting, shall appoint persons to audit the accounts of the Council to which body the Auditors will report. The Council may appoint an internal auditor who will be independent of the Executive Committee. His duty will be to audit periodically the account of the Council, and to assist the Treasurer in the production of the balance sheet.
ARTICLE 10 PRESIDENT AND PATRONS
A. The President
The Annual General Meeting shall elect at least TWO Presidents of the Council. Each President shall be a person of good standing in a member-church, of general good character, and with wide experience in the area of inter-church work. The Presidents shall be the public face of the Council, and shall hold the position for a term of five years. They shall immediately be eligible for re-election. The Presidents shall preside at the Annual General Meeting.
The General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, shall invite suitable persons to be Patrons of the Council. The Patrons shall be distinguished person who may or may not be members of the Council or its member-bodies, and who have an interest in the work, aims and objects of the Council.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
No addition, alteration or amendment shall be made to this Constitution unless full details of the motion for such an amendment are notified in writing to the Secretary and circulated to members of the Annual General Meeting, at least three months before the meeting where such a motion is to be made. Such addition, alteration or amendment shall only be effected if passed by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members of the Annual General Meeting present and voting.
DISSOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL
In the event of winding up or dissolution of the Council if there remains, after the satisfaction off all is debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed among members of the Council, but shall be given or transferred to some other institution or institutions shall be determined by the members of the Council at or before the time of dissolution.