Formation of the Friends of St John’s Tottington; the Trustees

Two organisations are initiating the formation of the Friends – St John’s Free Church of England and Tottington Amateur Dramatics Society.

·      The Founding Trustees for the Friends will be 7 in number. 4 will be drawn from the Church and 3 from the Drama Group.

·      After 12 months i.e. before the end of 2010, the Founding Trustees will become the Trustees and serve for a maximum term of 3 years.

·      The Trustees for the Friends will be 7 in number and serve for 3 years.

·       4 Trustees shall be nominated by the Church Council of St John’s Free Church of England; 3 shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting

·      The Trustees will be responsible for aspects of management, accountability and the day to day running of the Friends.

·      The Trustees will elect from their number, a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer to serve for 12 months.

Membership of the organisation

Membership will be open to other individuals or organisations who are not necessarily members of either the Church or Drama Group, but who are interested in furthering the work of the Friends and who have paid the annual subscription as laid down from time to time.

·      From 2011 members of the Friends will be eligible to serve as Trustees of the Friends, chosen by election at the AGM in accordance with the constitution.

·      In the case of an Organisation that is accepted as a Member of the Friends, one nominated representative of the Member Organisation will represent the particular Member Organisation at any meeting of the Friends.

·      In the case of Member Organisations, their nominated representative will be eligible to serve as a Trustee of the Friends.

Name of the Organisation

The name of the organisation will be The Friends of St John’s Tottington.

·      The name is not open to change while St John’s church building is available for use.

·      If the church building is no longer available for use and the organisation is still pursing its objects, the name may be changed by majority vote at a full meeting for all members.

The Objects of the Friends

The Objects of the Friends is to develop and run St John’s Free Church of England building in Kirklees Street as a community building providing social, educational and recreational activities for the benefit of the people of Tottington and environs.

The Powers of the Friends

1.   The Friends will ensure that their activities allow for the retention and facilitation of the primary function of the building as a place of worship for the congregation of St John’s Free Church of England.

2.   The Friends will ensure that the building is allowed to develop as a centre for the Tottington Amateur Dramatics Society.

3.   The Friends may also develop the building as a place for other community activities and meetings providing educational, social and recreational opportunities for the community in what ever ways (that are legal and honest) the Friends may see fit provided that such development does not conflict with the worship and dramatic functions and their associated activities set out in Powers 1 & 2.

4.   The Friends may let or hire the premises to other organisations or individuals provided that these lettings do not conflict with the worship and dramatic functions and their associated activities set out in Powers 1 & 2.

5.   The Friends may serve (including for sale) food and liquid refreshments (including alcoholic beverages) in accordance with the Objects.

6.   The Friends will be able to raise and expend funds in order to achieve the Objects.

7.   The Friends will be responsible for the financial solvency of their activities and will ensure that they are able to meet all their various liabilities.

8.   The Friends will NOT be able to raise loans or mortgages against the church building or in any way use either the church building or the land on which it is situated as security or collateral against any loan or mortgage.

9.   The Friends may cause to be written and printed or otherwise reproduced and circulated, gratuitously or otherwise, such papers, books, other documentation or media (including maintaining a website) as shall further the Objects.

Ownership of the Building

Ownership of St John’s church building will continue to be by the Free Church of England Central Trust together with the land on which it is situated. The Free Church of England Central Trust will also continue to own the church yard and boundary walls.

Occupation of the Building

The building and its immediate curtilage together with any access to the building across the church yard will be leased to the Friends by the Church Council for £1 per year for a period of not less than 25 years.

·      The Friends will have responsibility for maintaining the structure and the building’s immediate curtilage extending 2 metres from the base of the walls together with the access from Kirklees Street via the double and single gates, but excluding any boundary walls or gravestones.

·      The Friends will ensure that the building is maintained and repaired according to the agreed Asset Management Plan.

Trustees Meetings and proceedings at Trustees Meetings, including voting procedures and size of necessary quorum

1.   The Trustees of the Friends of St John’s Tottington will meet for a minimum of four meetings a calendar year, once per quarter. Other meetings may be called either by agreeing a date at a previous meeting or by notice from the secretary two weeks prior to the date.

2.   As soon as possible following the Annual General Meeting of the Friends the Trustees will appoint three officers of the Friends: Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, to serve for the following year.

3.   An agenda will be prepared by the Secretary and circulated prior to each meeting.

4.   The quorum will be two thirds of the Trustee numbers.

Provisions for a membership, including how someone becomes a member, and voting rights

·      Any resident of the district of Tottington; any member of the Free Church of England; any former member, descendant of a former member, or person having a link with (for example by baptism or marriage) St John’s Free Church of England congregation; any member of Tottington Amateur Dramatic Society; any person committed to the preservation of St John’s Free Church of England building; is eligible to become a member of the Friends.

·      Organisations serving the residents of Tottington may also become members of the Friends.

·      A membership fee of £10 (ten pounds) per individual or organisation will be payable. This fee may be reviewed periodically at the Annual General Meeting.

·      members will be eligible to vote at Annual General Meetings or Extra-Ordinary General Meetings or Special Meetings on a one member one vote basis, i.e. each individual or each member organisation has one vote.

·       The Trustees shall have the right to approve or reject applications for membership, and for good and sufficient reason to terminate the membership of any person provided that the person concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Trustees before a final decision is made.

Provisions for members' meetings and proceedings, if appropriate (e.g. annual general meetings, special general meetings).

Annual General Meeting

·         The AGM shall be held in October every year, when a full report of activities and accounts shall be presented.

·         The secretary shall give thirty days notice of the date of the AGM.

·         The AGM shall be an open meeting.

·         Nominations for Committee members other than those nominated by the Church Council shall be made in writing ten days prior to the AGM.

·         Committee members will be elected by a secret ballot at the AGM.

Provisions to deal with the keeping of charity's accounts and the control of the charity's bank account.

·      The Treasurer shall keep an account of all income and expenditure and shall present examined accounts at the AGM.

·      An independent Examiner, who is not a member of the organisation, shall be appointed to examine the accounts.

·      All funds belonging to or raised for the Friends must be used to further the organisation.

·      The Friends will provide public liability insurance, plus insurance for any paid employee (e.g. a Caretaker) and fixtures and fittings. Property belonging to organisations and individuals is not insured.

·      Bank accounts are to be held in the name of The Friends of St John’s Tottington. Cheques must carry two signatures and one of which must be the Treasurer or Chairman.

·      The Committee shall carry out an annual review of all charges in May of every year, giving three months written notice of any changes, prior to implementation in September.

Trustees not to have a personal interest provisions.

Trustees shall receive no remuneration from the organisation.


  • The Trustees may employ a Caretaker as the only paid employee of the organisation.
  • The Caretaker shall be issued with a contract of employment.
  • All bookings must be made via the Caretaker, or, should a Caretaker not be appointed, via a person nominated by the Trustees.
  • The premises are not licensed although occasional licences are permissible.
  • The Trustees reserve the right to refuse a letting.
  • The Trustees shall issue contracts to cover all long-term lettings.

This Constitution may only be amended with the approval of the Church Council of St John’s Free Church of England congregation and the Tottington Amateur Dramatic Society.

Winding up and Dissolution

If the Friends of St John’s Tottington has to be wound up or dissolved, this must be done in a manner that ensures that the Trustees act within the Law and meet all debts.

Any cash assets belonging to the Friends will be distributed equally between St John’s Free Church of England and the Tottington Amateur Dramatic Society. Any property assets, goods or chattels held by the Friends will either become the property of the founding organisations or sold and the proceeds shared.