The Society has been an unincorporated body since becoming a charity in 1989. Now that we own and lease out space at the Old Chapel, that status is something of a burden, with individual trustees having to take on the legal obligations, rather than the Society itself. We have therefore reviewed whether we should take advantage of new Charity Commission (CC) provisions enabling charities to incorporate. This would mean that the Society would be a legal person and able to enter into contracts itself.
The Committee has reviewed the implications of converting the Society to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), and charity specialists Stone King LLP has provided us with advice. As far as possible we wanted to be able to have the same approach to running the Society as at present, and we have had to adopt the current best practice CIO Constitution as published by the CC in order to get their consent to our conversion, which brings most of governance arrangements fully up to date. We have been at pains to ensure, however, that the conversion will not prejudice the current rights and benefits of individual members of the Society, and the objects and activities of the Society will not change.
Following our review, the executive committee voted unanimously to proceed with incorporation. Members of the Society are required to approve a resolution to convert the Society, and this will be put to members at the AGM on 26 April 2016.
To enable you to consider this in more detail, the following documents can be downloaded here: