St. Laurence’s Parishioners’ Open Meetings Constitution

Note: The “St Laurence’s Parish Forum” was re-named the “St Laurence’s Parishioners’ Open Meeting” by a resolution of the meeting in October 2019.

a. Objective of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

To facilitate the active participation and collaboration of all parishioners in supporting and developing the life, worship and witness of the parish community, building up the Body of Christ and fostering pastoral and missionary action, as well as working with, supporting and advising the parish priest in his responsibilities.

b. Remit of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

Although the Parishioners’ Open Meeting has no executive authority, and any votes taken are consultative, participation in the Parishioners’ Open Meeting should be seen as an opportunity to play a responsible role in discerning and implementing the way forward for the parish in partnership with the parish priest who will always give full consideration to the views expressed. It’s role is to facilitate rather than substitute for the active participation of the whole parish community in contributing to the life and mission of the Church.

c. Membership of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

Membership of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting is open to all those who worship at St Laurence’s Church or School. Any parishioner may attend any meeting and propose items for the agenda.

d. Officers of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

The Parishioners’ Open Meeting shall have a chairperson and secretary elected from amongst its members.

The role of the chairperson shall be:

The role of the secretary shall be:

The above officers should submit themselves for reappointment or replacement at not more that three yearly intervals. The election shall be by a simple show of hands at a regular Open Meeting. In the event of a tie in a contested election, the parish priest shall have the casting vote.

In the event of a loss of confidence by the parish priest in the ability of either officer to fulfil their roles effectively, the parish priest may call for elections at any time before the three years is up.

e. Meetings of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

Open Meetings shall be held not less than three times per year. The exact frequency and dates of meetings will be agreed by the parish priest, in consultation with members of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting. A quorum will consist of ten attendees, including the chairperson (or nominated deputy) and parish priest, who must both be present.

f. Amendments to the Constitution or Standing Orders

Proposals for amendments to the constitution may be made by any attendee. A two-thirds majority of those attending, which must include the vote of the parish priest, is required to confirm a change.

The constitution shall in any event be reviewed at a meeting of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting at not more that three yearly intervals.

g. Temporary suspension of the Parishioners’ Open Meeting

If, in the judgement of the Bishop or of the Parish Priest (always with the agreement of the Dean and Bishop), the Parishioners’ Open Meeting ceases to operate in the best interests of the parish, the Open Meeting and its constitution or standing orders will be temporarily suspended by the parish priest. The Open Meeting will then be reconstituted within two months of any such suspension.

Adopted 14 May 2009
Edited to implement name change, 29 May 2020