Barnet Multi Faith Forum Constitution

  1. Name of Forum

The name of the group shall be Barnet Multi Faith Forum to be known as BMFF (or Forum)

  1. Mission

The Mission of The BMFF is to provide a multi-faith forum for the London Borough of Barnet, based on a commitment of respect and tolerance through discussion, communication and collaboration.

  1. The Aims of the BMFF

The aims of the Forum are to:-

  1. Promote knowledge and understanding for the integrity of each other’s beliefs, cultures and traditions through inter-faith dialogue.
  2. Represent and demonstrate to the residents of Barnet the peaceful co-existence that exists between the borough’s faith communities.
  3. Ensure that values of freedom of expression are maintained and safeguarded.
  4. Actively promote community cohesion and inclusion.
  1. Objectives of the BMFF

The objectives of the Forum are to:-

  1. Learn more about one another’s faiths and beliefs.
  2. Build bridges of trust and confidence based on greater understanding and knowledge of each other’s faith, beliefs and customs.
  3. Ensure that all Barnet faith communities have a voice in relevant matters effecting issues of faith and belief in the Borough.
  4. Celebrate cultural diversity and recognise the additional value that people of faith and belief brings to the Borough.
  5. Support social action projects designed to enhance the environment and living conditions of all in the Borough.
  6. Advise Barnet Council and other local public service providers and commissioners on cultural, religious and related social issues.
  7. Recognise and acknowledge the value that volunteering has in bonding communities together and upholding civic responsibility.
  8. To raise funds, receive grants and donations, and hold funds for the Forum.
  1. The Membership of the BMFF
    1. Membership will be open to nominated representatives of all faith organisations which are either based within the London Borough of Barnet or are serving faith communities living in the Borough and who have been invited to become members by the Forum.
      1. This includes representatives from educational institutions within the Borough
      2. And individuals belonging to faith organisations living in the Borough.
    2. In nominating representatives, faith communities are asked to consider the contribution they can make to the representation of both women and young people on the Forum.
    3. Each faith community is able to vote as follows at all Annual and Special Meetings of the BMFF;-

Up to two Baha’is                       (2)

Up to two Buddhists                  (2)

Up to eleven Christians            (11) (two from the Anglican Church and one each from the Baptist, Pentecostal, Chinese Christian Church, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, Society of Friends and United Reformed

Up to three Hindus                    (3)

One Humanist                            (1)

Up to two Jains                           (2)

Up to five Jews                           (5) (at least one from the Liberal, Masorti, Orthodox and Reform traditions)

Up to Four Muslims                   (4)

Up to two Sikhs                          (2)

One Unitarian                             (1)

One Zoroastrian                         (1)

Total                                              (34)

*This information has been determined based on census data (2011) for the numbers of each religious group and calculated on the number of faith organisations in the Borough

  1. Membership will also include a representative of Barnet Council and educational institutions within the Borough;
  2. Membership will also include a representative of Community Barnet (Voluntary Service Council)
  3. Individuals belonging to Faith organisations based within the Borough may be invited as co-opted members with voting rights.
  4. Members must be over 18 years of age.
  5. Membership of the Forum is to be confirmed annually by the completion of a membership form by the recognised organisation and by the payment of an annual donation.
    1. A list of all members will be kept by the membership secretary.
  1. Strategies and Policies of BMFF
  1. The BMFF will be responsible for defining the main policy, strategy and delivery plans for the Forum.
    1. This will be implemented and performed by an elected Executive Committee who will be responsible for co-ordinating the day to day operations of the Forum.
    2. A Quorum will be 10% of the membership.
  2. The BMFF will meet at least three times a year to promote the aims and objectives as detailed above and to call Annual and Special General Meetings.
    1. Conflicts of interest will be requested at the start of each meeting and recorded in a Declaration of Interests register in accordance with the Forum’s Declaration of Interest Policy.
  1. Annual General Meetings (AGM)
    1. An AGM of the BMFF will be called, with no more than a 15 month gap in between these meetings.
    2. All members of the BMFF will be notified in writing by the secretary at least 3 weeks before the date of the AGM, giving the venue, agenda, date and time of this meeting.
      1. The Secretary will request nominations for the executive committee to be returned at least one week prior to the AGM.
    3. The quorum for the AGM will be at least 10% of members of the Forum
    4. A simple majority of those present will constitute the passing of a motion or resolution.
      1. In the event of a tie the chair will have a casting vote.
  1. The purpose of the AGM is to;-
    1. Receive and approve or otherwise, the annual reports of the BMFF Chair.
    2. Receive and approve or otherwise, the annual accounts of the BMFF Treasurer.
    3. Hear an address from invited guests.
    4. Elect an executive committee of the BMFF
  1. The BMFF Executive Committee;-

The Committee will consist of;-

  1. The Chair, who shall chair the AGM and executive meetings.
  2. 2 Vice Chairs, (where necessary) to act in the absence of the Chair and have a portfolio role.
    1. The Chair and the Vice Chair may not be of the same faith.
  3. The Secretary, who shall be responsible for the taking of minutes, and be responsible for maintaining an update of members contact details.
  4. The Treasurer, who shall be responsible for maintaining and reporting of all accounts and provide reports to each Executive Committee and Forum meeting.
  5. Up to three additional elected members. (8) In total.
  1. The Role and Purpose of the Executive Committee.
    1. The Executive Committee (Exec) will meet on a regular basis, and as necessary, to organise and plan events and activities that will promote the aims and objectives of the BMFF.
      1. The Exec Committee may invite guest speakers to assist in the development of the Forum.
      2. The Chairman may invite observers to attend the meeting and participate in discussions.
  • Powers of co-option
  1. Exec members should consult and discuss with the Forum membership (as represented by their faith organisation or community,) on the Forum’s proposed business agenda and represent those views back to the Forum.
  2. A simple majority of those present will constitute the passing of a motion or resolution.
    1. In the event of a tie the chair will have a casting vote.
  3. A quorum for the executive will consist of 4 members.
  4. BMFF Exec members will act at all times as ambassadors of the Forum in the public arena.
  5. Exec members will positively promote BMFF and avoid any act which will bring the organisation into disrepute.
  6. Exec members will be aware of and abide by confidentiality restrictions of certain information and treat all private information or material relating to BMFF as confidential. (as pr. Chatham House rules)
  7. Conflicts of interest will be requested at the start of each meeting and recorded in a Declaration of Interests register in accordance with the Forum’s Declaration of Interest Policy.
  1. The Powers of the Executive Committee-
    1. The Exec Committee has the powers of co-option as follows:
      1. To replace an executive member and/or one who has resigned.
      2. To co-opt two (2) additional people (maximum) who can attend both the Exec and the Forum.
  • To invite Forum members as visitors to ensure a balanced Faith representatives (see 5c above)
  1. This will be agreed by the Exec Committee and by invitation from the secretary (or acting officer) and to be recorded in the minutes.
  2. Co opted members will be required to be invited to stand for election at the next AGM
  3. Exec Committee members may stand for one year and can stand for re-election at the AGM, for a maximum of three years.
    1. By exception, a member may stand for longer, provided clear reasons are presented and this is agreed at the AGM.
  1. Finances
    1. A separate dedicated bank account will be maintained on behalf of the BMFF at a bank agreed by the Executive committee.
      1. This to be set up by the treasurer.
      2. The Bank Account details will be recorded in the minutes.
    2. Up to Five cheque signatories will be nominated by the Executive Committee (one to be the Treasurer).
    3. Any two of these must sign every cheque.
    4. Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and a financial statement given to each meeting.
    5. Funds can only be used to further the specific aims and objectives of the BMFF.
  1. Special General Meetings
  1. The Secretary will call a Special General Meeting of its members at the request of the majority of the members or the executive by giving a written request to the Chair stating the reason for their request.
  2. The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of this request being made.
    1. All members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.
  3. The quorum for the Special General Meeting will be 10% of the membership of the Forum.
  1. Amendments to the Constitution
  1. Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the AGM or a Special General Meeting.
  2. Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the Secretary in writing and proposed by a quorum of the executive
  3. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting as in 13B above.
  4. Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.
  1. Dissolution
    1. If a meeting of the AGM by a two thirds majority of those present decides that it is necessary to close down the BMFF it may call a Special General Meeting to do so in accordance with 13B
    2. The sole business of this meeting will be to discuss and vote on whether to dissolve the Forum.
    3. If it is agreed to dissolve the Forum all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to local charitable faith based organisations to be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.
  1. Equality and Diversity.
    1. The BMFF will not discriminate on the grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sexuality, disability, religious or political belief, age, or marital status.
  1. General Conduct
    1. BMFF members will declare any personal interest which might conflict with or be seen by others to affect their ability to perform their duties fairly and impartially;
    2. The Forum will aim to resolve any disputes in the Forum or the Exec Committee through discussion and consensus.
      1. If this is not possible the issue will be referred to mediation.
    3. Members and observers will at all times treat others with courtesy and respect and will not act or speak in a way that may be perceived as bullying, abusive, discriminatory or derogatory.
  1. Review
    1. This Constitution may be reviewed annually at the AGM.