The Constitution of the Parish Council

Article 1   Name

1.1      The name of this organisation shall be St Ninian’s Parish Pastoral Council herein after referred to as the ‘Council’.

Article 2   Purpose

2.1      The Council formulates Parish policy, fosters good communication and provides leadership by clarifying parish vision and establishing goals.

2.2      The Council shall strive to fulfil the pastoral mission of the Parish by nourishing growth among the Parish family, by the sharing of the spiritual gifts and talents and by encouraging positive relationships among all members of the Parish and between the Parish and the community.

2.3      The Council shall engage in a continuous process of pastoral planning which takes into consideration the pastoral needs of individual parishioners, discerns the pastoral needs of the Parish community, the deanery, archdiocese and the world.

Article 3   Organisation

3.1      Ideally, the Council will be elected by the direct vote of parishioners. Nominations must be obtained and voting carried out where a choice of candidates is available. Where the number of nominations is the same as or less than the number required no election will be necessary.

3.2      Representatives from Parish organisations can request that an item be included on the agenda for any monthly meeting and a representative from the organisation should then be present at the relevant meeting of the Council

3.3      The number of elected members of the Parish Pastoral Council will be no more than twenty.

3.4      Members can be elected from outside its geographical borders.

3.5      Half of the members will resign after three years and allow for others to be elected.

3.6      Councillors may stand for a maximum of two elections after which they are disqualified for one year from membership of the Council. This period of disqualification may be waived by Parish Pastoral Council where individuals are co-opted.

3.7      The Council may co-opt individuals for short- or long-term membership.

3.8      The process of nomination and election by the Parish Pastoral Council may replace vacancies on the Council.

3.9      Every effort should be made to ensure the Parish Pastoral Council is representative of the Parish.

Article 4   Office Bearers

4.1      The Parish Priest is the ex-officio President of the Council.

4.2      The members of the elected Council elect the Chairperson. His/her term of office lasts for three years after which (s)he is eligible for re-election. The Chairperson may stand for two consecutive three year terms.

4.3      The members of the elected Council elect the Vice-Chairperson. His/her term of office lasts for three years after which (s)he is eligible for re-election. The Vice-Chairperson may stand for two consecutive three-year terms.

4.4      The members of the elected Council elect the Secretary. His/her term of office lasts for three years after which (s)he is eligible for re-election. The Secretary may stand for two consecutive three-year terms.

4.5      The Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson or Secretary must resign if they lose a Vote of Confidence in the Council. A minimum of 75% of the total Council membership must call for the vote and be present to vote before it is valid. A majority of those present must vote in favour of the no-confidence motion for it to be valid.

Article 5   Procedures

5.1      The Agenda and Minutes should be made available for members before the meeting of the full Council.

5.2      The Council should meet at least once per month except for July & August, although the President and Chairperson have the discretion to call extraordinary meetings as and when deemed necessary.

5.3      At least 50% of the full Council must be present before a quorum is achieved.

5.4      No meeting is quorate unless an Office Bearer is present.

5.5      The President and Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson have the right to be present at all meetings of parish organisations.

5.6      Where appropriate voting will be conducted by open ballot. Only those Council members present may vote.

5.7      Where a Council vote is directly opposite the wishes of the President, the Chairperson may call for a postponement of the issue until an alternative date can be arranged to discuss the matter again and reach consensus.

Article 6   Duties & Responsibilities

The Chairperson:

6.1      Is aware of the tasks and responsibilities of the Council and communicates these to the Council, committees and parish community.

6.2      Organises/co-ordinates activities and processes the decisions of the Council.

6.3      Provides formation/education for the Council members, utilising parish, deanery and archdiocesan resources.

6.4      Conducts meetings by assisting the Council members to work together effectively and arrive at appropriate decisions through consensus.

6.5      Helps to decide priorities and set goals for programmes of services to be developed within the parish and archdiocesan guidelines.

6.6      Monitors the application of all Council decisions.

6.7      Ensures that a Parish budget is drawn up by the Finance Committee and arranges for that committee to provide an annual account of parish finances.

6.8      Establishes ad hoc committees and appoints Chairpersons, assigns specific tasks to individuals, delegates responsibilities and encourages co-operation.

The Vice-Chairperson:

6.9      Conducts meetings in the absence of the Chairperson.

6.10    Performs duties consistent with the office as the Chairperson or the Council may direct.

The Secretary:

6.11    Oversees the accurate recording of the minutes of each meeting and sees to it that the minutes and agenda are made available to the Council members, committee chairperson and the parish.

6.12    Provides a report of Council meetings for the parish newsletter.

6.13    Takes attendance at meetings and records absence.

6.14    Maintains the official list of all Council and standing committee officers and membership.

6.15    Reports all communication to the Council. Handles correspondence for the Council, including agendas, minutes, notification of regular meetings, notes of thanks etc.

6.16    Performs such duties consistent with the office as the Chairperson or Council may direct.

6.17    Prepares the meeting agendas in consultation with the president and other Council members and circulates these in advance of the Council meeting.

Members:

6.18    Members should make every effort to attend council meetings wherever possible.

6.19    Members should bear in mind that they are representing the views of the parish, not their own individual views.

This Constitution was adopted by the St Ninian’s Parish Pastoral Council

on Wednesday 12 February 2003.