The Council hopes that relationships with each other will be guided by an understanding of the depth and sensitivities of religious commitment, as well as a wish to learn about the historical and current experiences of our various communities. Insensitive comments about any faith, or attempts to use the Oxford Council of Faiths for missionary activity, will destroy the mutual trust that is essential to our work.
The name shall be Oxford Council of Faiths (afterwards called the Council)
Participation will be open to faith communities, organisations and individuals who support the aims and objectives of the Oxford Council of Faiths and have established places of assembly within Oxford City or, although situated outside the city limits, have members who live or work in Oxford City.
3. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE TO:
3.1. Promote good relations and respect between people of different faith communities in Oxford.
3.2. Foster friendship, trust and mutual understanding between peoples of all faiths and to improve communication links between the faith communities.
3.3. Liaise with social and civic organisations in order to:
3.3.1 receive their concerns, and to disseminate information to members on their behalf as appropriate
3.3.2 assist them by providing faith-specific information which will enable better understanding of the needs of individuals with whom they work.
3.4. Encourage social activity and disseminate information about such activities to people of all ages in the local community.
3.5. Participate constructively in the resolution of local religious, racial and social issues and other matters of material concern, presenting the consensus view of the Council when appropriate.
3.6. Promote projects, meetings and events at which people of all ages in the local community can inform about their faiths, beliefs and traditions.
3.7. Work together against prejudice and discrimination of all kinds and seek solutions of problems experienced by local faith communities in the practice of their religion.
3.8. Raise funds by means, and for causes, agreed by the Council.
4.1. Voting membership of the Council shall comprise:
three nominated representatives from each of the six major faith groups, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism;
representatives of other faith groups (not more than one representative per group). This is in order to achieve balance so far as possible and take cognisance of the views informed by the very wide spectrum of faiths which is to be found in the City and its immediate surroundings.
4.2. The representatives within a major faith group should seek to cover the widest possible range of faith principles and practices within the group.
4.3. All groups nominating representatives may also nominate alternates to stand in for representatives who may be unable to attend an occasional Council meeting. In the event that a nominated representative or his her alternate are unable to attend meetings, the Council would encourage their faith group to suggest another representative.
4.4. Representatives and their Alternates will normally serve for a period of three years.
4.5. The Council may appoint Patrons who support the aims and objectives of the Council.
4.6. Non-voting membership is open to other individuals and organisations who wish to be involved and kept informed of the decisions of the Council. They shall be called Associate Members of the Oxford Council of Faiths, may attend meetings and will receive all standard Council communications. Associate Members may make an annual donation to the Council
5. THE OFFICERS
5.1. The officers of the Council shall be the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, all of whom shall be elected by the voting members of the Council. Normally, an individual will only serve continuously in the same office for three years, but exceptionally may serve a second term of three years up to a maximum of six years.
5.2. Officer appointments will be made by election at an Annual General Meeting, normally from voting Council members who will be serving in the ensuing year. However, if no suitable individual can be found from within the membership to act as Secretary or Treasurer, the Chair may nominate a non-Council member, who must then be approved by Council. Such a person would not have voting rights.
5.3. A vacancy occurring in any office may be filled by the remaining Officers acting together to invite an appropriate individual to serve on a temporary basis for the period up to the next AGM.
6.1. Council shall meet on at least four occasions during the year, including the Annual General Meeting which will normally be held in September.
6.2. Any person of faith may attend the meetings of the Council, but they will have no voting rights and may speak only at the discretion of the Chair.
6.3. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called at the behest of the Chair and Vice-Chair acting together, or not less than 10 voting members of the Council. Seven working days’ notice is required for meetings of the Council, except for AGMs where 21 days’ notice shall be given.
6.4. A quorum shall consist of eight voting members, provided that at least three of the six mainstream faiths are represented. Any decisions made at an inquorate meeting will need to be confirmed by a subsequent quorate meeting.
7. DECISION MAKING
7.1. Decision making will normally be bu consensus.
7.2. If a vote is necessary in the opinion of the Chair of the meeting, a two-thirds majority of voting members present will be required in order to cause an action, or to change a current course of action, by the Council.
7.2.1 This decision will be subject to the majority vote including representatives of at least three of the six major faith groups.
7.2.2 If there are still strong reservations about the proposed action or change of current action, the matter shall lay on the table until the next meeting, by which time representatives will have had the opportunity to consult with their respective faith communities with a view to helping the Council achieve a consensus on the issue.
8.1. The Treasurer shall keep a detailed record of all transactions, providing summary information at each regular meeting of the Council and detailed accounts at the AGM.
8.2. The bank account, in the name of Oxford Council of Faiths, shall be operated on any two signatures out of three – the Treasurer, the Chair and the Vice-Chair.
9. CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION
9.1. Changes may be made either at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General meeting so long as:
9.1.1 Appropriate notice has been given to the membership;
9.1.2 Any changes voted on receive a two-thirds majority of those present, and fulfil the requirements for decision making given in Section 7 above.
9.2. Changes shall be reported to the membership and other relevant bodies and individuals as soon as possible after having been agreed.
Revised May 2015