The constitution under which CTOD operates was originally adopted in 2009 and a minor change to the standing orders was adopted in November 2018. The current constitution reads as follows:
The fellowship of churches shall be called, “Churches Together in Oxted and District" (CTOD).
Churches Together in Oxted and District unites in pilgrimage those Churches in Oxted, Tandridge, Hurst Green, Limpsfield, Limpsfield Chart and Tatsfield which subscribe to the Covenant set out opposite and to this Constitution.
Churches Together in Oxted and District is in association with Churches Together in England through Churches Together in Surrey.
The purpose of Churches Together in Oxted and District shall be to initiate, encourage and support actions which will further the aims expressed in its Covenant.
Membership of Churches Together in Oxted and District shall be open to all Churches within the Oxted District, which enter into the Covenant for Unity.
Associate Membership shall be open to other Churches or Christian bodies within the same area which, while unwilling to sign the Covenant, are nonetheless sympathetic to the Council's work and wish to be associated with it.
6. Composition of the Council
The Council of Churches Together in Oxted and District shall be composed of:
(a) One Minister and up to two Lay Representatives from each member congregation.
(b) Up to two representatives from each Associate Member.
(c) A representative of each affilated CTOD Group.
(d) The officers of the Council.
(e) Not more than six persons co-opted by the Council.
(a) There shall be an Executive Committee consisting of the Officers of the Council (plus wherever possible a member of Ministers Together (see (b), if not included in the foregoing) plus such persons as the Committee may see fit to co-opt from time to time; the Committee should include at least one person from each denomination represented on the Council.
This Committee shall have executive powers subject to any limitations which may be imposed by the Council from time to time and shall be responsible for such initiatives as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Committee may appoint ad hoc sub-committees where necessary. It is expected that the Committee will meet at least quarterly. The quorum of the Committee shall be 5 members including the Chairman or Deputy Chairman.
(b) There shall be an advisory body called Ministers Together consisting of all Ministers of the Member Churches, meeting as required to consider matters referred to it by the Council or Executive and to express views on any issues of concern.
(c) The Council shall recognise and support affiliated Groups and these shall be specified in Standing Orders.
(d) The Council may appoint such other working groups as it thinks fit.
The Officers of the Council shall be a Chairman, Deputy Chairman, a Treasurer and such other officers as the Council may decide.
Any officer may be removed from office by a motion made at the Annual General Meeting or at any other meeting of the Council at which notice of such motion has been sent to members at least two weeks before the meeting.
The Council shall meet not less than 3 times per year of which one shall be the Annual General Meeting at which the accounts for the preceding financial year shall be presented together with the report of the independent examiner; officers elected; annual reports submitted; and an independent examiner appointed. Additional meetings shall be held on the decision of the Executive Committee. An Extraordinary meeting may also be called at the request of 15 members giving at least 14 days’ notice.
General Meetings shall be open to all but participation by non-Council members will be only at the discretion of the person chairing the meeting except for the Annual General Meeting, when the Chairman shall invite and provide an opportunity for non-members to participate (though not to be eligible to vote) in the meeting. The Quorum for council meetings shall be 15 members to include Chairman or Deputy Chairman (or other officer appointed to chair the meeting) one Minister and Representatives of at least half the Member Churches.
Each Member Church and Associate Member shall pay such annual sum by way of subscription to Churches Together in Oxted and District as shall be determined by the Annual General Meeting. Cheques shall require the signature of any 2 authorised members of the Executive Committee. The financial year shall run from 1st July to 30th June.
11. Planning and Review
Each year CTOD will review progress towards unity as expressed in the Covenant. For this purpose, member churches will be invited to present to Council annually—prior to the Annual General Meeting—their plans for promoting unity at local level. A longer term Review will be undertaken periodically in consultation with the Ecumenical Officer of Churches Together in Surrey.
The Constitution and any subsequent amendments shall require the following processes:
(a) Passage by a majority of at least 75% of members of the Council (excluding co-opted members ), and
(b) approval by at least 75% of member churches acting through their normal decision making bodies.
The Council may make and alter Standing Orders for the proper conduct of its business by a simple majority of members present and voting.
APPENDIX: STANDING ORDERS
Clause 6. Composition of the Council
Where possible at least one of the lay representatives from each member congregation should be a member of its decision-making body.
Representatives of member churches, of associate members and affiliated groups may send substitutes to any meeting that they are unable to attend, but those who avail themselves of this facility should ensure that such substitutes
(a) are properly briefed beforehand
(b) have power to take decisions on their behalf, and
(c) will speedily convey to those they have substituted the decisions taken and
other proceedings of the meeting they attended.
Clause 7. Affiliated Groups
The following groups currently are recognised: Housing and Homelessness Action Group, Hurst Green Vision Group, Tic-Toc, CTOD Singers.
Clause 8. Officers and Terms of Office
In addition to the Officers specified in Rule 8, the Council will elect a Secretary, a Co-ordinator and a Publicity Officer. All Officers will be elected for one year, with the exception of the Chairman whose term of office will normally be two years. It is desirable that either the Chairman or the Deputy Chairman should be a member of Ministers Together.
Clause 9. Council Meetings: Voting
The Council agrees that it is desirable that its decisions should, where possible, be arrived at by consensus. However, where the chairman of the meeting deems it necessary to take a vote, the question will be determined by a simple majority of those present and voting apart from constitutional changes (see 12. Constitution).
Except in a case where, in the view of the Chairman of the meeting, urgent action is required, votes may only be taken on matters which have been notified to members at least 7days in advance.
Clause 10. Finance
Notwithstanding the period of the financial year specified in the Constitution, collections for our Annual Charity shall run for the calendar year.
Clause 11. Planning and Review
To facilitate the annual review of progress towards unity the Executive Committee should appoint a working group to assess what has been achieved and to report back to the Council. The longer term Review—advised by Churches Together in Surrey—should should be undertaken approximately every 7 years to report on progress and make proposals for change.