Priestley Society Constitution

1) Name

The name of our organisation shall be The Priestley Society.

2) The Address

The address of the organisation shall be that of Leeds Library:

Leeds Library
18 Commercial Street
United Kingdom

Until changed by an executive to be elected by the membership.

3) Website

The Priestley Society shall also be an internet-based movement, without bounds or conditions of membership or exclusions, with the domain name

4) Aims

The primary aim of the Priestley Society is as set out in the original mission statement:

To bring awareness and recognition to the community, of the achievements of Joseph Priestley of Birstall and Heckmondwike (1733-1804) and to celebrate and honour his legacy, and to promote his contributions towards education, science, religion and politics, for the greater good of humanity

In order to acheive this the Priestley Society will strive to:

  1. Promote and raise the profile of the achievements of Joseph Priestley
  2. Organise activities and events of local and community interest e.g lectures, “oxygenius”, plays, and open forum services
  3. Raise funds for the restoration and regeneration of a Priestley Heritage in Birstall and Heckmondwike, and elsewhere in the United Kingdom
  4. Promote the scientific freedom and educational ideals of Priestley
  5. Maintain links and communications Leeds and other places in the UK and North America and other countries
  6. Lobby the parties and establishments of governments, to formally recognise and implement, the political, religious scientific and educational ideals of Joseph Priestley, as set out in his historic publications and sermons, and to elevate his stature and national and international recognition to the highest level of individual achievement.

5) Membership

Membership will be open to all persons, irrespective of their background, politics, race or religion, who are interested in furthering and developing the aims and ideals of Joseph Priestley and promoting his legacy.

6) Subscriptions

Membership subscription fees will initially be set at zero. Voluntary donations from members to contribute will be solicited and gratefully accepted. Any introduction of, changes in, subscription rates will be agreed at an AGM.

7) The Committee

A committee, to be elected by the membership, shall administer the Society. The committee shall have the power to co-opt other people on to it for special duties. All members of the committee shall be elected by the whole Membership.

(Existing steering committee: Stephen Bartle, Jim Birch, Kath Conway, Roger Knights, Nigel Hudson, Joe Lee, Alan, Naylor, Lesley Sheard, Les Woodcock)

8) Officers of the Priestley Society

The committee shall elect a Chairman, a Secretary and Treasurer at its first meeting. The Committee may, if need be, co-opt a Priestley Society Webmaster.

The Chairman will preside over meetings of the Committee, and at the AGM unless in case of absence by his/her nominated representative whose name shall be endorsed by a majority of the committee.

The Chairman will represent the Committee and the Priestley Society at external meetings and issue statements on behalf of the Society.

9) The duties of the Secretary

  1. To keep the minutes at the Groups meetings
  2. To ensure that all communications, by whatever means, or whatever content, shall be reported to the committee and given the necessary response
  3. Maintain a roll of members and list of non-financial assets of the Priestley Society

10) The duties of the Treasurer

  1. To keep regular accounts of all receipts and payments of the Priestley Society.
  2. To be responsible for the safe banking and maintenance of records of finances through good accounting practice.
  3. To prepare accounts for examination, as required by the Committee, and to present a balanced account at the Priestley Society AGM for the membership for examination at least once a year.

11) Committee Standing Orders

  1. All meetings of the committee shall be advertised on the website and open to attendance by any members of the Priestley Society.
  2. The Committee shall meet not less than 4 times a year.
  3. The Chairperson or Secretary may call Committee meetings. A quorum of the committee shall consist of at least 3 of the elected committee members.

12) Activites

Functions shall not take place under the auspices of the Priestley Society without prior approval of the Committee.

13) Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting shall be held on the first Saturday in February of each year. The Secretary shall give written notice of the AGM to all members 21 days notice and stating the terms of the motions to be proposed at the meeting. If such a proposal is confirmed by a majority of those present and voting at the meeting, the committee shall have the power to dispose of any assets held by or in the name of the group.

14) Amendments to the Constitution

Any alterations to this constitution shall require the approval of three quarters majority of those present and voting at the AGM at which it is discussed. Any motion which proposes changes to the constitution must reach the Secretary 7 days before the meeting at which it is to be brought forward.