Name

The name shall be the Walsingham Association.

Purpose

The purpose of the Association is to bring together nationally and locally all who have a devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham at the National Shrine.

Aims

The aims of the Association are to: support the National Shrine both spiritually and financially, and partake in and encourage pilgrimage to the Shrine.

Membership

Membership is by payment of an annual subscription and shall be open to all who have devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham.

Benefits of Membership

Sharing: – in the daily Masses at the Shrine, in special Masses offered around the country for members and their families, and in the daily prayers of all members. Members will also receive Newsletters from the Shrine.

Governance

At the A.G.M of the Walsingham Association (WA) on 16th October 2021, its members voted that the WA, an unincorporated association, should become a ” Charitable Incorporated Organisation with voting members other that its charitable trustees”. The Walsingham Association (TWA) was registered with the Charity Commission on 6 December 2021 (Charity number 1196936) and thus became a registered charity . The change to Charitable status was to provide more transparency and increase flexibility particularty in the activities the TWA can undertake to support the Shrine and TWA members

Its legal framework is the Association Constitution and the Association Rules of Procedure. The former is a Charity Constitution document we are required to use. Our constitution is registered with the Charity Commission. It can be amended by resolution agreed in writing by all members or by resolution passed by 75% majority votes cast at a general meeting. Such changes need to be sent to the Charity Commission within15 days but will not become effective until recorded in the Register of Charities. Any amendment relating to the objective, voluntary winding up or dissolution procedures requires Charity Commission consent. The Rules of Procedure is an internal document describing the practical matters for running the charity. It can be amended by means of a proposal at the A.G.M approved by members.

The Constitution includes the TWA Objective which is the advancement or maintenance of the Catholic Religion anywhere in the World but specifically in support of the Walsingham Trust (registered charity 1180690) also known as the Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham. The TWA achieves its objects by a) fostering devotion to our Lady of Walsingham, b) encouraging and promoting pilgrimage and (3) raising funds towards that end. The income and property of the charity must be applied solely towards the promotion of the objectives.

The document describes trustees, their powers functions duties, qualifications, number, appointment, retirement, removal, and meetings. The number of trustees is between 3 and 11. Collectively the Trustees are referred to as the Board. Trustees are selected through nomination and voting by members. Each year 1/3 of the Trustees must resign and new ones are selected except in the first year when all Trustees will resign whereupon a new Board shall be elected. At the 2021 A.G.M members elected Jason Wickard, Cyril Wood (Treasurer), Jenny Thomson, Francesca Flynn and Wendy Smith as Trustees. The Board elected Jason Wickard as Chair.

The functions of the Board are to 1) recommend policies for consideration to its members, 2) support development of The Walsingham Association, 3) support members spiritually, 4) stimulate attendance, and effective representation of members at meetings, 5) foster relations between the Shrine and The Walsingham Association, and 6) ensure adequate support and administration to enable the Association to function. Additionally it has specific responsibilities for the care of the Associations finances. This includes the 1) compilation of an Annual Budget for the forthcoming year which shall be presented at the A.G.M. 2) keeping of the proper accounts of the General Funds including special projects, 3) the presentation of Annual accounts to the AGM and Board, 4) custody of income and expenditure sent by members, Branches or Groups. Participation in such meetings may be held by suitable electronic means agreed by the Board. Such meetings must comply with rules for meeting and taking minutes. Any trustee may call a meeting of the Board. A quorum of 3 trustees applies to the Board.

Any trustee must be a natural person and cannot be under 16 yeas old. A trustee will cease to hold office if they resign in writing, are absent without permission of the board from all the meetings over a 6 month period, dies or for medical reasons, is disqualified under section 178-180 of the Charities Act 2011 (previous financial or management behaviour), their time of service has expired or a resolution is passed by 2/3 majority of a general meeting.

Membership enrolment is by way of Membership Card upon payment of a Membership Fee to be paid by January 1 of the proposed membership year. The Membership Fee is proposed by the Board and approved at the A.G.M. It is the duty of each member to act in good faith so that any decision made would be most likely to further the purposes of the TWA. Membership exists internationally, as well as across the United kingdom.

Dissolution

The Association may at any time be dissolved, if approved by a simple majority of members present at the AGM or any meeting convened to discuss this. At least six weeks’ notice must be given to all members of such a resolution and meeting. The approval of the Shrine Council must also be obtained.

Any proposals to amend these guidelines will be put to the AGM for consideration, having been received by the National Secretary at least six weeks before the meeting.

History