Constitution of the Bethany Bereavement Support Group
The name of the Organisation is BETHANY BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP. The
name Bethany was chosen by its founder Fr. John Murphy S.J. because of
its association with the grief of Martha and Mary at the death of their
2. Main Object
To provide a voluntary community / parish based service to support bereaved
adults through the grieving process.
3. Subsidiary Objects
In furtherance exclusively of the foregoing main object, the Organisation
shall have the following subsidiary objects:-
(a) To establish Bethany Bereavement Support Groups at Community/Parish
(b) To provide Training Courses to enable groups to function effectively.
It shall be mandatory for all Community/Parish group members to undergo
the Bethany Training Programme before supporting the bereaved. To defray
the expenses of the training course, an affiliation charge will be set
by the General Executive Council (GEC) and shall be payable by the community/parish
group or by the individual trainees;
(c) To provide other support services as are needed from time to time;
(d) Community/Parish Groups shall meet regularly at fixed locations,
with due regard for the requirements of insurance and Garda clearance;
(e) Community/Parish Groups shall appoint a contact person from among
the group, through whom links may be maintained with the GEC;
(f) Statements shall not be made on behalf of Bethany Bereavement Support
Group without reference to the Chairperson or Secretary of the GEC;
(g) Each Community/Parish Group shall make an annual report to the GEC
in the format prescribed.
The Organisation shall have the following powers which are exclusively
subsidiary and ancillary to the Main Object and which powers may only
be exercised in promoting the Main Object. Any income generated by
the exercise of these powers is to be applied to the promotion of the
4.1 To solicit and procure and to accept and receive any donation of
property of any nature and any devise, legacy or annuity, subscription,
gift, contribution or fund, including by means of payroll giving or other
similar arrangements, and including (but so as not to restrict the generality
of the foregoing) the holding of lotteries in accordance with the law
for the purpose of promoting the Main Object.
4.2 To establish and support any charitable association or institution,
trust or fund, and to subscribe or guarantee money for any charitable
purpose which the Organisation shall consider calculated to promote its
4.3 To make application on behalf of the Organisation to any authority,
whether governmental, local, philanthropic or otherwise, for financial
funding of any kind.
4.4 To acquire, hold, sell, manage, lease, mortgage, exchange or dispose
of and to develop and deal with all or any part of the property of the
4.5 To borrow and raise money in such manner as may be considered expedient,
and for the purpose of securing any debt or other obligation of the Organisation
to mortgage or charge all or any part of the property of the Organisation,
present or future.
4.6 To invest any moneys of the Organisation not immediately required
for the use in connection with its Main Object and to place any such
moneys on deposit; prior permission to be obtained from the Revenue Commissioners
where the Organisation intends to accumulate funds over a period in excess
of two years for any purposes.
4.7 To open one or more bank accounts and to draw, accept, make, endorse,
discount, execute, issue and negotiate bills of exchange, promissory
notes, bills of lading, warrants, debentures and other negotiable or
4.8 Subject to clause 5, to employ such staff, and on such terms, as
are necessary or desirable for the proper promotion of the Main Object.
4.9 To grant pensions, gratuities, allowances or charitable aid to any
person who may have served the Organisation as an employee, or to the
wives, husbands, children or other dependents of such person provided
that such pensions, gratuities, allowances or charitable aid shall be
no more than that provided by a pension scheme covered by Part 30 of
the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 and provided that such pension scheme
has been operated by the Organisation and the beneficiary of the pensions,
gratuities, allowances or charitable aid, or their spouse or parent,
has been a member of the pension scheme while employed by the Organisation;
and to make payments towards insurance and to form and contribute to
provident and benefit funds for the benefit of any persons employed by
the Organisation and to subscribe or guarantee money for charitable objects.
4.10 To insure any or all of the Executive Members against personal liability
incurred in respect of any act or omission which is or is alleged to
be a breach of trust or breach of duty, provided he or she acted in good
faith and in the performance of his or her functions as charity trustee
(as defined in the Charities Act, 2009).
4.11 To do all such other lawful things as the Organisation may think
incidental and conducive to the foregoing Main Object.
5. Income and Property
5.1 The income and property of the Organisation shall be applied solely
towards the promotion of Main Object(s) as set forth in these Rules.
No portion of the Organisation’s income and property shall be
paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus
or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to members of the Organisation.
5.2 No Executive Member shall be appointed to any office of the Organisation
paid by salary or fees, or receive any remuneration or other benefit
in money or money’s worth from the Organisation. However, nothing
shall prevent any payment in good faith by the Organisation of:
(a) reasonable and proper remuneration to any member or servant of the
Organisation (not being an Executive Member) for any services rendered
to the Organisation;
(b) interest at a rate not exceeding 1% above the Euro Interbank Offered
Rate (Euribor) per annum on money lent by Executive Members or other
members of the Organisation to the Organisation;
(c) reasonable and proper rent for premises demised and let by any member
of the Organisation (including any Executive Member) to the Organisation;
(d) reasonable and proper out-of-pocket expenses incurred by any Executive
Member in connection with their attendance to any matter affecting the
(e) fees, remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth
to any company of which an Executive Member may be a member holding not
more than one hundredth part of the issued capital of such company.
(f) Nothing shall prevent any payment by the Organisation to a person
pursuant to an agreement entered into in compliance with section 89 of
the Charities Act, 2009 (as for the time being amended, extended or replaced).
6. Additions, alterations or amendments
The Organisation must ensure that the Charities Regulator has a copy
of its most recent Rules. If it is proposed to make an amendment to the
Rules of the Organisation which requires the prior approval of the Charities
Regulator, advance notice in writing of the proposed changes must be
given to the Charities Regulator for approval, and the amendment shall
not take effect until such approval is received.
7. Winding Up
If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Organisation there remains,
after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever,
it shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Organisation.
Instead, such property shall be given or transferred to some other charitable
institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main objects
of the Organisation. The institution or institutions to which the property
is to be given or transferred shall prohibit the distribution of their
income and property among their members to an extent at least as great
as is imposed on the Organisation under or by virtue of Clause 5 hereof.
Members of the Organisation shall select the relevant institution or
institutions at or before the time of dissolution, and if and so far
as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then the property shall
be given or transferred to some charitable object with the agreement
of the Charities Regulator. Final accounts will be prepared and submitted
that will include a section that identifies and values any assets transferred
along with the details of the recipients and the terms of the transfer.
Membership shall be open to persons selected, trained and accredited
in accordance with procedures and standards set by the General Executive
Council (GEC) and who will adhere to such standards having signed their
written consent to become a member.
9. Rights of Members
Membership of the Organisation is not transferable and shall cease:-
(a) on the member's death or bankruptcy;
(b) if the member resigns by serving notice in writing to the Executive
at the Organisation’s principal place of business.
10. General Meetings
10.1 The Body shall hold a general meeting in every calendar year as
its annual general meeting at such time and place as may be determined
by the Executive and shall specify the meeting as such in the notices
calling it provided that every annual general meeting except the first
shall be held not more than fifteen months after the holding of the last
preceding annual general meeting. The business of the annual general
meeting shall include: (a) consideration of the annual accounts; (b)
consideration of the annual report; (c) the election and re-election
of Executive Members. An Annual General Meeting (AGM), open to all Bethany
10.2 All general meetings other than annual general meetings shall be
known as extraordinary general meetings.
10.3 The Executive may convene an extraordinary general meeting. If,
at any time, there are not sufficient Executive Members capable of acting
to form a quorum of Executive Members, any Executive Member may convene
an extraordinary general meeting.
10.4 The quorum for general meetings shall be 50.
10.5 The chairperson of the Executive shall preside as chairperson at
every general meeting of the Body, or if there is no such chairperson,
or if he or she is not present within 15 minutes after the time appointed
for the holding of the meeting or is unwilling to act, the Executive
Members present shall elect one of their number to be chairperson of
10.6 If at any meeting no Executive Member is willing to act as chairperson
or if no Executive Member is present within 15 minutes after the time
appointed for holding the meeting, the members of the Body present shall
choose one of their numbers to be chairperson of the meeting.
10.7 The chairperson may, with the consent of any meeting at which a
quorum is present and shall if so directed by the meeting, adjourn the
meeting from time to time and from place to place. However, no business
shall be transacted at any adjourned meeting other than the business
left unfinished at the meeting from which the adjournment took place.
When a meeting is adjourned for 30 days or more, notice of the adjourned
meeting shall be given as in the case of an original meeting but, subject
to that, it shall not be necessary to give any notice of an adjournment
or of the business to be transacted at an adjourned meeting.
10.8 Where there is an equality of votes the chairperson of the meeting
shall be entitled to a second or casting vote.
11. Matters Reserved to the General Meeting
None of the following matters may be brought into effect unless the same
shall have been approved at a general meeting of the Organisation:-
a) to make any alteration, addition or amendment to these Rules;
b) to wind up the organisation;
c) to remove a Executive Member;
d) to employ any person on remuneration exceeding €80.000 (gross)
e) to incur capital expenditure, whether on one or more projects, in
excess of €20,000 in any calendar year;
f) to incur borrowings in excess of €10,000;
g) to appoint a new trustee of the organisation pursuant to Rule 18;
h) to change the name of the body.
12. Notice of General Meetings
12.1 A meeting of the Organisation, other than an adjourned meeting,
shall be called:
(a) in the case of the annual general meeting, by not less than 14
(b) in the case of an extraordinary general meeting, by not less than
7 days notice.
An extraordinary general meeting, shall be convened by the GEC if a request
for such a meeting is made in writing either by a majority of the members of
the GEC, or by not less than one -third of the registered Community /Parish
Groups. Twenty - one days notice of such a meeting stating its purpose shall
be given to all registered Community/Parish Groups. No matter, other than that
notified shall be dealt with at such an EGM.
12.2 Where notice of a meeting is given by posting it by ordinary prepaid post
to the registered address of a member, the notice shall be deemed to have been
given on the expiration of 24 hours following posting.
12.3 In determining whether the correct period of notice has been given by
a notice of a meeting, neither the day on which the notice is served nor the
day of the meeting for which it is given shall be counted.
12.4 The notice of a meeting shall specify the place, date and time of the
meeting and the general nature of the business to be transacted at the meeting.
12.5 The accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-receipt
of notice of a meeting by, any member shall not invalidate the proceedings
at the meeting.
13. Votes of Members
Where a matter is being decided, every member present in person shall have
one vote, but so that no individual shall have more than one vote.
14. The Executive (Charity Trustees)
14.1 The number of the Executive Members shall not be less than three (3) and
unless and until determined by the organisation in general meeting, not more
than ten (10).
14.2 No remuneration shall be payable to any of the Executive Members in respect
of his/her services as Executive Member or on any committee of the Executive.
The Executive Members may be paid all travelling, hotel and other expenses
properly incurred by them in attending and returning from meetings of the Executive
or any committee of the Executive or general meetings of the Body or otherwise
in connection with the business of the Organisation.
14.3 The business of the Organisation shall be managed by the Executive, who
may exercise all such powers of the Organisation as are not by these Rules
required to be exercised by the Organisation in general meeting, subject nevertheless
to the provisions of these Rules and to such directions as the Organisation
in general meeting may give. No such direction given by the Organisation in
general meeting shall invalidate any prior act of the Executive which would
have been valid if that direction had not been given.
14.4 All cheques and other negotiable instruments and all receipts for moneys
paid to the Organisation shall be signed, endorsed or otherwise executed by
such person or persons and in such manner as the Executive shall from time
to time by resolution determine.
14.5 The GEC shall keep minutes:-
(a) of the names of the Executive Members present at each meeting of the Executive
and of any committee of the Executive;
(b) of all resolutions and proceedings at all meetings of the Organisation
and, of the Executive Members and of committees of the Executive.
14.6 The office of Executive Member shall be vacated if an Executive
Member ceases to be qualified for the position of charity trustee under
section 55 of the Charities Act, 2009.
14.7 Members of the Executive Committee shall retire from the Board after
a maximum of nine years service
15. Rotation of Executive Members
15.1 At the first Annual General Meeting of the Body, all the Executive
Members shall retire from office and at the Annual General Meeting in
every subsequent year, one third of the Executive for the time being,
or, if their number is not three or a multiple of three, then the number
nearest one-third, shall retire from office.
15.2 The Executive Members to retire in every year shall be those who
have been longest in office since their last election, but as between
persons who became Executive Members on the same day, those to retire
shall (unless they otherwise agree amongst themselves) be determined
15.3 A retiring Executive Member shall be eligible for re-election.
15.4 The organisation, at a meeting at which an Executive Member retires
in manner aforesaid, may fill the vacated office by electing a person
thereto, and in default of the Organisation doing so, the retiring Executive
Member shall, if offering himself for re-election, be deemed to have
been re-elected. Unless (a) at such meeting it is expressly resolved
not to fill such vacated office; or 9b) a resolution for the re-election
of such Executive Meember has been put to the meeting and lost.
15.5 No person other than an Executive Member retiring at the meeting
shall, unless recommended by the Executive, be eligible for to the office
of Executive Member at any general meeting unless, not less than three
(3) nor more than seven (7) days before the date appointed for the meeting,
there has been left at the organisation's principal place of business
(a) notice in writing, signed by a member of his/her intention to propose
such a person for election and (b) notice in writing signed by the person
concerned of his/her willingness to be elected.
15.6 The GEC may remove any Executive Member before the expiry of his/her
period of office.
15.7 The Executive may at any time appoint any person to be an Executive
Member, either to fill a casual vacancy or as an addition to the existing
Executive Members, but so that the total number of Executive Members
shall not at any time exceed the number provided for in these Rules.
Any Executive Member so appointed shall hold office only until the next
annual general meeting, and then shall be eligible for re-election.
i. Each Community/Parish Group and each member of the GEC shall be entitled
to nominate persons to stand for election to the GEC;
ii. The outgoing officers of the GEC shall be eligible for nomination but may
not serve in the same capacity for more than three consecutive years.
16. Proceedings of the Executive
16.1 The Executive may meet together for the dispatch of business, adjourn
and otherwise regulate their meetings as they think fit. Questions
arising at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes. In
case of equality of votes the chairperson shall have a second or casting
vote. The GEC has authority and responsibility for:
(a) The general administration and control of the organisation;
(b) Implementing the objectives of the organisation;
(c) Co-ordinating the activities of the community/parish groups;
(d) Receiving Annual Reports from community/parish groups;
(e) Maintaining a register of recognised community/parish groups, their
leaders and members;
16.2 Five members of the GEC shall form a quorum;
16.3 If their number is reduced below the necessary quorum, the continuing
Executive Member(s) may act for the purpose of increasing the number
of Executive Members to that number or of summoning a general meeting
of the Body, but for no other purpose.
16.4 If at any meeting the chairperson is not present within 15 minutes
after the time appointed for holding it, the Executive Members present
may choose one of their numbers to be chairperson of the meeting.
16.5 The Executive may delegate any of its powers to committees consisting
of such member or members of the Executive and such other persons as
they think fit, and any committee so formed shall, in the exercise of
the powers so delegated, conform to any regulations imposed on it by
16.6 The Executive may appoint the chairperson of any committee; if no
such chairperson is elected, or if at any meeting of a committee the
chairperson is not present within fifteen minutes after the time appointed
for holding it, the members of the committee present may choose one of
their numbers to be chairperson of the meeting.
16.7 A committee may meet and adjourn as it thinks fit. Questions arising
at any meeting of a committee shall be determined by a majority of votes
of the members of the committee present, and when there is an equality
of votes, the chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
A notice may be given by the Organisation to any member either personally
or by sending it by post or email to the member at his or her registered
address or email address (or, if not so registered, then to the address
or email address of the member last known to the Organisation).
18. Trustees for the purpose of holding property of the Organisation
The property of the Organisation shall be vested in and held by the Trustees
for the time being of the Organisation upon trust for the Organisation
as beneficial owner, to be dealt with at all times as and only as the
Executive Committee may, in accordance with the main objects, direct.
The Trustees shall, at the request of the Executive Committee and at
the cost of the Organisation as beneficial owner, transfer or convey
the trust property to such persons, at such times and in such manner
as the Executive Committee shall direct. The Trustees shall be indemnified
out of the assets of the Organisation against present and future liabilities,
actions, proceedings, claims, demands, duties and taxes and all other
costs and expenses whatsoever in respect of the trust property. The
Trustees shall not be required to incur any expenditure in respect
of the trust property unless and until money shall have been provided
by the Executive Committee for that purpose. The number of the Trustees
shall be not less than three. The Organisation in general meeting shall
have the power of appointing new Trustees.
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