Our Constitution








To the glory of God, it is hereby declared that the Congregation of St Paul’s Church Arcadia, Pretoria is a Constituent Church of the Church of England in South Africa, and has subscribed to the Constitution of, and has been declared a Constituent Church by, the said Church of England in South Africa, and hereby adopts the following as its Constitution and Rules of Procedure.


St Paul’s Church, Arcadia, Pretoria, hereinafter referred to as “this Church”, shall in terms of Secular Law, be a voluntary Association with full legal personality, with perpetual succession and the power to hold property in its own name, distinct from its members, and capable of being sued and suing in its own name.


The aims and objects of this Church shall be to provide for the worship of God, in terms of the faith and doctrine laid down in the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa.


The affairs of this Church shall be regulated and controlled by a Council, hereinafter referred to as “the Council” and constituted as hereinafter provided.



There shall be kept a register of the members of this Church. A member shall be a person who applied to the Council for membership and who has been admitted as such and has signed the membership register. The Church shall not admit any person to membership unless:

a. has been baptised;

b. has accepted and continues to accept the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa;

c. is over eighteen years of age;

d. is not a member of any other Church;

e. has been a habitual worshipper at this Church for a period of not less than six months, provided that a member of the Church of England in South Africa, upon transfer to this Church, shall be received as a member of this Church if he applies for admission as such;

f. has made a personal confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.



i. A general meeting of members shall be held once in every year (as soon after Easter) as is convenient on a date to be fixed by the Council. Such meeting shall be called the Annual Vestry Meeting and shall be chaired by the Rector or his nominee. If there is no Rector an Acting Chairman shall be elected from those present. The quorum shall be ten members.

ii. No person shall be entitled to vote at any Vestry Meeting, or be eligible as holder of any office and/or as member of any body or council constituted by the Constitution unless he/she be a member.

iii. Nominations for all Church office – bearers and Council Members can be made or seconded only by members of this Church. Any person attending this Church may attend a Vestry Meeting, but, unless he is a member, he may take no part whatsoever in the proceedings.


The Annual Vestry Meeting shall elect for the ensuing year the following office bearers, namely: two Church wardens, the members of the Council, Sidesmen and this Church’s representative to the Synod of the Church of England in South Africa. Should any appointed Synod Representative or Sidesmen not be able to fulfil his appointment the Council shall be empowered to appoint a replacement. The Annual Vestry Meeting shall also receive, consider and adopt or take such other action as may be deemed advisable on, the Financial Report and the Church-wardens Report for the past year, and shall transact such other business as is on the Agenda. Any member wishing to put a motion at the Annual Vestry Meeting shall, not less than one month before the meeting, notify in writing the terms of the motion to the Secretary of the Council.


Verbal notice of the place date and time of the Annual Vestry Meeting shall be given on three consecutive Sundays beforehand, at both the morning and evening services. A written notice shall at least fifteen days beforehand be displayed in a prominent place in the Church precincts.

The written notice shall be signed by any two of the following: the Rector, the Churchwardens and/or the Secretary of the Council and shall set out the Agenda for the Meeting.



A special General Meeting of members, hereinafter called a Special Vestry Meeting, may be held at any time to deal with the special business set forth on the notice convening such a meeting. Such a meeting shall be convened at the request of the Council or on receipt of a requisition by the Rector, or Secretary, or any of the Churchwardens stating the nature of such special business, addressed to the Secretary of the Council and signed by:

a) at least seven members, or

b) the Rector of the Congregation, or

c) the Churchwardens

Upon receipt of such requisition the Secretary of the Council or the Rector or a Churchwarden shall convene the Special Vestry Meeting in the manner prescribed for Annual Vestry Meetings. Such a Special Vestry Meeting shall take place not more than five weeks subsequent to the date of the requisition. The quorum for the Special Vestry Meeting shall be ten members.

If the matter to be dealt with at such a meeting touches or concerns any member, such member shall be notified in writing of the requisition at least fourteen days before the date of the meeting, and of the date, place and time of the meeting, and shall be entitled to attend and speak thereat.


If accepted to the congregation, Church Council and Rector, Quarterly Vestry Meetings may be held for the purposes of ministry coalition and project progress.



The Council shall consist of:

a) the Rector and any other Minister or Ministers of the congregation (ex-officio)

b) the Churchwardens (ex-officio)

c) no fewer than six and no more than ten members as determined by the Annual Vestry Meeting

The Council shall appoint a Secretary, herein called the Secretary of the Council, and a Treasurer. Should the Secretary and/or Treasurer not be a Council member, he shall not be entitled to vote.



The Rector or his nominee shall be the Chairman to preside at meetings of the Council. If there is no

Rector, an acting Chairman shall be elected by the Council from among their members at each meeting.

The Chairman shall have a casting vote.



i. Immediately before the item on the Agenda at the Annual Vestry Meeting concerning the election of office bearers, the members of the Council who were appointed in terms of paragraph (c) of Clause 10 shall retire but shall be eligible for re-election.

ii. Any vacancy in the membership of the Council occurring between two successive Annual Vestry Meetings may be filled by election by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Council if their number is seven or more and shall be so filled if their number drops below seven.



i. The two Churchwardens shall be elected as follows:

a) One shall be elected by members (other than the Clergy) from persons nominated to that office at the Annual Vestry Meeting. The Churchwarden so elected shall be known as “the People’s Warden.

b) The other shall be nominated to that office by the Rector. The Churchwarden so elected shall be known as the “Rector’s Warden.”

ii. Churchwardens shall be elected by a majority vote with election by lot in the event of an equality of votes.

iii. A vacancy in the office of Churchwarden occurring during the year of office may be filled at a Special Vestry Meeting convened for the purpose.



The Churchwardens shall be jointly responsible for the carrying out of the instructions of the Council relative to the control of the affairs of this Church, and shall have power to require the various services and the Sacraments to be conducted in accordance with the Standards and Formularies of the Church of England in South African and to prevent and to prohibit the introduction of any Ceremony, Vestment, Fitting or Ornament which is unlawful in the Church of England in South Africa and/or the Church of England Book of Common Prayer in 1662. The Churchwardens shall be bound to act on a complaint made in writing under this clause by at least five members of this Church, must refer such complaint to the Council for confirmation of their action.



The Council shall be responsible for the efficient administration of the affairs of this Church and shall in particular:

a) have power to appoint a Rector and/or Minister or Lay-Minister to the Congregation, to enter into contracts with the persons so appointed relative to his tenure of office and to accept the resignation of an incumbent or to terminate his appointment. Such appointment or termination shall be subject to the approval of the Presiding Bishop as laid down in Canon of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa;

b) rule on the interpretation of this Constitution and Rules of Procedure;

c) cause proper minutes and records of its proceedings and all other meetings of members and

of all transactions of this Church to be kept;

d) authorise all expenditure and payments;

e) have authority to open or cause to be opened a current account with any registered Commercial, General or Merchant Bank or Building society and to regulate the manner in which cheques will be signed, or money drawn; to raise or borrow money from time to time by means of an overdraft or by the giving of securities and/or in such other manner as the Council may think fit and for effecting such purposes, or any of them, to appoint two or more of their number to sign or execute all such acknowledgements of debt, pledges, powers of attorney to pass bonds, undertaking to repay, and/or other documents as may be necessary;

f) have authority in respect of all moneys not immediately required to meet the immediate charges upon this Church, to lend, invest, put out at interest, place on deposit, make advances or otherwise deal with such money upon such securities and in such manner as the Council may from time to time determine and to realise, vary or re-invest or otherwise deal with such securities as the Council may from time to time determine, and for effecting such purposes, or any of them, to appoint two or more of their number to sign or execute all documents as my be necessary or convenient; provided however that the Council shall not be entitled to invoke any of the powers contained herein unless authorised to do so by a resolution passed at a meeting of the Council by seventy-five percent of those present and entitled to vote;

g) take whatever steps may be necessary in terms of this Constitution to negotiate for, conclude and enter into the purchase or sale of immovable property in accordance with the provisions of clause 20 hereof;

h) prepare or cause to be prepared a Financial Statement, audited by a qualified auditor covering the year 1st January to 31st December preceding, have such Statement certified by the Churchwardens and present such Statement at the next ensuing Annual Vestry Meeting;

i) provide for the keeping and yearly revision as at 31st March of the Membership Register. The Church Council shall delete the name of a member from the Membership Roll if it is, after giving notice by Registered Post to such a member of its intention to do so, (such notice to be addressed to his last known address), satisfied that the member has ceased to be a habitual worshipper on account of age or ill health or any other similar valid reason;

j) determine the method by which Funds shall be raised.



a) Allegations of heresy or misconduct against the Rector or Minister or Lay-Minister or any office bearer of this Church shall be referred to the Council for decision and action. The Council may appoint a special committee to investigate such allegations or complaints. The Committee shall after its investigations have been completed, report its findings on the matter in question to the Council. Any action then to be taken by the Council on the matter in question shall require a resolution passed by seventy-five percent of those of its members present at a Special Meeting called for that purpose.

b) Subject to the provisions of sub-clause (a) of this Clause, the Rector and Churchwardens shall ex- officio be a standing Conciliation Committee to which any members of this Church, whether clerical or lay, shall refer any formal complaint of any nature which he wishes to make against any other member or body of this Church, whether clerical or lay. If the Committee finds after inquiry that the complaint is well founded, its members shall admonish and reason with the offender/offenders in a spirit of love and charity and if the offender/offenders respond with a sincere change of mind and views, shall report the inquiry and its results to both the complainant and the Council after which the matter shall be treated as closed. If the offender/offenders refuse to appear before the Committee, or, appearing, decline to accept the Committee’s admonitions and remain still in the same mind, the Committee shall report the inquiry and its results to the Council who shall take such action consistent with the Constitution and Canons of the Church of England in South Africa as it may decide, provided that the complainants and/or defendants shall have the right to appeal to a Vestry meeting against the decision of the Council.

c) Should the defendant to a complaint be a member of the Conciliation Committee he shall excuse himself and the Council of the Mother Church shall fill his position for the duration of the inquiry by the appointment of another of its members.



If a member is not satisfied with any decision of the Church Council concerning himself, he may ask the Executive Committee of Synod to meditate or arbitrate in terms of Article VII(3)(f) of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa. Such arbitration shall be subject to confirmation by the next Synod whose decision shall be final.



a) The quorum for Ordinary and Special Meetings of the Council shall be seven.

b) Ordinary meetings shall be held once a month as far as circumstances permit. An Agenda for each Ordinary Meeting of the Council shall be prepared by the Secretary of the Council, and shall be distributed to Council Members not less than five days before the date of the Meeting.

c) The Secretary of the Council shall include on such agenda such items as any Council Member may request in writing.

d) No business shall be decided upon at the Council Meeting unless same appears on the Agenda.

e) No member shall speak more than once on the subject, except in reply, for more than ten minutes, unless the permission of the Chairman be first obtained.

f) A motion duly seconded for the adjournment of a Meeting must immediately be put to the vote without further discussion.

g) If any member of the Council absents himself for any three consecutive Ordinary Meeting of the Council without leave, his seat may at the discretion of the Council be declared vacant and another member elected for the unexpired period of his appointment.



a) A special Council Meeting may be called by the Rector, Minister, Lay-Minister or Churchwardens or by any three members of the Council by means of a requisition in writing to the Secretary of the Council or in his absence the Rector or either of the Churchwardens, stating the purpose of the meeting. The recipient of the requisition shall, in consultation with the Rector and the Churchwardens, decide a place, date and time of meeting and immediately advise the Members of the Council in writing accordingly, informing them also of the purpose of the meeting.

b) At the meeting should the sufficiency of the notice be questioned, a two-thirds majority of those present shall be required to confirm it. If the sufficiency be not confirmed, the meeting shall adjourn to such a date being not less than seven days ahead, as it may decide on, and any members not present shall immediately be advised by the Secretary of the Council. At such adjourned meeting the sufficiency of the notice shall be assumed.

c) Should there not be a quorum at the first meeting, the Members present, shall adjourn the meeting to a date not less than seven days ahead and members not present shall be advised immediately by the Secretary of the Council. At the adjourned meeting those present shall form a quorum.



No immovable property shall be purchased, sold or bonded unless seventy-five percent of those present and entitled to vote at a Vestry Meeting vote in favour of the purchase, sale or bonding and provided the conditions of Article IV(2) of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa be complied with if applicable. All immovable property of this Church shall be registered in the name of the Central Trustees of the Church of England in South Africa. All instructions to the Central Trustees regarding this Church’s properties shall be given in writing by the two Churchwardens and the Secretary of the Council after having been duly authorised thereto.



Sunday Schools, Fellowships, Leagues and all other bodies formed to further this Church’s Spiritual work shall be subject to the following provisions: The Rector shall ex-officio be a member of any control committee and may exercise control over such Organisations and their activities and may require a report of their activities and a statement of the financial position at any time from such Organisations.



Before entering upon duties each Council Member and a member of any long term committee of the Church, shall solemnly assent to, and subscribe their names to the declaration of loyalty contained in Canon V(5) of the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa.



Amendments to this Constitution may be made only at a properly constituted Vestry Meeting and only if seventy-five percent of the members present vote in favour of such amendments. No amendments which are in any way contrary to the Constitution of the Church of England in South Africa shall be permissible. The proposed amendments shall be set out in full in the notice convening the Vestry Meeting.

Signed at Pretoria this 15th Day of June 2014.

Rector: Donald Kirkwood                                                …………………………………………………

Warden: Hendrik de Beer                                                …………………………………………………

Warden: Bogani Mabaso                                                 …………………………………………………