London Sacred Harp Constitution

We wrote this constitution in 2016 because it was a requirement of setting up a bank account. It is also available as a PDF.

Article 1
The name of the group will be London Sacred Harp.

Article 2
The purpose of London Sacred Harp is to encourage and promote the singing locally of shape note music as represented by the tunes and hymns included in the song books titled ‘The Sacred Harp’ (Denson, 1991), published by the Sacred Harp Publishing Company and ‘The Christian Harmony’ (2010), published by The Christian Harmony Music Company.

Article 3
Membership of London Sacred Harp is open to all who are interested in Sacred Harp singing. Singers in attendance at London Sacred Harp business meetings may vote on matters properly brought to the meeting.

Article 4
London Sacred Harp will meet to sing around four times a month in venues within London. The singings will be published on the London Sacred Harp website, the London Sacred Harp Facebook page, and the London Sacred Harp mailing list.
London Sacred Harp will hold an annual Sacred Harp All-Day singing on the Saturday before the 4th Sunday in October. An annual Christian Harmony All-Day will be held the day after the Sacred Harp All-Day on the 4th Sunday in October.

A short business meeting will be held during at least four other singings each year.

A financial report should be given on income and expenditure from the London Sacred Harp bank account. Other matters for discussion should be sent with a brief description of the matter to the Chair of London Sacred Harp at least two weeks prior to the meeting. The Chair will distribute an agenda on social media and email. These matters will be decided by majority vote.

An Annual General Meeting will be held every year after the London Sacred Harp All-Day in October. A Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary of London Sacred Harp will be elected during this meeting. They will be signatories to the bank account of London Sacred Harp. These positions are for the committee of London Sacred Harp. Officers for the All-Day singing are chosen separately.

Article 5
Officers for the Annual All-Day Singing
The officers will be responsible for organising the annual All-Day singing.

The officers will be elected by members present at either a) the business session in July or b) at a separate meeting held between the July business meeting and the All-Day singing.
The officers of the All-Day will be: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain, Accommodation
The offices of Chair and Vice Chair of the All-Day may not be carried out by the same persons for more than two years in succession. If any of the offices becomes vacant, the Chair may appoint a replacement to serve until the next election of officers.

The responsibilities of each officer are as follows:

  • Chair: will preside over the All-Day singing and any other meetings relating to the All-Day singing.
  • Vice Chair: will preside over the All-Day singing and any other meetings relating to the All-Day singing in the absence of the Chair. The Vice Chair will execute other duties as assigned by the Chair.
  • Secretary: will record the minutes of the All-Day singing and any other meetings relating to the All-Day singing. The Secretary will ensure that the minutes of the All-Day are properly submitted for publication in the ‘Directory and Minutes of Sacred Harp Singings’ publication.
  • Treasurer:  will receive and disburse funds as directed by London Sacred Harp singers. Principally this will involve collecting from members sufficient donations to cover, if possible, the expenses of running the All-Day singing. The Treasurer will maintain custody of the All-Day singing’s funds and will keep detailed records of receipts and disbursements. The Treasurer will make a preliminary report regarding the receipts and disbursements in the closing session of the All-Day singing.
  • Chaplain: shall be responsible for prayers for the All-Day and may appoint others to assist in this.

Article 6
The committees will be appointed by the Chair of the All-Day. The objective of committees will be to facilitate the conduct of the All-Day singing and to fulfil other activities of the All-Day singing as may arise.

The committees of the All-Day will be: Arranging Committee and Memorial Committee

The responsibilities of each committee are as follows:

Arranging Committee will decide and announce the sequence of leaders for the All-Day singing having regard to the timetable for the All-Day agreed with the Chair.

Memorial Committee will conduct the Memorial and the Sick & Housebound Lessons at the All-Day..

Other committees as necessary may be appointed by the Chair.

Article 7
Amendments to Articles
These articles may be amended, added to, or repealed by an affirmative vote of at least two thirds of the members present at an AGM.