Here are some of the frequently asked questions we get asked.
Do we need a constitution?
Any churches together group should have a constitution that governs the workings of the group. We have recently updated a localised version of a model constitution for Churches Together Groups in Cambridgeshire. You can view this template here. We strongly recommend that you use this as a basis for your own constitution. However, it is intended as a guide and can be updated to suit your local needs.
We recommend that you contact Nigel Moat, the County Ecumenical Officer, before reviewing your constitution. We are more than happy to assist you through this process. Nigel can be contacted via our web form.
GDPR - Do not fear!
Have you been hit by the GDPR bug? Is it causing you an administration nightmare? Do not fear!
In many cases you are now required to obtain consent from those whose data you hold. You need the permission of all whose data you hold to retain it, and you need to have evidence of that.
However, you may be able to use the legitimate interest clause within the regulations to cover certain activities. These could include the sending out of the agenda, minutes and accompanying information to your members (i.e, those that would normally attend any meetings).
Please note, that if emails are sent out to a broader group, for example promoting an event to all members of the churches associated to your network, then explicit consent may be required.
If you want to know more, you can contact us via our webform.
Please note, that as an intermediate body, we do not offer legal advice on this subject, or provide model documents because all ecumenical bodies, including Churches Together groups and Intermediate Bodies are different. A great deal of information is available from the Information Commissioner's Office and some of the major English denominations offer help churches and religious organisations and charities comply with these new regulations. However, the above information has been put together following advice from the Information Commissioner's Office when we asked them the specific question about emailing members of a Churches Together Group in relation to the normal activities of such a a group.
Insurance - Do we need it for our Churches Together Group?
The short answer to this question is almost certainly yes!
Many of your groups will undertake joint activities: mission work, walks of witness, joint services etc. Therefore, you must have insurance in place for this to cover public liability risks. If an activity is sponsored by the Churches Together Group or by an informal grouping of churches, the insurance which covers individual churches will not cover this joint activity.
You can find out more about insurance cover on the Churches Together in England website.