1. Name

The name of the Commission is the Diocese of Southwark Liturgy Commission. In this Constitution it shall be referred to as ‘the Commission’.

2. Status

The Commission is responsible to the Archbishop for the promotion of the liturgy [1] and other acts of public worship.

3. Object

The object of the Commission is:

  [a] to inform itself about the practice of the liturgy in the Diocese [2];
  [b] to inform itself of the proposals of the competent authorities in liturgical matters and to help put these into effect in the Diocese, under the direction of the Archbishop [3];
  [c] to inform itself of what is being said and done in liturgical matters in other dioceses in this country and in other parts of the world;
  [d] to make recommendations to the Archbishop, and to the Departments and Committees of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales on matters within its competence;
  [e] to suggest and promote, under the direction of the Archbishop, practical schemes to further the liturgical movement, especially to assist priests and parish liturgy committees in their work of planning and executing liturgical celebrations and of liturgical formation [4];
  [f] to suggest steps for a pastoral liturgical programme within the Diocese and to provide or give advice about the persons, resources and materials available to put such a programme into effect [5];
  [g] to co-operate with other Commissions, diocesan agencies and associations in the promotion of joint projects to ensure that Diocesan schemes for the promotion of the liturgy have the goodwill and co-operation of all concerned [6];
  [h] to advise the Archbishop on the building, decoration and furnishing of churches and the adaptation of existing ones according to the norms laid down in the relevant liturgical documents;
  [i] under the direction of the Archbishop to further studies and necessary experiments in the case of adaptations in liturgical rites to be submitted to the Apostolic See [7] and to carry out such consultations as requested by the Departments and Committees of the Bishops' Conference;
  [j] to give assistance when requested in the planning of Diocesan liturgical celebrations.
4. Membership and Officers of the Commission
  [a] The Archbishop shall be the President of the Commission.
  [b] The Archbishop shall appoint the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and members of the Commission.
  [c] The Chairman shall nominate to the Archbishop for appointment to the Commission the Chairmen of the Committees of the Commission, and other such persons as he shall decide to nominate. In the case of the Liturgical Formation Committee, this will include its Chairman and up to two other members.
  [d] The Cathedral Dean, the Diocesan Master of Ceremonies and the Director of the Centre for Catholic Formation shall be ‘ex-officio’ members of the Commission.
  [e] When the Chairman of a Committee cannot or does not wish to attend regularly or attends in some other capacity he should nominate through the Chairman another member of the Committee to be appointed by the Archbishop to represent the Committee on the Commission.
  [f] The Commission shall select both its Secretary and its Treasurer and, if not already members, the Chairman of the Commission shall nominate them to the Archbishop for appointment to the Commission.
5. Officers' duties
  [a] The duties of the Chairman shall be to:
  • preside when it is possible for him to do so over all meetings of the Commission and to sign all minutes approved by the Commission as a true record of its proceedings;
  • ensure that the Committee responsible puts into effect such resolutions as the Commission may require;
  • provide a link between the Archbishop and the Commission and to submit its recommendations to him;
  • undertake any other duty that the nature and scope of his office may require.
  [b] The duties of the Vice-Chairman shall be to:
  • support, assist and represent the Chairman in such ways as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall mutually arrange;
  • preside at Commission meetings in the absence of the Chairman;
  • undertake any other duty as the nature and scope of his office may require.
  [c] The duties of the Secretary shall be to:
  • draw up the agenda of the Commission meeting in consultation with the Chairman;
  • call Commission meetings on the instruction of the Archbishop, the Chairman of the Commission or at the written request of four members of the Commission;
  • give Commission members at least 14 days notice of any meetings so called;
  • act as a point of contact for correspondence;
  • attend all meetings of the Commission and keep a record of the proceedings;
  • submit minutes of all Commission meetings to the Archbishop and to all members of the Commission;
  • submit proposals received from parish liturgy committees to the Commission for consideration;
  • undertake any other duty that the nature and scope of his office may require.
  [d] The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:
  • receive all monies paid to the Commission;
  • discharge all accounts;
  • enter all accounts into the books of the Commission;
  • give up all books, documents and money to his successor on his departure from office;
  • present to all members at the first Commission meeting each year a statement of accounts for the financial year and a balance sheet as at 31st December of the preceding year.
  [e] The Vice-Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer may be removed from office at any time by the Chairman in consultation with the Archbishop.
6. Meetings
  [a] The Commission shall meet at least four times a year.
  [b] Special meetings of the Commission may be called by the Archbishop, by the Chairman or at the written request to the Secretary of four members of the Commission. Fourteen days clear notice of such meetings shall be given to all members.
  [c] The agenda for meetings shall be drawn up by the Secretary in consultation with the Chairman.
  [d] The quorum for meetings of the Commission shall be one third of the members.
  [e] Any motion duly proposed and seconded shall be decided by a simple majority of those members present and voting.
  [f] If necessary the Chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.
  [g] Any member who does not attend four consecutive meetings of the Commission of which he has been given prior notice and has not given an acceptable apology for absence shall be deemed to have resigned. Such a member shall, however, remain eligible for re-appointment.
7. Committees of the Commission
  [a] The work of the Commission shall normally be carried out by the following Committees:
  • Liturgical Formation
  • Music
  • Art and Architecture
  [b] Membership of the Committee shall be open to all members of the Commission. Officers of the Commission shall be ex-officio members of all Committees.
  [c] Each Committee shall appoint its own Chairman, subject to the approval of the Chairman of the Commission, and appoint its own members.
  [d] Each Committee shall regulate its procedure and work to the the terms of reference of the Committee as approved by the Commission.
  [e] The Commission may institute additional committees to deal with other aspects of its work for a specific purpose or for a specific period of time.
  [f] The Committee shall have no power to make executive decisions but shall submit their recommendations in writing to the Secretary of the Commission except in so far as powers are specifically delegated to a Committee.
9. Amendments
  Amendments to this Constitution, duly proposed and seconded, shall be carried by a two-thirds majority of those members present and voting at a meeting of the Commission, the notice of which shall have contained clear details of the proposed amendment.

Fourteen days notice of such amendments must be given by the Secretary to all members of the Commission. Any such amendments so passed shall be subject to the approval of the Archbishop.

[1] Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 'Sacrosanctum Concilium', No 45
[2] Instruction on the Constitution 47a
[3] Instruction on the Constitution 47b
[4] Instruction on the Constitution 47c
[5] Instruction on the Constitution 47d
[6] Instruction on the Constitution 47e and 45e
[7] Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 'Sacrosanctum Concilium', No 44
Approved by the Most Reverend Peter Smith
Archbishop of Southwark
November 2015







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