Muriel and Doris Lester &
The Heritage of the Kingsley Hall Community Centres
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This document is an early constitution for Kingsley Hall Bow. The date on the document is being determined. The wording is reproduced below.
The names of the Centres shall be Kingsley Hall and The Children's House, Bow.
The ideas on which Kingsley Hall work and witness are based were thought out, discussed and decided on, by a group of six men of Bow, Ben Platten, and Muriel Lester. They met together at nine o'clock every Sunday morning for ten weeks in the Spring of 1914 to plan what sort of a place they would like to set up in the neighbourhood, if they had the money and the opportunity, in order to enrich the common life of the people.
The Basis and Aims are the outcome of their deliberations.
1. BASIS AND AIMS.
(a) Kingsley Hall is dedicated to God.
(b) Kingsley Hall is a place of fellowship in which men and women can meet for social, educational, and recreational intercourse without barriers at class, nation, or creed. It is a place where all are welcomed and honoured, rich and poor, coloured and white, enemy or ally.
Kingsley Hall stands for the enrichment of the common life and the development of the whole personality -
(c) Kingsley Hall depends for its protection and well being on the actual presence of God rather than on the police and the military.
(d) Its job is to spread the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now; in the streets of BoW. All clubs, classes, camps, sports, socials and meetings, should serve this end.
(e) Instead of dispensing charity to its neighbours Kingsley Hall looks to them for financial support. It depends on the voluntary help of all its members and friends rather than on paid labour.
(f) Entrance charges shall be kept low enough to be within the reach of all.
(g) Because they are anti-
These aims are not intended to be fetters but guides towards unlimited growth.
(a) Full Members. As distinct from members of its various clubs and other organisations, Full Members of Kingsley Hall shall be those who, accepting the aims and basis outlined in the Constitution, have been recommended by the Members' Council and accepted by the Warden and
(b) Subscription. Full Members shall pay an annual subscription, the amount to be revised from time to time as required. They shall be entitled to a card of Full Membership.
A. Trustees. The Trustees, who are a self-
Provided that this be done, the Trustees shall not interfere with the organisation or conduct of the work. They shall meet as and when desired.
B.Executive Committee. The Executive Committee, originally appointed by the Trustees, shall be self-
(i) Be responsible to the Trustees for the work of the Centres as a whole.
(ii) Decide on policy in consultation with the Warden.
(iii) Be responsible for finance.
(iv) Appoint Household and Honorary Officers after consultation with the Warden.
(v) Appoint the Warden after consultation with the Trustees.
The Executive Committee shall meet at frequent intervals with a minimum of one meeting in every three months.
C. Leaders' Meeting. The Leaders' Meeting shall:-
(i) Be composed of the Warden and those who are responsible as Leaders of the various sections of the work whether as members of the Household, the Fellowship, or as Full Members.
(ii) Undertake definite responsibility for carrying out the programme and ensuring co-
(iii) Make recommendations on any matters to the Executive Committee.
D. Church Fellowship. Founded in 1924, the Church Fellowship is self-
It is responsible for all services of Worship, Communion, Dedication, Baptism, Marriage, Funeral and Commemoration.
It holds a monthly business meeting and appoints its representative to the 'Members) Council and to the Leaders' Meeting.
* "Our hearts are linked in the supreme personality of Jesus Christ, whom we all acknowledge as the revealer of God's nature and will. We are convinced that it is only by each one of us applying God's method of Love, as revealed in Jesus, to industry, commerce, occupation, politics, national, social and home life, that human society can be purged of its evils. The existence of Jesus gives
us authority and inspiration for what we are doing."
E. Household. The household shall consist of those who give full-
(i) Maintain the buildings in working order, cleanliness and beauty.
(ii) Keep Kingsley Hall programme going in constant co operation with members, neighbours) and other helpers.
(iii) Contribute to the Christian witness among Kingsley Hall members and throughout the neighbourhood.
(iv) Appoint a representative to the Members' Council and to the Leaders' Meeting.
F. Members' Council. The Members' Council shall:-
(i) Include representatives of all Kingsley Hall groups and clubs. These shall be appointed by their organisations and must be Full Members of Kingsley Hall. It shall also include representatives
from the Executive Committee and from the Leaders' Meeting. It shall meet under the chairmanship of the Warden.
(ii) Make recommendations on any matters to the Executive Committee.
(iii) Appoint representatives to other bodies where desired.
(iv) Share in raising funds.
(v) Meet at regular intervals.
G. Joint Meetings.
(i) It is desirable that the Leaders' Meeting and Members' Council shall hold joint sessions periodically and that occasionally these two bodies shall meet with the Executive Committee.
(ii) A General Meeting shall be held, as and when desired, for the whole of the membership and the Executive Committee,
H. Groups and Organisations. As far as possible each group or organisation shall have its own committee and officers. Each committee shall be responsible for the activities and conduct of its own Group or Organisation.
I. The Warden. The Warden shall be a member of the Executive Committee and an ex-
together with the committee, be responsible for appointments of new Household members.
Kingsley Hall Bow – Early Constitution
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