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Constitution & Rules

1. NAME:

The Organization shall be known as: The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar hereinafter known as: The Order

2. FOUNDATION: The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar is a chivalric order of like-minded individuals who demonstrate nine core principles: Chivalry, Courage, Honor, Integrity, Loyalty, Humility, Courtesy, and Charity & Wisdom. Members take their inspiration from the highest ideals of the medieval Order of Knights Templar, originally founded by Hugues de Payens and eight fellow noblemen in Jerusalem circa 1118. These core principles have strong correlations to the Latin Rule of Templars, adopted by Hugues de Payens and others under the guidance of St Bernard of Clairvaux and Council of Troyes on 13th January 1129. It is expected that members commit themselves to these core principles at all times.

3. OBJECTS: The objects of the Order are to promote: Fraternity, Friendship, Spirituality, Meditation, Charity, & Chivalry. Providing humanitarian relief to the poor, sick and needy. To aid the development of spiritual understanding and meditation technique. Promoting historical research associated with the 12th to 14th century Knights Templar. To encourage the noble ideals of Chivalry and to promote Nobility through deeds of Charity & Honor.

4. PERSONAL COMMITMENT The core principles of the order are Chivalry, honor, integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom & charity. For Templar members, the Order is a way of life according to these principles, freely chosen but nonetheless binding on their oath and honor. There is an obligation that members participate in the Orders activities, particularly in events and meetings organized by the Order. Members contribute financially, as best their personal means allow, to furthering the work of the Order.

MEMBERSHIP: Qualification: Any person over the age of eighteen (fifteen for cadet class) who undertakes to behave in the best interest of honor, chivalry and charitable deed shall be eligible for membership. Race, color, nationality, gender, educational and professional qualifications, or the lack thereof, shall never be a test of Membership.

5. Classes of Membership: The Order has one ancillary rank: Affiliate a person who has applied for membership of the Order but has not yet been admitted. The Order has four classes of member: Cadet a person of fifteen to seventeen years of age who has been admitted into the Order and is entitled to use the abbreviated letter GCKT (Cadet) following the family name. Preceptor a person of eighteen years of age or more who has been admitted into the Order and is entitled to use the abbreviated letters GCKT following the family name. Sergeants class membership for individuals of eighteen years of age or more who have either a) joined as a direct entrant at Sergeant level and have been appropriately vetted by the Order by way of character reference and/or interview or; b) served the Order for a minimum period of one year as a Preceptor and has been recommended by their District Commander for advancement through recognized acts of chivalry and charity. Sergeants are entitled to use the abbreviated letters SG GCKT following the family name.

Titled Members, i.e. Knights/Dames a person who is granted the honor of Knight Templar with full right and privilege of using the honorific title of Sir Knight or Dame within the order alongside adequate opportunity to enjoy the privileges of ennoblement, title and abbreviated letters of KT GCKT following the family name. Progression to Knight Templar is open, via application process, to Sergeants who have served the Order for a minimum period of two years and a minimum period of one year as Sergeant and has; a. displayed recognized acts of chivalry and charity throughout their membership and; b. has been sponsored by a senior rank of the Order.

The Order has six ranks of seniority for Titled Member classes: Member Council Member District Commander Knight Marshal Seneschal Grand Master

Position is either gained by election process or promotion earned by undertaking an office, a project or another duty that the Order considers to be a notable contribution to the work of the Order.

The Order has two types of associate membership: Honorary member who holds an honorary rank Associate who holds no rank. GCKT (Assoc.) is permitted.

Membership of the Order, and the ranks and titles within it, do not confer any rank, title or social privilege outside of the Order.

6. Election:

Candidates for election to membership shall make written or electronic application to the Grand Master of the Order on the form provided. The power of election shall rest with the Grand Master, who may refuse to elect to membership any applicant without assigning a reason for so

doing. The candidate, upon acceptance, will enter under an assumed oath to the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and its Grand Master, as per Rule 24.

7. Restriction:

A person who has been expelled from, or refused membership of, the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, shall not be eligible for membership. The following are the Constitutional proscriptions in respect of the acceptability of any candidate for Membership, or in the case of an existing Member, reasons for expulsion.

7.1. The Member has not paid the Order the sums of money representing the constitutional obligation of the annual Allegiance Fee due by him to the Order, and has therefore acted contrary to the "Honor Code" of the Order.

7.2. The Member acts contrary to The Constitution or any part thereof, The Memorandum of Association, The Rules of Membership, and or The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, or any section thereof.

7.3. The Member has, by their actions, promoted or is likely to promote hatred, intolerance or prejudice against others or is affiliated with any organization which has promoted or is likely to promote hatred, intolerance or prejudice against others. 7.4. The Member has by his actions caused or is likely to cause the Order, or any Member thereof to be considered or called into disrepute. 7.5. The Member has been convicted of a flagrant offence, by a competent and recognized Court of Law, saving those who have fully paid their debt to society. 7.6. If the Member has been declared of an unsound mind by a competent authority recognized as such by The General Congress. 7.7. If a Member is convicted by a competent Court of Law in any lawful jurisdiction recognized as such by The Government of the United Kingdom and or by The General Congress for acts of immorality or indecency. 7.8. If any Member is involved in any act of pornography, pedophilia or bestiality whether passive or otherwise, or is connected in any way with the production, distribution or subscription to acts, matters, publications or groups connected with pornography, pedophilia, bestiality or other acts of whatever nature considered to be contrary to the accepted meaning of chivalry, honor and integrity.

7.9. If a Member is convicted by a competent Court of Law in any lawful jurisdiction recognized as such by The Government of the United Kingdom, and or, The General Congress for an act of, or complicity in any act of terrorism. 7.10. If a Member should become a member of, or in any way involved with, or otherwise affiliated to any organization involved with terrorism, and or the unlawful manufacture, use of, import or export of weapons of war. 7.11. Full membership automatically precludes an individual from being a member of any other Templar Order and application and subsequent acceptance into the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar assumes a candidates sole allegiance to this Order and no other. Should an applicant already be a member of another Order, it is expected that the candidate resign their position before accepting membership of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar. Any member found to belong to any other Order will be found to be in conflict with the assumed oath they have made to the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and its Grand Master.

8. Acceptance: The Grand Master may at his sole discretion, decline to accept renewal of membership, from any person, without disclosing the reason.

9. SUBSCRIPTION:

Costing and estimates is always the essential key in the planning of the projects and operations within The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar. The closest consideration has been applied in establishing a pragmatic basis of "Allegiance Fees" which are the only direct revenues received by this Order, and used for the overall support and development of The Order. This financial obligation is enshrined in the Constitution, and is mandatory throughout Membership and without exception. Indeed, the Allegiance Fee, which is a thumbprint of tangible support and genuine sincerity by the Member in question, is the only constitutionally authorized financial requirement of Membership.

10. CESSATION OF MEMBERSHIP: 10.1. Any member may resign giving one months clear notice in writing to the Grand Master. 10.2. Any member violating any of the rules or regulations of the Order or being adjudged guilty of unsatisfactory conduct may, by resolution of the General Council, be suspended or expelled. Any member so suspended or expelled may appeal to a Special General Meeting if such an appeal is sponsored by not less than 60 per cent of members who are entitled to vote.

10.3. A member shall be deemed to have resigned from the Order if, after due notice in writing, he/she has not paid the constitutional allegiance fee which became due as a result of their membership. He/she may, however, rejoin at any time during that year, subject to the provisions outlined above.

11. DISQUALIFICATION FROM HOLDING OFFICE: Only titled members are eligible to hold office.

12. GENERAL COUNCIL: 12.1. The General Council shall conduct the affairs of the Order as a whole and shall consist of a Grand Master, Seneschal, Knight Marshal and up to 6 other officers as deemed necessary. Additionally, the General Council may co-opt no more than 3 members of the Order to its number. 12.2. Upon the resignation of either any General Council Member, nominations for the position of Grand Master, Seneschal, Marshal and other officers shall be put forward in the form of a motion under the terms of Rule 11.

13. DUTIES OF COUNCIL: 13.1. Grand Master: The Grand Master will preside at all General Meetings of the Order and at all meetings of the General Council. He or she shall represent the Order at International meetings of the Order and has the sole authority to invest Knights and Dames and to admit/induct all members into the Order. He or she shall be responsible for guiding the activities of the Order in accordance with its rules and general policy as expressed by the majority of its members and in accordance with the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar Rules. 13.2. Seneschal: The Seneschal will deputize for the Grand Master during the absence or incapacity of the Grand Master on any occasion or during any time that the office of Grand Master is vacant. Seneschal specific duties include register of membership, general finances of the Order including collection of membership subscriptions and the keeping of proper accounts. 13.3. Knight Marshal: The Marshal oversees all members at District Commander level and below and acts as assistant to the Grand Master and Seneschal. They are specifically in charge of ensuring order, discipline, and etiquette within the Order and have the responsibility to recommend either promotion of a member to the Grand Master or disciplinary action for breaches of oath, core principle or rule by any member under Rule 7, paragraphs (1) to (11). 13.4. Council Member: Responsibilities for other duties within the Order may be distributed by the Grand Master to one of the other officeholders or elected Council Members. Such duties may include one or more from the following non-exhaustive list: Co-ordination with local officials,

representing the Order within localities, correspondence, website administration, literature, journals and the taking of official minutes.

14. GENERAL COUNCIL: 14.1. The General Council is responsible for the general conduct of the Orders business and activities. 14.2. The General Council shall meet at regular intervals during the year, as required by the business to be transacted. 14.3. Special meetings of the General Council shall be called by the Seneschal on instructions from the Grand Master or not less than three council members. 14.4. A quorum shall consist of not less than four members in the case of the General Council. 14.5. In the case of casual vacancy among the General Council, the said Council shall co-opt another eligible person to act until the next AGM.

15. GENERAL MEETINGS: 15.1. An Annual General Meeting shall be held in the Autumn of each year. There shall be laid before the meeting a statement of accounts made up to the day of the month of immediately preceding. 15.2. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called on the instructions of a simple majority of the General Council, or on a requisition signed by not less than 60% of the members of the Order entitled to vote. 15.3. Not less than 21 days clear notice shall be given , specifying to all members the time and business of the General Meeting. 15.4. Motions for discussion at Annual General Meetings, not of origin from within the General Council, shall be lodged with the Seneschal at least 30 days preceding the AGM, and be signed by members entitled to vote. 15.5. At any General Meeting, a resolution put to the vote of the Meeting shall be decided by a show of hands, of those entitled to vote, except when more than one nomination has been received for a position on the General Council, in which case voting will be by secret ballot. 15.6. At all General Meetings the Grand Master will preside or, in his/her absence, Seneschal.

15.7. At all General Meetings not less than 60% of the members of the Order shall constitute a quorum.

16. Absences of Quorum: If after half an hour from the time appointed for the meeting, a quorum is not present, the Meeting, if called at the request of the members, shall be dissolved in any other case, the meeting shall be adjourned. If anyone is not present within half an hour from the time appointed for an Adjourned Meeting, the members present shall be a quorum.

17. Accidental Omission: Accidental Omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-receipt of notice of, a meeting by any member shall not invalidate the proceedings of a meeting.

18. LIABILITY: 18.1. The General Council shall manage the affairs of the Order. Financial or legal liability incurred in the rightful exercise of their office shall not, however, be the personal liability of the Council, but shall be the responsibility of the Order as a whole. 18.2. All members or other persons who attend the Orders events do so at their own risk, and neither the Order nor its officers can accept any liability for any loss or injury of any kind sustained at headquarters or whilst on an Order event or other activity.

19. VOTING: Only full member are entitled to vote at all meetings.

20. ALTERATION OF CONSTITUTION: 20.1. This constitution shall not be altered, amended, or rescinded except by a General Meeting of the Order. 20.2. A resolution to give effect to a change must be passed by at least 75% of the members present at the General Meeting, and voting on this behalf.

21. AUDITOR: Every Annual General Meeting shall appoint an external Auditor who shall at least once in every five years examine the Accounts of the Order, and ascertain the correctness of the income and expenditure accounts and of the balance sheet.

22. DISTRIBUTION OF PROFITS: In no circumstances can any profit be distributed to members, but any profits earned shall be contributed to a General Fund for furthering the objects of the Order.

23. TERMINATION: 23.1. The Order shall not terminate except by a resolution of a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose and, in such an event, any surplus assets shall be handed over to the Temple Church. 23.2. Any matter not provided for in this constitution, or any question over the interpretation of it shall be dealt with by the General Council whose decision shall be final.

24. DECLARATION: Each member upon joining shall sign the following declaration and repeat the oath during investiture: 'I, (Name) of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar affirm that, I will be faithful and bear true respect and honor to the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and its Grand Master. And I do hereby affirm my obedience to the constitution, core principles and Aims and Rules of the Order and will bear no allegiance to any other Order or Grand Master whilst a member of their Order. +++++++++++++

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