Supporting Christians in the Armed Forces

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(Registered Charity No: 1002371)



1.          The Trust shall be known as THE CORNELIUS TRUST and is a Registered Charity under number 1002371.  The provisions of the Charities Act shall apply, as amended by Act of Parliament.


2.          The Trust was registered on 26 March 1991 and established under a Trust Deed dated 14 November 1990.  Nothing in this constitution shall contravene the Trust Deed which has primacy in all matters.  The Trust Deed should be read in conjunction with this document.  The Trust Deed instructs the Trustees to hold the Trust Fund and income and to apply it for charitable purposes in England or elsewhere by acquiring property or financially supporting any charitable purpose or institution at their discretion.  The aims and objectives of the Trust are clarified and amplified by this constitution.


3.          The Trust was formed using monies from the Centre Fund of the Officers’ Christian Union (now the Armed Forces Christian Union) with the principal intention of working towards the establishment of a Christian Conference and Holiday Centre for members and ex-members of the Armed Services and their dependants.  Badger House in Shropshire became the single purpose of the Trust from 1994.  In 2006, Badger House was sold when it was no longer fulfilling the primary purpose directed towards Christians in the military.  Once more the Trust had funds available to continue the Centre’s aim of propagating the Christian gospel and providing opportunities for Christians in the military community to have fellowship in ways that reflect contemporary military life.


4.          The aim of the Trust is to facilitate the propagation and development of the Christian faith on a non-denominational basis, and to encourage Christians and those wishing to consider the claims of the Christian Gospel.  This aim is directed at members and ex-members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces, their spouses and dependants.  To some extent, the Trust also recognises this role for members of organisations connected with the Regular Armed Forces, such as the Reservist and Cadet Forces, MoD Civil Servants who are members of one or more of the Military Christian Organisations, and Christians in the military of other countries.


5.          The objectives of the Trust will be fulfilled for all those defined in its “Aim” by:

     a.           Providing financial support to Christian organisations who provide for Christian retreats, fellowship or conferences or courses of Christian learning aimed at those listed in the “Aim” above.

     b.      Providing direct financial support to those defined in its “Aim” to enable them to facilitate or attend Christian holidays or conferences or other courses of Christian learning.

     c.       Acquiring property in whole or in part to provide retreats, fellowship and/or teaching facilities.[1]

     d.       Financially supporting the acquisition or improvement of property or the acquisition of teaching media to provide rest and recuperation and/or teaching facilities.1

6.      The Trustees may consider support for any other activities which meet the broad aims of the Trust.

7.      It is of note that Shallowford House, the Lichfield Diocese retreat and conference centre, offers all military personnel who are members of a Military Christian Organisations a 40% discount on their standard fees.  This arrangement is a result of an earlier gift from the Trust towards the cost of the extension of Shallowford House’s facilities and an historic link between the Trust and the Diocese of Lichfield.


8.          The Trust is governed by a Council of Trustees.  The Trust Deed allows for any number of Trustees provided this is three or more.  New Trustees will be elected by existing Trustees.  Trustees should be in good standing within the church fellowship and Military community (where applicable), and hold a clearly biblical understanding of mission and evangelism.  Trustees and directly employed staff must affirm the Trust’s Basis of Belief.  The appointment of a Trustee will normally last for five years but re-appointment is possible for further terms.

9.          The Trustees shall elect a Chairman of the Trust annually and appoint a Treasurer.  Both shall always be eligible for re-election/reappointment.  The Trustees shall hold at least two meetings every year, at which trustees may attend in person or via video-conference. A quorum shall be at least 3 Trustees or at least half of the total number of serving Trustees, whichever is the greater.  The Trustees may appoint non Council members to assist in the running of the Trust and may invite these persons to Council Meetings as appropriate.  Only Trustees shall be permitted to vote at Council Meetings.  No person receiving remuneration from the Trust may be a Trustee (although trustees may benefit from subsidies by The Cornelius Trust as part of a larger group e.g. an event organised by one of the Military Christian Organisations).  The purpose of non-Council members is to assist the Trustees in their responsibilities.  They will normally be people who have a vision for the work of the Trust but who do not wish or are not able to act as a Trustee.

10.       A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chairman upon at least 4 days' notice being given to all other Trustees, with an indication of the matters to be discussed.

11.       Each Council Meeting shall be recorded by minute record which shall be approved at the next meeting.

12.       Any Trustee who fails to attend a meeting over a period of one year, unless by reason of Service orders or for specific reasons agreed formally with other Trustees, shall be deemed to have resigned from the Council.­


13.    The Trust may employ consultants, full-time or part-time staff to do any such work that the Trustees consider necessary.


14.       The administration of the Trust may be devolved to a number of working groups, each chaired by a Trustee.  Working Groups should meet as and when required but each chairman should report to every Council Meeting.  The following Working Groups are an example of those that may be formed as required but do not limit the formation of any other group that may be required:

a.           Finance Working Group, chaired by the Trust’s Treasurer, to be responsible for the management of funds and grants, investing capital, and for fund raising and public relations.

b.           Activities Working Group to be responsible for considering proposals for the use of Trust funds.

c.            Buildings and Property Working Group to be responsible for development projects, maintenance and improvement of buildings and property owned by the Trust.


15.       The Trust Fund will, in accordance with the Trust Deed, be invested in property, stocks, funds, shares, securities or other investments.  The Treasurer, (together with the Finance Working Group, if formed) will draft an annual budget by 1 January each year for the administration of the Trust to be approved by the Council.  The financial year will run from 1 April and an audited, or examined, set of accounts will be submitted to the Charity Commission having had prior approval by the Trustees. 

16.    The Trust will provide gifts or support to individuals or specific Christian organisations agreed by the Trustees in accordance with the foregoing aims and objectives of the Trust.  All such expenditure must be approved by a majority of Trustees.


17.    No amendment may be made to this Constitution unless approved unanimously by the Council.

Supporting Documents

a.      The Cornelius Trust Basis of Belief

b.      Grant Guidelines detailing the process of the allocation of grants by the Trustees of The Cornelius Trust

c.            Financial Guidelines detailing the administration of the funds and assets of The Cornelius Trust by the Trustees.

This revised constitution was approved unanimously by the Council of the Trustees of The Cornelius Trust at a meeting on 19 July 2017. 


Signed by……………Original Signed…………………………….

D B M Fry

Chairman of Trustees

[1]The Trust may give, lend or invest funds in such property.  Shares in such property could form part of the capital base of the Trust.