After six years of existence, the society decided in 1996 that a more organized structure was needed. As a result of this decision, it was agreed that henceforth, conferences would be planned two years in advance and, to assist the local conference organizer(s), two officers were elected. In 1997, the process was taken a step further by the decision to prepare a constitution for the society and to seek charitable status.
Name of Society
The society (founded 1990) is called: European Reformation Research Group (abbreviated as ERRG).
Purpose of Society
The society provides a medium for scholars working on all aspects of Reformation Europe (including the British Isles) through which they can present their latest research to an informed, critical, yet supportive audience. From the group’s inception a central aim has been to encourage younger scholars, particularly postgraduate students, to play an active part, and to have the opportunity to discuss their research at whatever level it has reached. The ethos of the conference is egalitarian: there are no ‘key-note’ speakers, and postgraduates are invited to participate on equal terms with established scholars. To further this end, every effort is made to keep conference costs to a minimum and, whenever possible, to provide postgraduate bursaries.
Finally, an additional goal of the Group is to organize volumes of essays in which postgraduates and scholars can publish early in their careers. This is done both to facilitate the dissemination of the best new research to the wider academic world and to assist these new scholars in furthering and enhancing their career prospects.
Achieving the society’s purpose
The primary methods by which the society achieves its main goals of providing a forum for the presentation of new work and the publication of cutting edge research is the annual ERRG conference and the establishment of close links with various publishers and historical series. The annual ERRG conference usually takes place in late August or early September.
Administration of the society
The society is administered by the Annual General Meeting (abbreviated as AGM) which is held during the course of the annual ERRG conference and, in the interim, by the elected officers of the society. Any member attending the AGM is free to vote on any issue and, with a second, to present a motion to the entire meeting for a vote. The General Secretary will serve as chairperson during the AGM or, in the absence of the General Secretary, the members will, as their first order of business, designate someone to act in the General Secretary’s stead. Other than the specific function of chairing the AGM, all members present attend, vote, discuss and in all other ways participate as equals.
The society has two officers: General Secretary and Treasurer. Together they are responsible for maintaining the society’s accounts and finances. In addition, the General Secretary keeps the society’s mailing list, maintains its website and undertakes the correspondence necessary for inviting potential participants to each annual conference. The officers are elected to two year terms by members present at the AGM. The offices lack any remuneration or tangible benefits. In addition, the local organizer of any given conference is an ex officio officer of the society.
Membership is defined (on an annual basis) as any and all participants at the annual ERRG conference.
Amending the Constitution
A resolution to amend the constitution may be moved and seconded at any AGM but cannot be voted upon until the next AGM, due notice of the proposed amendment having been circulated with the registration forms (and via the Internet) for the AGM following that at which the amendment was moved. A two-thirds majority vote of the members (i.e., those persons present) at the subsequent AGM is sufficient to approve the amendment moved at the previous AGM.
Dissolution of the society
The AGM is empowered to dissolve the society. A resolution to dissolve the society may be moved and seconded at any AGM but cannot be voted upon until the next two AGMs, due notice of the proposed amendment having been circulated with the registration forms (and via the Internet) for the AGM following that at which the amendment was moved. A two-thirds majority vote of the members (i.e., those persons present) at the two subsequent AGMs is sufficient to approve the motion for dissolution put forward at the previous AGM. In such an event, the second (and final) AGM will have the sole power to dispose of any remaining society funds with the proviso that those funds must be passed either to a similar academic organization or to a recognized charitable body.
Officers & Current Terms
General Secretary: Dr Anna French, University of Liverpool (2015-2017)
Treasurer: Dr Sylvia Gill, University of Birmingham (2014-2016)