The Priory is governed by the Prior and the Priory Council, the members of which are trustees and are legally responsible for the governance and management of the Priory. The trustees of the Priory were incorporated as a body on 10 November 1999, known as The Incorporated Trustees of the Priory of England and the Islands of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, under Part VII of the Charities Act 1993.
The Prior, the Dean and the Chancellor are ex officio members of the Priory Council and also trustee directors of St John Ambulance (see below). They are appointed to the Priory Council by HRH The Grand Prior of the Order of St John on the recommendation of the Priory Chapter.
Up to seven further trustees of the Priory, including at least one independent trustee, are appointed by the Priory Chapter on the recommendation of the Nominations Committee, which takes into consideration the relevant skills and experience necessary to match the competencies required by the Council.
The Priory Chapter is a consultative body of 48 members including a number of ex-officio and specialist members (eg. Clerics, clinicians and youth representatives) and 31 members representing various parts of England.
In addition to this role supporting the Trustees, the Chapter also retains a number of constitutional roles (e.g. recommend changes to the Priory Rules for approval by HRH The Grand Prior, appointing the majority of the Priory Trustees, and appointing the charity’s auditors).
The Priory Rules are the principal constitutional document of the Priory. The rules were first drafted in 1999 when the reorganisation of the Order took place and the Priory of England and the Islands was created, becoming an establishment of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem.
The Rules have been progressively updated since that time with a recently updated set of Rules being approved to reflect the conclusion of the Priory’s recent Governance Review.