Arthritis Care members presented the board of trustees at their annual general meeting last weekend with 4,600 members' signatures demanding that they cease their radical reshaping of the charity's structure or resign.
According to Celia Holmes, chair of the Kensington and Chelsea branch, it was a "very, very angry meeting", attended by around 200 members.
During the agenda item 'other business', the board was presented with a box of signatures in support of a resolution requiring trustees to cancel all plans to reform the charity or give up their positions. Many members are outraged at the proposal that only those branches that commit to fundraise, campaign or provide information can remain as part of the charity.
The board told the members it would consider the resolution and respond within 21 days.
The trustees also announced that there would be an extraordinary general meeting in October.