Trusts And Trustees, Additional Clarification

Brian Knowles, Gloucester, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Additional clarification Re: ‘Registration as a Charity’

Section 3(5) of the Charities Act 1993 indicates as follows: ‘no charity is required to be registered in respect of any registered place of worship’.

Asked what this means, the Charity Commission advises that if a charity is established which deals solely with the fabric and maintenance of a place of worship, collecting and administering funds exclusively for that purpose, subject to the building being registered under the Registration of Places of Worship Act of 1855 (solemnization of marriages etc), it need not register under the 1993 Charities Act.

Most of the freewill offerings with which our readers relate, however, are used for much wider purposes than fabric and maintenance and therefore Section 3(5) does not apply. The criticism levelled at the author for writing an article that is ‘not edifying’ is most unacceptable seeing that editors of Precious Seed, in requesting him to write the article, asked him to summarise what legislation and good practice requires of us. The extent to which Scripture enjoins us to obey the laws of our land, or otherwise, is an entirely different matter. It may be that some wish to avoid registration at all costs and we understand their concerns. At present this is not compulsory. Most buildings within which we meet have long been registered under the 1855 Act. Both Acts, in the author’s view, are there to protect and assist. Editor.

AUTHOR PROFILE: Brian Knowles has enjoyed fellowship with assemblies in Bristol and Gloucestershire for more than 45 years. He has been a trustee of the Western Counties and South Wales Evangelisation Trust for 30 years and is presently its Chairman.