Board of Education

The Diocesan Board of Education administers those educational trusts for which it is custodian trustee. This includes the Bishop Wordsworth Educational Trust. More information about educational trusts can be found here.

Board of Finance

The Diocesan Board of Finance has a Custodian Trustee role for many ecclesiastical trusts. These can be PCC and Incumbent and Churchwardens’ Trusts which include both financial and property Trusts.

Ecclesiastical trusts and parish property

The diocese has around 800 ecclesiastical trusts and parish properties held by (or vested in) the Diocesan Board of Finance as Custodian Trustee.

For the great majority, the PCC, or the Incumbent and Churchwardens of the parish concerned, are the managing trustees and they are responsible for day-to-day management of trust affairs and property. When any legal transactions are planned, the Diocesan Board of Finance must give its consent; please contact the Trust and Property Registration Officer to discuss this process. This step is required to ensure that the trust deed, the PCC (Powers) Measure 1921 and 1956 or Incumbent and Churchwardens (Trusts) Measure 1964 and the requirements of the Charities Act 2011 are all considered.

For further information on selling or buying PCC property download this document.


Who owns our Parish Hall?
Most church halls have either the Incumbent and Churchwardens or the PCC as managing trustees and the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF) as the custodian trustee. The deeds of these halls and other parish property and trusts are held by the DBF. For further details, contact the Trust and Property Registration Officer. Where a hall is built as an extension to the church, on church curtilage, it is likely to be vested in the Incumbent and if there are any deeds these will be held by the Diocesan Registrar.
A parishioner has left the PCC some money in their will; does it have to be vested in the Board of Finance?
If the legacy is an outright gift, it need not be vested in the Diocesan Board of Finance. If the money is left in trust (the wording of the will is on the lines of "£xxx to be held in trust and the income applied to…") then the legacy must be vested in the DBF. The DBF will hold the capital and the income will come to the PCC.
Someone has given us shares. Whose name should we register them in?
Even if the shares are an outright gift, it may be easiest to have them held in the Diocesan Board of Finance's name, as the nominee for the PCC or Incumbent and Churchwardens. This saves the administrative effort of changing the details of the registered holders when there are changes of PCC members.
Our PCC has several very small funds vested in the DBF. Can we use the money to pay for re-ordering the church?
If the income of the fund is less than £1,000 a year, it may be eligible to be wound up under the Small Charities provisions of the Charities Act 2011. The process is simple and DBF consent will be required. For further details, please contact the Trust and Property Registration Officer.
We have been asked for a copy of the PCC’s constitution, where can this be found?
The PCC can’t provide a copy of its constitution as there is no such thing. A PCC exists as a matter of law. It is a statutory corporation with charitable status pursuant to the Synodical Government Measure 1969, and the PCC (Powers) Measure 1956 section 3 and legislation subsidiary to that.
Does the PCC have to register with the Charity Commission?
The majority of the ecclesiastical and charitable trusts are ‘excepted’ from registration with the Charity Commission. (This ‘exception’ has been extended until 31 March 2031). It is only PCCs of large parishes, with an annual turnover in excess of £100,000, which are required to register with the Charity Commission and will have their own charity registration number.

Non-ecclesiastical parish trusts

In some parishes the Incumbent and Churchwardens are trustees of secular trusts or charities set up before 1894 (which is when Parish Councils were established). They are not ecclesiastical and need not be included in the PCC Annual Report and Accounts

These charities often have small capital funds which generate small amounts of income for the relief of poverty. The trustees may wish to consider winding up such charities by transferring the funds to another charity with similar objects or spending the capital on a modern equivalent of the original objects. Please contact the Diocesan Board of Finance Trust and Property Registration Officer with any queries.

Contact the Property and Trusts Team

Elizabeth (Liz) Wallis

Trust and Property Registration Officer

Get in touch



Powered by Church Edit