We act for both large and small Free Church Trust Corporations and many individual churches and church charities which gives us unique experience and insight into the many legal issues that can face churches and the ways in which these issues can be resolved.

Most churches have charitable status and are subject to regulation by the Charity Commission and are subject to charity law. Our charity practice therefore gives us the expertise and experience to advise charity trustees on their duties and responsibilities and to ensure that what the particular trusts declared in respect of their church are fulfilled and that they comply with their legal duties as trustees.

We are experienced in dealing for churches in all types of property transactions from buying and selling houses to complicated redevelopments of church properties and granting commercial leases of parts of each property.

Recent transactions

  • Advising church trustees on the £10 million redevelopment of a listed building to create a church, a school and several high value flats including the negotiation of development documentation and advice on charity law procedure.
  • Advising a local church and a charity specialising in the rehabilitation of drug users in the redevelopment of a site comprising several different buildings owned by the church, the charity and a housing association.
  • Merging of nine free church charities into three charities under an umbrella charity, and incorporating the charity trustee body, including agreeing the Scheme and Order with the Charity Commission and updating titles.
  • Advising a church in a redevelopment of its site with a housing association that was complicated by the presence of a substantial number of graves on the site.

Typical Work

  • Setting up declarations of Trust and advising on Trust Deeds
  • Dealing with the Charity Commission
  • Incorporation of Church organisations
  • Dealing with property issues, purchases, sales and developments
  • Advising on employment, intellectual property and data protection issues.