HC Deb 18 February 1964 vol 689 cc1157-8

10.25 p.m.

Sir John Arbuthnot (Dover)

I beg to move, That the Incumbents and Churchwardens (Trusts) Measure 1964, passed by the National Assembly of the Church of England, be presented to Her Ma testy for Her Royal Assent in the form in which the said Measure was laid before Parliament. This is rather complicated legal business. I t met with some opposition in the Church Assembly, largely, I think, because members did not fully understand it.

Its effect is to place the capital assets of these trusts in the hands of the diosean authorities, a permanent body having perpetual succession, and thus to safeguard them. At the same time, incumbents and chuchwardens will have exactly the same responsibilities for management as they have always had. The only difference is that for major transactions they will require the consent of the diocesan authorities.

A further advantage of this Measure is that, under it, it will be possible to apply for exception of these trusts from registration under the Charities Act, thus saving incumbents and churchwardens considerable labour and expense. The Measure has been drafted and dealt with throughout in close consultation with the Charity Commissioners. It applies only to ecclesiastical trusts, and not to we fare trusts, which are also frequently held by incumbents and churchwardens.

The Measure has been recommended by the Ecclesiastical Committee of both Houses as expedient and that it should proceed.

Question put and agreed to.