- Gospel Standard church charities are currently excepted from registration with the Charity Commission unless the annual gross income exceeds £100,000.
- The definition of gross income does not include the receipt of any endowment, such as a legacy.
- This position remains until 31 March 2031. Guidance will be found at the website in the Notice below.
- The GST will be seeking to agree with the Charity Commission a model constitution for use by Gospel Standard churches as stated in the Notice in the Gospel Standard July 2021 issue.
- Existing registrations continue even though the income does not exceed the above threshold.
- Registered charities must prepare an annual report to accompany their accounts. Please see section 8 – Annual Accounts
Notice in the Gospel Standard July 2021 issue:
THE GOSPEL STANDARD TRUST
GOSPEL STANDARD MODEL CONSTITUTION
FOR CHURCH WORKING FUNDS
At the annual general meeting of The Gospel Standard Trust on 26 September 2020 mention was again made of the requirement to register a constitution for each church’s working fund with the Charity Commission. (Please see the report in the February 2021Gospel Standard
The Charity Commission has now amended their website guidance on excepted charities putting back the previously proposed date of 31 March 2021 by 10 years to 31 March 2031. Guidance at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/excepted-charities/excepted-charities--2
in paragraph 4 states “This is to give the commission and denominational bodies time to help these churches prepare for registration by, or soon after this end date in 2031. The commission is not ready to accept voluntary registrations yet; it will publish more information about this when it has made the necessary arrangements
The exception applies to charities that are wholly or mainly for public religious worship linked to a number of bodies which include The Gospel Standard Trust if the income is £100,000 or less. Unless income is above that level we suggest that churches note the position but take no action. We shall hope still to be able to agree the format of our draft Model Constitution with the Charity Commission in due course.
D J Playfoot, Secretary
20 May 2021