There will generally be two bodies of trustees (a) the holding trustees relating to the chapel building and (b) the pastor, deacons and others who will be the managing trustees of the church.

a) Chapel Holding Trustees

  1. The holding trustees own the building and should all have a copy of the Trust Deed or a typed version thereof.
  2. Use of the chapel is in accordance with the Trust Deed. The Trust Deed will generally state the doctrines or refer to doctrines elsewhere, such as in the Declaration of Trust dated 23 November 1878 of The Gospel Standard Poor Relief Society. These will be the key doctrines for the occupying church.
  3. Generally day to day responsibility is with the church but there will be occasions when the trustees must act, for example, failure by the church to repair, or departure by pastor and/or church from Trust Deed doctrines.
  4. Appointment of new trustees will be in accordance with the Trust Deed. So it is important to keep in mind the minimum required number of trustees. See also 21 Land Registry.
  5. Changes to the Trust Deed. The Charities Act 2011 permits changes to administrative matters. These provisions can be very helpful to give greater flexibility to the timing for the appointment of new trustees, the minimum or maximum number and to provide for the discharge of retiring trustees.
  6. Whilst the repair responsibility is generally primarily with the church, the trustees have ultimate liability for the health and safety of the building and for the proper maintenance of the trust asset. The church and congregation have the benefit of free occupation and should keep the building in a good state of repair. See also 13 Health and Safety.
  7. Conflicts of interest may arise and please see section 23 on Conflicts of interest.


b) Church Managing Trustees

  1. The pastor and deacons are generally the trustees of the church funds which are operated in accordance with the church rules.
  2. Conflicts of interest may arise – please see section 23 on Conflicts of interest.


Trustees must act together. Unless particular responsibility has been delegated by the trustees to one or more of their number no trustee must seek to enter into any arrangement affecting trustee property such as the granting of a lease for the occupation of a chapel house.