Assistance for Chapels / Who Are We?

The Gospel Standard Trust - Who are we and what do we do?

    The Gospel Standard Trust was incorporated, 2 August 1966, as a company under the Companies Acts, limited by guarantee and not having a share capital, with the title The Gospel Standard Strict and Particular Baptist Trust Limited, Company No. 884708.  On 15 February 1979 the name was shortened to The Gospel Standard Trust Limited, and in the same month the Department of Trade gave authority for the word “Limited” to be removed.  The Company is also a Registered Charity, No. 249781.
   It was initially the committee of The Gospel Standard Aid and Poor Relief Societies which put in motion the formation of the Trust.  That committee could not act as a chapel trustee in law.  There was a need for a corporate body which is a body with a separate entity from its members and which remains in being permanently which could act as a trustee of Gospel Standard chapels and charitable funds.  As a result of this initiative a resolution was passed at the annual general meeting of the Societies held in April 1964 to proceed with the preparation of a draft Scheme and eventually at the annual general meeting in April 1966 authority for the incorporation was given.
    The primary objects of the Trust are to assist Gospel Standard Strict Baptist churches in the furtherance of their religion and charitable work, to assist with the appointment of trustees, legal advice, repairs and maintenance of buildings and to support denominational and other charities.  In furtherance of and as ancillary to these main objects the company has a number of powers such as holding property as trustee either alone or jointly with others, acting as custodian trustee, building chapels, pastor’s houses, providing financial assistance and the printing and publishing of appropriate literature.  The Trust acts as a trust corporation under a certificate granted in 2006 by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (now the Ministry of Justice) and the Trust can therefore act as a sole trustee.
    The activities and the funds of The Gospel Standard Trust are divided between General matters and Publications.
     On the General side, the Trust acts as Trustee for about 50 chapels which are open for public worship. In conjunction with our solicitors we are able to help on legal matters, such as the documentation required for changes in Chapel Trustees, and the first registration of non-registered property with the Land Registry.  Among other matters, we provide administration both in respect of our own funds and of funds held on behalf of other charities.  We deal with sales of chapels and the distribution of the proceeds, applications to the Charity Commission for changes to Trust Deed provisions where the Trustees do not possess the necessary authority, and for orders permitting the sale or lease of land by a chapel or charity where a connected person is involved.
     The funds of the Trust are available as grants and interest-free loans for the purposes of chapel purchase, repair and improvement.  It is necessary for chapel buildings to comply with modern standards wherever possible and this can involve substantial costs.  During the last 15 years we have made grants to chapels totalling over £700,000, and examples of cases where it has been our privilege to help can be seen here. The Trust is pleased to consider applications for financial help from Gospel Standard Churches.
     The Executive Committee of the Gospel Standard Trust is drawn from members of Gospel Standard churches, some of whom have experience and expertise in property and financial matters and so can give guidance from experience.
     Matters pertaining to the General business of the Trust are dealt with by the Secretary, Mr. D.J. Playfoot. Subscriptions are handled by Mr. M.G. Bailey, who is a member of the Executive Committee, and in North America by Mr. G.L. TenBroeke.

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