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Charity registration for churches in 2021 and beyond

By Kevin Russell | 10 December 2020 | Comments (2)

The current ‘Exception from Registration Regulations’ mean that some churches are not legally required to register as a charity with the Charity Commission. These regulations are due to come to an end on 31 March 2021. So the question arises as to what happens for these churches beyond next March?

In general, churches are legally required to register with the Charity Commission when their gross income exceeds £5,000 unless they fall within the excepting regulations, in which case, the gross income limit is increased to £100,000.

The churches that are within the exception regulations are those that belong to the following denominations or groupings:

  • Baptist (within section 2 of the Baptist and Congregational Trusts Act 1951)
  • Calvinistic Methodist or Presbyterian Church of Wales
  • Church of England
  • Church in Wales
  • FIEC affiliated
  • Methodist
  • Religious Society of Friends
  • United Reformed Church

Stewardship has been liaising with Government officials and inputting thoughts into a consultation exercise to determine what happens after 31 March 2021. A decision has now been made. The Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations will be extended for a further period of ten years. During that period, there will be a managed phasing of registration of currently ‘excepted’ churches.

The extension of the Regulations and details of how the process of registration is to be phased will be announced in the early part of 2021 when amending regulations are put before Parliament. We will update this blog with more details as soon as they are announced.


COVID-19: Guidance and resources for churches, charities and Christian workers

Posted by Kevin Russell

Our Legal Eagle guru and Stewardship's Technical Director, Kevin constantly has his finger on the pulse of all things tax and charity law-related. His briefing papers for charities, churches and individuals are an invaluable resource on everything from VAT to Gift Aid. 


Robert Feast

December 18, 2020 7:55 AM
Do you have any news regarding Listed Places of Worship scheme which is also due to finish on 31 March 2021

Kevin Russell

February 16, 2021 1:30 PM
Hi Robert,

Thanks for your question and my apologies for not coming back sooner.

We have no information on the Listed Places of Worship Scheme as yet, but the matter has been raised with Government. As soon as we have any news, we will disseminate information on it.

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