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Churches - Ending of exception from registration with the Charity Commission

Photo of Kevin Russell Kevin Russell
1 min

As many of you will know, the current ‘Exception from Registration Regulations’ that 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. 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

We have received a number of queries from churches who are concerned to know what will happen after 31 March. The answer is likely to be that nothing changes. At least in the short term. The Government is consulting with the affected denominations and is inclined to further extend The Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations. The only question is for how long and on what terms. We presently think that this will be for at least a further five years. As soon as we know more, we will publish the details.

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Written by

Kevin Russell

Kevin is one of Stewardship’s leading team of technical experts with over 25 years of experience of helping churches and Christian charities maximise their potential. His expertise and knowledge is sought not only by charitable organisations but by Government, the Charity Commission and HMRC, helping to solve complex tax and charity law problems.

Prior to working for Stewardship, Kevin had a wide range of business, charity and teaching experience and is a qualified chartered accountant, and a chartered tax advisor. At PwC he was a Senior Tax Consultant assisting medium and large businesses in all aspects of their tax affairs. Also a lecturer in the Business School at Middlesex University and Principal of his own Chartered Accountancy practice.

Kevin is Vice Chair of the Charity Tax Group and Chair of CTG’s Gift Aid & Giving Technical Group. He represents the Christian church on HMRC’s Charity Tax Forum and advocate for the sector to Government, the Charity Commission and HMRC.

Currently a trustee of the UK arm of an international charity that inspires people to discover Jesus for themselves. Past roles include church deacon, trustee and auditor and he has helped set up two church plants.

Kevin and his wife Carol have 3 adult children and one grandchild.  They attend Grace Church, Highlands in North London.

Causes close to Kevin and Carol’s hearts are those working directly with the homeless, with drug addicts, and women in prostitution. Organisations working in evangelism amongst young people, in family life and demonstrating Christian love in action in the public sphere.


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