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The Representative Body of the Church of Ireland

The Representative Church Body (RCB) was incorporated by Charter in 1870 under the provisions of the Irish Church Act 1869. Its legal structure is that of charitable trustee or trust corporation. It is governed by the Constitution of the Church of Ireland and accountable both to the General Synod (in relation to Church regulations) and to the Civil authorities (in relation to its responsibilities as trustee).

The principal function of the RCB is to hold property on behalf of the Church of Ireland as an incorporated trustee with perpetual succession (it does not have to appoint individual named trustees) and to administer funds in accordance with the underlying trusts. 

Its main activities involve management of investments, administration of trusts and deeds of covenant, payment of clergy stipends and pensions, custodial and legal services as corporate trustee of property, legal transactions and treasury management as well as supporting the core work of the Church by providing substantial finance for the sustentation of the clergy and pensioners, training of ordinands, education, youth, communications etc.

The membership of the RCB consists of the Archbishops and Bishops (ex–officio), members elected by the dioceses and twelve co–opted members.

Each diocese elects 1 clerical and 2 lay persons who hold office for 3 years, after which they may stand for re–election provided they satisfy certain eligibility conditions (must not have attained the age of 74 years on the 1st day of January preceding his or her election if a lay person and not be in receipt of a pension from the Clergy Pensions Fund if a priest in holy orders).

The twelve co–opted persons are appointed by the members of the RCB (equal to the number of dioceses or united dioceses entitled to elect members). The co–opted persons are usually appointed for their expertise in law, finance or for other particular reasons. They also hold office for a term of three years – subject to the same qualification conditions as for members elected by the dioceses.

A lay member of the RCB must be at least 17 years of age and be a member and communicant of the Church to be eligible for election or co–option.

The Representative Body has three business meetings during the year (in March, September and December) as well as a short formal meeting when the General Synod is in session. 

The committees of the RCB are as follows: Executive; Allocations; Investment; Property; Stipends; Legal Advisory; Library and Archives; Audit. Members of the committees are elected triennially by the Representative Body.

For more information contact:

Chief Officer & Secretary D. Ritchie
Church of Ireland House,
Church Avenue
Dublin 6
Tel: +353 (0)1 497 8422
Fax: +353 (0)1 497 8821
Email: Office