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Bill Clears Way for Parish Charities Registration to Resume

Bill Clears Way for Parish Charities Registration to Resume

A Bill seeking to rearrange the contents of Chapter XVII of the Constitution (relating to charitable objects in the Republic of Ireland) as required by the Charities Regulatory Authority was proposed at General Synod today (Friday May 12).

The CRA is requesting that the required clauses on income and property should be deleted from the Charitable Objects ROI in Chapter XVII of the Constitution and included in the same chapter as a separate section relating to restrictions of the powers and entitlements of charitable trustees and speaking to the quintessentially charitable nature of those volunteers who act as trustees of Church of Ireland bodies operating under the Constitution.

The ‘rearranging exercise’ was requested by the CRA following the review of the group of pilot parish applications made in 2022. The request is now delaying the registration of these parishes and the rolling out of the registration process to other parishes. The amendment does not alter any aspect of regulation of parishes and simply places the required clauses in a separate section. Passing the Bill would enable the process of wider parish registration to recommence following General Synod 2023.

The Bill was proposed and seconded by Hazel Corrigan and Canon Gillian Wharton.

Speaking to the Bill, Archdeacon David Huss (Raphoe) said it would be nice to imagine a world in which the Charities Regularity Authority would come to a body like the Church of Ireland, which has been running for many years, and ask how they do it. Instead they come to the Church asking that we move one piece of text from one place to another in the Constitution. He said that this seemed sad.

The Bill passed its first and second stages and the third reading will take place on Tuesday May 16.

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