Model Governing Documents (MGDs) for LEPs & Ecumenical Areas
Unfortunately, we have not received the same green light from the Charity Commission for the MGDs which have been drawn up for Methodist/URC Ecumenical (United) Areas. For those of you who may have a Methodist/URC Ecumenical (United) Area in your Synod and which requires a new constitution, please be aware that we have further consultation to carry out with the Charity Commission.
One further point to note. Charity law was due to change in 2021, meaning that churches would have to apply for charity registration if their income exceeds £5,000 per annum. At present churches are exempted if their annual income is less than £100,000 per annum. Following a period of consultation, the Department of Culture Media and Sport has now issued the following update to CTE:
DCMS intends to extend the regulations by 10 years to give excepted charities time to prepare for registration and to allow the Charity Commission as much time as possible to register all excepted organisations in a coordinated way. DCMS and the Charity Commission are working on a plan to phase more organisations onto the register in a manageable way over the extension period and we will share further details in early 2021. Extending the Regulations beyond 31 March 2021 requires Parliamentary approval, through Secondary Legislation. We intend to lay the necessary Statutory Instrument in early 2021
Flexible Framework Toolkit Just a reminder that many ecumenical initiatives do not require complicated and time consuming constitutions. In October, we launched a toolkit which outlines ‘lighter touch’ ways of ecumenical engagement, as well as guidance for when constitutions are necessary. For more details: https://www.cte.org.uk/Publisher/File.aspx?ID=267317
Free Churches Group (FCG) has just launched a report entitled, The Church and Social Cohesion, which it has produced in partnership with the Theos think tank. The research project consulted with over 360 people in England in an attempt to assess the churches’ social cohesion contribution on the ground. It offers a number of practical recommendations for how both churches and policymakers can maximize the churches’ potential to foster social cohesion in the community. Access the report here: https://www.freechurches.org.uk/commission-report
The Revd Canon Helen Cameron, Chair of the Northampton Methodist District has been elected as FCG Moderator-Elect. Helen will work alongside the current Moderator, Revd Dr Hugh Osgood and take over from him in April 2022.
Save the date – All Ecumenical Officers Conference, Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 September 2021
Following the success of the 2019 Ecumenism Today conference, there will be a longer conference in 2021, planned by NEOs working with CTE. This will include significant time for DEOs to gather in denominational meetings while County Ecumenical Officers meet together with CTE staff.