Q1. Are all members of the PCC Charity Trustees?
A1. Yes. All members of the PCC, whether co-opted, ex-officio or directly elected are Charity Trustees. This is nothing new, and members of all PCCs are trustees, whether or not their PCC is required to register with the Charity Commission. The Church of England, together with the Charity Commission, has produced a short “Trusteeship booklet“.
Q2. What if my income is exceptionally over £100,000?
A2. our normal income is £80,000 or less, but exceptionally you exceeded the £100,000 threshold last year due to a grant, legacy or particular building campaign, you can apply for a written determination that you need not register. For a standard template letter in Word that you can use as a guide, please click here.
Q3. What constitutes income for the purposes of the threshold for registration?
A3. Gross income is that presented in your last set of accounts. For accounts prepared on the Receipts and Payments basis, gross income is the total receipts shown in the statement from all sources excluding the receipt of any endowment. For accounts prepared on an Accruals basis, gross income is the total incoming resources shown on the Statement of Financial Activities, including any amount transferred to income funds from endowment funds in order to be available for spending, but excluding the receipt of any endowment.
Q4. Our Church is an LEP. Can we use this process?
A4. The Approved Governing Documents will not apply to you if you are an LEP in Categories 1 (Single Congregations) or 2 (Covenanted Partnerships). A special bulletin has been produced for LEPs in these categories (Registration Bulletin 4)
Q5. Can’t PCC members be aged 16 – the Charity Commission doesn’t appear to allow this.
The Church Representation Rules do allow for members of the PCC to be aged from 16, but this is not the norm in the wider Charity Sector. Although these PCC members are full trustees, the Charity Commission’s OLAR system doesn’t allow their birth dates to be submitted electronically. Whilst they are working to fix this, PCCs should follow the process described in Registration Bulletin 3.
Q6. Can PCC members receive remuneration from the PCC?
A5. PCC members cannot become employed by the PCC, unless specific authority has been granted by the Charity Commission. However, PCC members may receive payment for services provided to the PCC if certain conditions are met. This is a complex area and a detailed guidance note is available on PCC members and remuneration.
Q7. What will we need to do differently ongoing?
A7. Once a year you will need to return an Annual Information Return to the Charity Commission. There is guidance available on the online process for submitting Annual Accounts and Returns. You will need to advertise the fact that you are a registered charity on your letterhead, and in some other places. See the guide on registered status.
Q8. If I have difficulties during the registration process, where can I get help?
A8. The first port of call should be your Diocesan Adviser on the registration of PCCs. If you have specific queries relating to other areas, you may need to consult your Diocesan Registrar.