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Church Commissioners Measure 1947

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1 Establishment of the Church Commissioners.U.K.

(1)For the purpose of uniting Queen Anne’s Bounty with the Ecclesiastical Commissioners there shall be established, by the name of the Church Commissioners for England, a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal . . . F1

(2)The said body (hereafter in this Measure referred to as “the Commissioners”) shall be constituted in accordance with the provisions of the First Schedule to this Measure, and may for all purposes be referred to as the “Church Commissioners.

Textual Amendments

2 Transfer of functions and property.U.K.

On the appointed day Queen Anne’s Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners (hereafter in this Measure referred to as “the constituent authorities”) shall be dissolved and—

(a)all functions, rights and privileges of either of them shall be transferred to, and become functions, rights and privileges of, the Commissioners;

(b)all property vested in either of them shall be transferred to, and shall by virtue of this section and without any conveyance, assignment, transfer or other assurance vest in, the Commissioners: and

(c)all property held in trust for either of them shall be held in trust for the Commissioners:

Provided that a vesting of property by virtue of paragraph (b) of this section shall not affect any previously existing trust or mortgage or other charge affecting the property, or any previously existing lease or tenancy thereof.

3 Method of business.U.K.

The business of the Commissioners, except the exercise of powers which, under this or any other Measure or any enactment, are required to be exercised at a general meeting of the Commissioners, shall be transacted in accordance with the provisions of this Measure by a Board of Governors (hereafter in this Measure referred to as “the Board”), [F2and the committees constituted by or under this Measure].

Textual Amendments

4 General meetings of the Commissioners.E

(1)The Archbishop of Canterbury shall be the chairman of the Commissioners and, if at any general meeting thereof he is not present, such member as the members present may elect shall act as chairman.

(2)The Commissioners shall in every financial year hold an annual general meeting for the purpose of—

(a)considering, and, if thought fit, passing resolutions with respect to, the annual report and accounts of the Commissioners and any other matters which may be brought before the meeting by the Board, or which the chairman, upon a request submitted to the secretary by any member, may have authorised the secretary to include in the notices of business to be considered;

(b)F3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)F4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(d)considering and, if thought fit, adopting the recommendations of the Board as to the allocation of such moneys as the Board may report to be available.

(3)The annual general meeting shall be called by the chairman so soon as conveniently may be after the audit of the Commissioners’ accounts for the preceding financial year has been completed.

(4)The chairman may call such other general meetings of the Commissioners as he deems necessary and he shall, so soon as reasonably practicable, call a meeting if ten or more members give to the secretary notice in writing that they desire a meeting to be called to consider matters specified in the notice.

(5)Not less than twenty-eight days before any general meeting, notice of the day, hour and place appointed therefor, and not less than ten days before any general meeting notice of the business to be considered thereat, shall be sent by post to every member.

5 Constitution and functions of Board of Governors.E

[F5(1)The Board shall consist of the Commissioners mentioned in paragraph 1(b) of Schedule 1 to this Measure.]

(2)The Archbishop of Canterbury shall be the chairman of the Board and, if at any meeting thereof he is not present, such member as the members present may elect shall act as chairman [F6; and for the purposes of this subsection a member may be elected to act as chairman in the Archbishop’s absence at any meeting to be held during the following period of twelve months.]

(3)Subject to the provisions of this Measure, all the functions and business of the Commissioners shall be exercised and transacted by the Board.

(4)The Board shall have power—

[F7(a)to refer for consideration and report any matter within their jurisdiction to the Assets Committee or the Audit Committee, or to any other committee which the Board may appoint for the purpose or which the Board and the Archbishops’ Council acting jointly may appoint;]

(b)to authorise F8. . . F9[the Assets Committee], or any other such committee as aforesaid, to do and complete any matter on behalf of the Board;

(c)to make general rules for the direction and guidance of F10. . . [F9 the Assets Committee] or any committee appointed by the Board, as to the matters and acts to be considered and done by that committee, and as to the general principles upon which that committee shall act in carrying out such functions as may from time to time be delegated to them by the Board.

[F11(4A)Commissioners shall constitute a majority of the members of any committee appointed under subsection (4)(a) above.]

(5)F12. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6†Church Estates Commissioners and Estates and Finance Committee.E

[F13[F14(1)There shall be two committees, one to be known as the Assets Committee and the other as the Audit Committee, which shall be constituted as follows—

(a)the Assets Committee shall comprise the First Church Estates Commissioner, two Commissioners being clerks in Holy Orders (at least one being a Commissioner elected by the House of Clergy of the General Synod) appointed for three years by the Board and not less than four nor more than six lay Commissioners appointed for three years by the Archbishop of Canterbury (at least one being a Commissioner elected by the House of Laity of the General Synod) being persons who in his opinion are well qualified to assist in the management of the assets of the Commissioners;

(b)the First Church Estates Commissioner shall be the chairman of the Assets Committee and a deputy chairman shall be elected annually by that committee and shall act as chairman at any meeting at which the chairman is not present;

(c)if a member of the Assets Committee appointed by the Board ceases to have the qualifications by virtue of which he was qualified for his appointment, he shall vacate his appointment;

(d)the Audit Committee shall comprise not less than four nor more than six persons appointed by the Board for three years, of whom at least one shall be an elected Commissioner and at least two shall be persons who are not Commissioners;

(e)the Board, with the agreement of the Archbishop of Canterbury, shall appoint a member of the Audit Committee to be the chairman of that committee;

(f)the Church Estates Commissioners, the chairman of the Board and the acting chairman of the Board (elected under section 5(2) above to act as chairman, when required during the following period of twelve months) shall not be eligible to be members of the Audit Committee.]

F15(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)The Assets Committee shall, subject to any general rules made by the Board, have the following fuctions:—

(a)an exclusive power and duty to act on behalf of and in the name of the Commissioners in all matters relating to the management of those assets of the Commissioners the income of which is carried into their general fund, including power to sell, purchase, exchange and let land and make, realise and change investments;

(b)a duty to recommend to the Board from time to time what sums are available for application or distribution by the Commissioners, and what sums should be appropriated to reserve and for reinvestment;

(c)a duty to consider and report on any matter referred to them by the Board, and to act on behalf of the Board in any matter in which they are authorised by the Board so to act.

[F16(3A)Before making any recommendation under subsection (3)(b) above the Assets Committee shall obtain the advice of an actuary as to the likely effect of adopting the recommendation on the Commissioners’ financial position as a whole and shall have regard to that advice; and the Commissioners shall ensure that a summary of such advice is included in their annual report under section 12 of this Measure.

For the purposes of this subsection “actuary” means a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries or of the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland, not being a Church Commissioner or a member of the staff of the Commissioners, and includes a firm of actuaries.]

[F17(3B)The Audit Committee shall have the following functions—

(a)a duty to review the Commissioners’ accounting policies and practices, their annual accounts and any reports made and advice given to the Commissioners by the auditor appointed under section 11(2) below;

(b)a duty to keep under review the effectiveness of the Commissioners’ internal control system;

(c)a duty to consider any representations made to them;

(d)a duty to advise on the appointment of an auditor under section 11(2) below and to discuss with the auditor the conduct of the audit;

(e)a duty to report to those Commissioners who are not members of the Board on any matter relating to the functions and business of the Commissioners which causes the committee grave concern and about which the Board has been unable to satisfy the committee.

(3C)The Commissioners’ officers shall supply the Audit Committee with such information in their possession as the Committee may require to enable the Committee to exercise their functions.]

(4)The Standing Orders regulating the procedure F18. . .of the Assets Committee or of any committee appointed by the Board may provide for authorising the chairman, deputy chairman, or appropriate officer to act on behalf of the committee in urgent matters.

(5)The Second Church Estates Commissioner shall be entitled to attend and speak at the meetings of every committee constituted by or under this Measure of which he is not a member, and every Church Estates Commissioner shall be entitled to receive the papers of every such committee of which he is not a member.]

(6)The provisions of any enactment or Measure relating to the payment of salaries and pensions to Church Estates Commissioners shall continue to have effect with the substitution of reference to the Board and to the general fund of the Commissioners for references to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and to their common fund.

7 Procedure.E

(1)The provision of the Fourth Schedule to this Measure shall have effect with regard to the meetings and procedure of the Commissioners and of the Board and of any committee constituted by or under this Measure.

(2)Subject as aforesaid and to any other provisions of this Measure—

(a)the Commissioners may regulate their own procedure and may from time to time at any general meeting make, vary and revoke Standing Orders for the purpose;

(b)the Board may from time to time make, vary and revoke Standing Orders for regulating the procedure of the Board or of any Committee of the Board and subject to any such Standing Orders the Board and any such committee may regulate their own procedure;

(c)[F19the Assets Committee and the Audit Committee] may regulate their own procedure and may from time to time make, vary and revoke Standing Orders for the purpose.

8†Secretary, agents and other officers.U.K.

(1)The Commissioners shall from time to time at any general meeting appoint a secretary upon such terms as they may think fit.

(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F20

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F21

Textual Amendments

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2Unreliable marginal note.

9 Seal of the Commissioners.U.K.

(1)The common seal of the Commissioners shall be judicially noticed and shall be authenticated by the signature of the secretary, or of some other officer of the Commissioners authorised by the Board to act in that behalf.

(2)Every document purporting to be sealed with the said seal and to be authenticated by the signature of the secretary, or of a person so authorised to act in that behalf, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such an instrument without further proof, unless evidence to the contrary is given.

10 Finance.E

(1)The financial year of the Commissioners shall commence on the first day of [F22January][F23or on such other date as the Commissioners may in general meeting determine].

F24(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F24(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)As from the appointed day, the Commissioners shall keep a general fund to which shall be transferred on the appointed day any balances on income account from the common fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and from the corporate fund of Queen Anne’s Bounty.

(5)Any trust or other fund previously maintained by either of the constituent authorities as a separate fund shall be continued and maintained as a separate fund by the Commissioners: provided that funds maintained by the two constituent authorities for the same objects or purposes may be amalgamated.

(6)Subject to the last preceding subsection, the Commissioners shall carry all income received in respect of property and funds held by them into their general fund, and [F25, subject to section 7 of the Pensions Measure 1997 (which relates to the use of capital funds)] shall discharge thereout all trusts and commitments to which that income or any part thereof is subject and all expenses and obligations falling upon the Commissioners in the due discharge of their functions, and the balance from time to time thereafter remaining in the said fund shall be available for any purpose for which, but for this Measure, any surplus of the common fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners or of the corporate fund of Queen Anne’s Bounty would have been available.

11 Accounts and audit.U.K.

(1)The Commissioners shall cause such accounts to be kept as may be required for the due performance and discharge of their functions.

(2)The accounts of the Commissioners shall in every year be audited in such manner and by such person as the Treasury may direct, and the auditor’s report thereon shall for the purposes of the next succeeding section be deemed to form part of the accounts.

12 Annual report and accounts to be laid before Parliament and Church Assembly.U.K.

(1)So soon as may be after the close of every financial year the Board shall prepare a report of the work and proceedings of the Commissioners during that year, and shall present the report and accounts for that year to the Commissioners at their annual general meeting.

(2)Within thirty days after such meeting the secretary shall transmit the report and accounts, together with a copy of any resolution passed by the Commissioners with reference thereto, to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who shall lay copies of the report, accounts and resolution, if any, before both Houses of Parliament.

(3)Within the same period the secretary shall also send copies of the said documents to the secretary of the Church Assembly, who shall lay them before the Assembly.

13 Pending and existing proceedings and contracts, etc.U.K.

(1)No proceedings or cause of action pending or existing immediately before the appointed day by or against either of the constituent authorities shall abate, be discontinued or in any way prejudicially affected by this Measure, but any such proceedings may be continued and enforced by or against the Commissioners.

(2)All contracts, bonds, agreements and other instruments subsisting immediately before the appointed day and affecting either of the constituent authorities shall be of as full force and effect against, or in favour of, the Commissioners and may be enforced as fully and effectually as if the Commissioners had been a party thereto instead of the constituent authority.

14 Transfer of stock.U.K.

(1)Where any stock is standing in the books of a company in the name of either of the constituent authorities, a request by the secretary of the Commissioners and production of a copy of this Measure printed by or for the King’s Printer of Acts of Parliament shall be a sufficient authority to the company to transfer the stock into the name of and to pay dividends on the stock to, the Commissioners.

(2)In this section the expression—

  • company” includes the Bank of England and any company or person keeping books in which any stock is registered or inscribed; and

  • stock” includes any share, annuity or other security.

15 Transfer of Officers.U.K.

(1)On the appointed day every officer of either of the constituent authorities shall be transferred to, and become an officer of the Commissioners.

(2)The Commissioners may assign to any such officer (hereafter in this Measure referred to as a “transferred officer”) such duties as they think fit; but he shall not be in any worse position as respects tenure of office, conditions of service or salary than he would have been if this Measure had not been passed.

(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F26

16. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F27U.K.

17 Provisions as to superannuation. E

(1)The [F28Board] shall make rules regulating the grant of superannuation benefits to the officers of the Commissioners, and the allocation of superannuation benefits to th19981014eir spouses or dependants, and the provisions of the M1Ecclesiastical Commissioners (Superannuation) Act 1865, the M2Queen Anne’s Bounty (Superannuation) Act 1870, the M3Superannuation (Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne’s Bounty) Acts 1914 and M4 1933, and the M5Superannuation (Various Services) Act 1938 shall not apply to the Commissioners or their officers:

Provided that in the case of any transferred officer—

(a)service under either of the constituent authorities and service under the Commissioners shall be aggregated and treated as continuous service under the Commissioners; and

[F29(b)the superannuation benefits to be granted to or in respect of him on his retirement or death shall not be less than those which might have been awarded had the provisions of the principal civil service pension scheme within the meaning of section 2 of the M6Superannuation Act 1972 and then in force applied to him, and the Commissioners shall have the like power to permit the allocation of such benefits to the spouse or dependants of such an officer as they would have had by virtue of section 1 of the M7Superannuation (Various Services) Act 1938 had that section not been repealed.]

(2)As from the appointed day the liability of either of the constituent authorities to make payments in respect of superannuation benefits to a person who had been employed by them, but had before the appointed day ceased to be so employed, or to his spouse or dependants, shall be transferred to, and become a liability of, the Commissioners and be a charge on their general fund.

Textual Amendments

F29S. 17(1) proviso para. (b) substituted by Superannuation Act 1972 (c. 11), Sch. 6 para. 21

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Marginal Citations

18 Interpretation.U.K.

(1)In this Measure, unless the context otherwise requires—

  • the appointed day” means the first day of April in such year as the Archbishop of Canterbury may appoint by a notice published in the London Gazette not later than the first day of December in the preceding year;

  • dean” includes the dean or provost of any cathedral church in England, and the deans of Westminster and Windsor;

  • functions” includes powers and duties;

  • officer” includes servant;

  • procedure” includes the fixing of a quorum;

  • property” includes a thing in action and any interest in real or personal property;

  • superannuation benefits” has the same meaning as it has in the M8Superannuation (Various Services) Act, 1938.

(2)References in any Act or Measure (other than this Measure) or in any other document (including any testamentary document) to either of the constituent authorities, or to the common or corporate fund of either of them, shall be construed as references to the Commissioners or, as the case may be, to their general fund.

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C41.4.1948 appointed under s. 18(1)

Marginal Citations

19 Short title.U.K.

This Measure may be cited as the Church Commissioners Measure, 1947.

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