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Local Government Act 2003

Section 68: Exemptions for places of religious worship

124.Under paragraph 11 of Schedule 5 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988, a place of public religious worship is exempt from non-domestic rates if it belongs to the Church of England or the Church in Wales or is certified as required by law as a place of religious worship. Certification is carried out at present under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. Section 41 of the Marriage Act 1949 provides that certified places of religious worship may apply for and be registered by the Registrar General for the purposes of marriage. Under proposals in the White Paper ‘Civil Registration: Vital Change’ marriages would be able to take place anywhere and it would no longer be necessary for certified places of religious worship to be registered for the purposes of marriage. As a consequence it is likely the 1855 Act will be repealed. Section 68 amends the exemption so that a certificate is no longer required as proof of entitlement to the exemption.

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