First and foremost, the principle function of the Board, incorporated by the Methodist Church Act 1939, is to act as Custodian Trustee of all property held on Model Trusts of the Methodist Church Act 1976.
This property includes all land and buildings used for local church purposes, all Circuit and District Manses and most Connexional properties, together with funds which support the mission of the Church in these places.
The Board is custodian of approximately 9,000 separate trusts which include Permanent Endowments and other gifts to the churches.
It is really important to distinguish our role as Custodian Trustees from that of the Managing Trustees.
TMCP as Custodian Trustees
- We hold title.
- We have a duty to ensure Managing Trustees do not act in breach of trust.
- We do not get involved in the day to day management.
Role of Managing Trustees
- Are responsible for the day to day management of the property.
- Exercise power or direction in respect of the property.
- Are accountable to the Charity Commission as required.
Through guidance and training, we shall continue to assist Managing Trustees as much as we can. We are here to provide a service and to ensure that all processes with which we are involved are clearly outlined.
TMCP holds a number of trusts (20 or so) received by settlement of which it is full Trustee. Some have specific purposes ranging from holiday bursaries to loans for buildings. Some are for general Methodist charitable purposes. For further details, please see the page on discretionary grants.
- Facilitate all sales and purchases of property.
- Transmit funds for purchases or to meet the costs of building schemes as instructed by Managing Trustees.
- Invest funds received from sales or bequests and allocate dividend and interest accrued.
- Facilitate minor improvement work by directly paying contractors and suppliers upon instruction from Managing Trustees.
- Provide updates in respect of total funds held on each trust.
- Facilitate all sales, purchases and leases of Model Trust property by Church bodies.
- Through liaison with Managing Trustees and their legal advisors, we review, amend and approve legal documents before signature by Managing Trustees.
This work includes the review and approval of housing tenancies, occupation licences, wayleave agreements for underground cables, casements, rights of way over church property, planning and highways agreements and sharing agreements with other churches.
- Provide guidance to local churches and circuits on a whole range of issues e.g. use of church car parks, hiring out churches for community use, how to close a burial ground, boundary disputes with neighbouring land users, duties of charity trustees and regulation issues, data protection issues, land registration and water rates issues.
- Process bequests and legacies and provide guidance on wills and trusts.