Section A – Introduction

This guidance note provides information to Managing Trustees on using the Standard Licence and helps Managing Trustees to complete/ fill in the details that need to be inserted in the Standard Licence so that it is ready for use.

Please also refer to:

Section B - How do you use the Standard Licence?

The Standard Licence reflects Methodist best practice and complies with Standing Orders. It has the deemed approval of the Connexional Team under Standing Order 931(3) if used without any alterations being made. Therefore if you use the Standard Licence without amendment you do not need to ask for the approval that would otherwise be required before entering into a licence under Standing Order 931(3).

All you need to do is to fill-in the details on the first 2 pages of the Standard Licence to fit your specific licence situation. The rest of this Guidance Note takes you step by step through completing these details.

The words in capitals listed on the first 2 pages of the Standard Licence (the Particulars Section) are defined by the descriptions (not in bold) immediately following them. The defined (capitalised) terms are used throughout the Standard Licence.

The first two pages of the Standard Licence are the only pages that you need to complete/fill in.

Section C - How do you complete the Standard Licence

C1 What date do you insert at the start of the Standard Licence?

Insert the date on which the parties enter into the licence agreement. This should be on or before (but no later than) the date the Licensee first uses the Premises. It is the date the parties agree to be bound by the terms of the agreement and would usually be inserted in manuscript once both the Licensee and the Managing Trustees have signed the Licence.

C2 How do I describe the parties to the Standard Licence?
C2.1  “Managing Trustees”:

Insert the names of two Managing Trustees who are authorised to sign legal documents on behalf of the appropriate managing trustee body and the name of the managing trustee body itself as indicated, e.g. the “Central Church Council”.

The contact address should be an address where any notices sent under the licence will receive proper attention e.g. a chapel or property secretary or Superintendent’s home address.

Note that only Managing Trustees i.e. members of the Church Council or Circuit Meeting (depending on whether the property is local or Circuit property) may sign licences.

C2.2 “Licensee”:

It is essential for the Licensee to be correctly described. If you have any queries please contact TMCP so that TMCP Legal can offer further guidance. You may however find the following broad rules of assistance:

  • Individuals e.g. Somebody who runs an aerobics class - Insert their full name and address. Don't be afraid to ask for ID so that you can ensure that the details are correct. Is the individual’s legal name Cath or Catherine Louise Smith?
  • A group e.g. two or more people who together run a playgroup as a charitable or non-charitable unincorporated association.
    • Note that an unincorporated association or group cannot be party to an agreement in its own right as it is not a legal entity. The question is therefore whether you want all the members to be party or not. Whilst some groups’ constitutions or rules would allow one or more members to sign on behalf of everybody else it can be very difficult to establish who can sign. If you want the whole group to be party then, unless you are confident about checking the authority of those purporting to sign on behalf of everybody else, you should insert every member's full name and address.
    • If the Licensee is an unincorporated charitable association, you need the name and address of every charity trustee. Please also insert: "as charity trustees of [name of charity]” and if it is a registered charity, please insert; “(charity registered number [NUMBER])." You can use the search function on the Charity Commission website to find the registered name and charity number. Please check that the name you have for the charity matches the registered name exactly.
  • A partnership - you need to insert the name of every partner and then insert; “trading in partnership as [NAME OF PARTNERSHIP] whose principal place of business is at [ADDRESS]”

    If the names of all the members/ trustees/ partners do not fit in the space provided, insert additional spaces so that all the names can be entered or write any additional names on a sheet of A4 paper headed; “continuation sheet”; state that the Licensee also includes those named on the attached continuation sheet and attach this to the licence. Please also ensure that all the individuals sign the licence. Again, please insert additional signature clauses if there is insufficient space on the signature page of the Standard Licence (page 2).

In the following cases please contact TMCP so that TMCP Legal can provide an adapted form of Particulars for you to complete:

  • If the Licensee is an incorporated charity or company e.g. Little Acorns Limited.
  • If the Licensee is a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) e.g. Little Acorns CIO.
  • If the Licensee is any other form of organisation not specified above.
C3. How do we complete the definitions in the Particulars Section?

The Particulars Section provides an at-a-glance summary of the specific details of any particular licence arrangement. If you have any questions about how to insert the details please contact TMCP Legal . The parts you need to complete are, however, set out below with guidance as to what to insert:

C3.1 “Building”

Please insert a description of the building or site in which the space to be used by the Licensee is located (the actual space to be used is described as the "Premises").

For example; “Land and buildings known as Acorn Methodist Church at Oak Road, Wood Town, FO7 3ST”. This definition would work whether Acorn Methodist Church was a single building with minimal surrounding land or a large church site with gardens, separate chapel and Sunday school buildings on it.

If the whole of a church building/ complex is to be used by the Licensee then please contact TMCP before proceeding so that TMCP Legal can provide further guidance. It may be that you also need advice from your solicitor as to whether a licence is appropriate.
C3.2 “Facilities”

Please remove the square brackets to indicate what specific common facilities the Licensee will be able to use. “Toilets” and “kitchen” are set out as examples. If you do not want to allow the Licensee to use these areas please delete or strike through these suggestions. You can insert other common facilities that you want the Licensee to be allowed to use in the space provided.

Please also refer to the definition of "Common Facilities" at the end of the Standard Licence in clause 12.

C3.3 “Furniture and Equipment”

Please list any specific items of furniture and/or equipment that you want to allow the Licensee to use on the Premises.

C3.4 “Licence Fee”

Please insert the agreed Licence Fee. This can be expressed as an amount payable per hour, week, month, quarter or otherwise. Please indicate which by deleting the options that do not apply.

Please note that the definition of Licence Fee is for an inclusive licence fee meaning that the cost of utilities and other outgoings (except business rates) are all accounted for under one sum.

This means that the Licence Fee must be calculated so that it covers the Licensee’s contribution towards utilities AND a market licence fee. You may be able to get a feel for the “market” fee in your area if you find out how much it is to use the local village hall or rugby club etc.

When calculating the utility contribution, please ensure this covers a fair and reasonable contribution towards the utility costs that the Managing Trustees anticipate being incurred by the Licensee (“Licensee’s Utility Contribution”).

You may however prefer to charge for actual utility usage and have a “non-inclusive” Licence Fee. If use is for more than a few hours a day this may be a more suitable way to deal with it. In this case please contact TMCP so that TMCP Legal can provide the “non-inclusive” form of Standard Licence.

C3.5 “Payment Dates”

Please insert the dates on which the Licence Fee should be paid e.g. the 1st working day of each month. The frequency of payment will depend upon how often you intend to invoice /collect the Licence Fee. Please complete the appropriate option and delete those that do not apply.

These are examples of how to complete the Payment Dates definition:

Fortnightly: Monday each week/fortnight
Monthly: the 1st working day of each month
Quarterly: the 8th July 2016 and [monthly] or [quarterly] (other) thereafter
By reference to an invoice: 10 days after receipt of an invoice from the Managing Trustees

C3.6 “Permitted Hours”

Please complete the boxes to show the agreed hours during which the Licensee will use the Premises.

TMCP sometimes receive licences from Managing Trustees where the Licensee proposes to use the Premises 12.01am to 11pm or 9am to 6pm every week day. Unless the proposed use is a couple of hours here and there it may be that a licence is not the correct document to use and TMCP strongly recommend that you seek legal advice from a local solicitor to check whether a lease would be more suitable. (Please refer to Licence Guidance 1 - When to Use the Standard Licence which discusses the difference between a “lease” and a “licence”.)

C3.7 “Permitted Use”

Please give an accurate and specific description of the proposed use of the Premises by the Licensee e.g. dancing classes or as an art and craft workshop.

C3.8 “Premises”

Please insert a clear description of the rooms/ space available for use by the Licensee.

Please ensure that somebody who does not know the Building would be able to identify the Premises from the description. Instead of putting; “the Wesley room” it might be helpful to put; “the ground floor room to the left of the church hall known as the “Wesley room.”” You could refer to a plan and attach this to the licence if that would help.

C3.9 “ Safeguarding Policy”

Please complete details to indicate the safeguarding policy that applies to the Premises.

Please note that safeguarding Form D must be completed in addition to the Standard Licence. This is a separate form prepared by the Connexional Safeguarding Team.

C3.10 “Start and End Dates”
  • Start Date: Please insert the agreed date on which the licence will start. This should be on or after the date that the licence is signed by all parties. A licence for the next school year could be signed and dated in July with the Start Date being the date on which the Licensee will first use the Premises in September. Whereas the date at the start of the Standard Licence is the date that the Standard Licence is entered into/ agreed, the Start Date is the date that the Licensee can start using the Premises.
  • End Date: Please insert the agreed date on which the licence will end (unless terminated earlier under clause 5) being no more than 12 months after the Start Date.

The Conference Office is concerned about licences that last longer than 12 months and the risk that a periodic tenancy/ lease could arise. To protect Managing Trustees it is essential that the Licence Period (the period between the Start and End Dates) is no more than 12 months and that there is no occupation of the Premises outside of the agreed Licence Period. It is also prudent to ensure that there is at least a day’s break between the end of one licence and the beginning of a new licence i.e. the “End Date” of one licence and the “Start Date” of the next licence. The next licence could however be agreed, and signed off before the current licence comes to an end to ensure that there is no occupation outside of the agreed Licence Period.



Please note that this document is to provide guidance and assistance to Managing Trustees and their professional advisers. This guidance note is general in nature, may not reflect all recent legal developments and may not apply to the specific facts and circumstances of any particular matter.


Also note that nothing within the documents and guidance notes provided by TMCP nor any receipt or use of such information, should be construed or relied on as advertising or soliciting to provide any legal services. Nor does it create any solicitor-client relationship or provide any legal representation, advice or opinion whatsoever on behalf of TMCP or its employees.


Accordingly, neither TMCP nor its employees accept any responsibility for use of this document or action taken as a result of information provided in it.


Please remember that Managing Trustees need to take advice that is specific to the situation at hand. This document is not legal advice and is no substitute for such advice from Managing Trustees' own legal advisers.