The church is evolving to fit a modern and fast-paced world, while striving to maintain its values as an historic institution. We understand the difficulties the church faces in adapting, and can provide robust but sensitive legal advice in support of its aims.
We work closely with the Church of England and other religious organisations such as the Catholic Diocese of Plymouth and Exeter Mosque. We act for the Diocese of Exeter, providing advice to the Bishop of Exeter on a range of legal matters affecting the bishop, clergy, and officers of the diocese. We also advise churchwardens and parochial church councils on how to apply Church of England laws and rules within their churches and parishes.
Our expert team advises on a broad range of church-related legal matters, including:
church charities and trusts
property – including glebe, parsonage and chancel repair
clergy licensing and discipline
Hands-on legal support for parish and charitable projects
The team is actively involved with parish and charitable projects, and also looks after the legal aspects of The Exeter Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd’s property portfolio.
acting for the diocese in a joint venture arrangement to develop farmland owned by the church for affordable housing in a rural area, including the provision of a new parsonage house
acting for Plymouth Partnership in Mission (a company created under a Bishops Mission Order) to obtain leases of two parish churches to create new ‘seed’ congregations and regenerate churches in deprived areas
acting for a parish in a Church Sharing Agreement with the Methodist Church
guiding an elderly sole trustee through the legal complexities of the closure of a residential religious community, including the sale of property assets and the formation of a new charitable incorporated organisation with modern objects and new trustees
working with diocesan officers to develop template documents for joint councils, and providing advice on the issues arising from this new governance structure
providing online and face-to-face training for curates on areas of ecclesiastical law, including the Church Representation Rules and marriage law.