Whilst we as Baptists believe that the church is the people not the building, most BUW Churches are responsible for buildings and land. This may include a church or chapel building, a vestry or hall as well as a cemetery and residential accommodation such as a Manse or Chapel House.
Church property is usually held by property trustees. The trustees are legally responsible for administering the church property. The Baptist Union of Wales is currently preparing guidance concerning the roles and responsibilities of church property trustees which will be available to download from this page.
In the meantime, we would like to draw your attention to the following issues:
- Trusteeship: Do you have sufficient Property Trustees? Are your trustees aware of, and actively fulfilling their roles and responsibilities?
- Insurance: Is your property adequately insured with a suitable insurance provider?
- Maintenance, Health & Safety: Is your property sufficiently maintained and compliant with health and safety regulations?
- Property Deeds: Do you know the location of your Church Deeds?
If your church is responsible for a residential property such as a Manse or Chapel House, please refer to our page on Church Residential Property.
Church Property Trusteeship
If the Welsh Baptist Union Corporation is not a property trustee, you are legally required to have at least two property trustees. As a matter of good practice, we suggest that you should seek to always ensure that there are at least three property trustees. Ideally, the number of property trustees would reflect the size of your church membership.
The BUW recognizes that has become increasingly difficult for churches to find new property trustees. As a Union we continue to support our churches by fulfilling the role of Church Property Trustee. As a corporate trustee, the WBUC has the ability to be appointed sole trustee or a co-trustee along with other local property trustees from the church. At present, The Welsh Baptist Union Corporation (WBUC) acts as property trustee of over one hundred chapels throughout Wales.
Please note that WBUC trustee appointment is by application and subject to legal criteria. If you would like to discuss trusteeship or would wish to consider appointing the Welsh Baptist Union Corporation as property trustees, please contact Dr Christian Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org) neu Mrs Helen Wyn (email@example.com).
Concerned about your church property?
At a time when many churches are struggling to maintain their ageing buildings, the BUW is keen to encourage and support congregations to consider all possible options for both the church and its building. If you have any concerns about your church property or have questions regarding property trusteeship etc., please feel free to contact us.