Some of you may have seen the article in the Telegraph (July 2012) about Chancel Repair Liability. I have received a number of enquiries as a result and so I thought it would be helpful to clarify the situation.
What is Chancel Repair Liability?
Many churches which were built before 1850 have Lay Rectors who, for historic reasons, have some liability, acquired through ownership of land and enforceable in law, for the financial burden of repairing the chancel of the parish church.
All such land-based liability must be registered by 12th October 2013 at H.M. Land Registry. If the liability is not registered, it will lapse when the land next changes hands. Should PCCs fail to register such a liability, it could be argued that they have failed in their duty to manage their assets according to the guidance set out by the Charity Commissioners. This might adversely affect a PCC's ability successfully to attract grant aid in the future. It is essential that all PCCs with buildings dating from before 1850 check to see if there are any Chancel Repair Liabilities on their church’s chancel. If your PCC has not yet done so, it should check now, in good time before October 2013. Note that the reigstration is 12th October not 31st!
Chancel Repair Liability will be recorded in one or more of the following places
Church of England FAQ’s on Chancel Repair Liability
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ (type chancel repair liability into their search box)
The address of the National Archive is
Postscript; Simon Martin of the Arthur Rank Centre has sent in another two very helpful links to advice on the Arthur Rank Centre Site, though I must stress this is not only an issue for rural churches! http://bit.ly/PBN52S