The new charity law in Guernsey requires all charitable organisations, including churches, to have constitutional documents that meet the minimum standards set out in the schedule to the Regulations (see below).
As Guernsey is not part of the UK, the Church of England's Church Representation Rules and other legislation governing how parishes are managed do not apply in Guernsey.
Therefore, the Deanery of Guernsey has produced a model constitution for our parishes to adapt to describe their local arrangements.
Mr Howard Roberts KC OBE, one of our churchwardens and formerly HM Procureur, has produced the constitution for St Andrew's parish church, which will be presented for adoption by the annual congregational meeting on Sunday 30 April 2023.
Why is this necessary?
Spurred on by the need to bring its regulation into line with international norms on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism, Guernsey introduced new charities legislation on 29 April 2022 redefining charities and non-profit organisations under Guernsey law, setting out criteria to determine which of them are required to be registered on the Register of Charities and other Non Profit Organisations, and laying out the governance and risk mitigation measures that such organisations are required to implement.
There are three pieces of legislation which apply in Guernsey :The Charities etc (Guernsey and Alderney) Ordinance, 2021 ('the Ordinance'), which repealed and replaced the existing regime. The Ordinance provides the definitions of charities and non-profit organisations ('NPOs'), and sets the thresholds for which charities and NPOs are required to be registered on the Register of Charities and other Non Profit Organisations;
The Charities etc (Amendments, Exemptions, Governance and Specified Amount) (Guernsey and Alderney) Regulations, 2022 ('the Regulations'). The Regulations provide various exemptions from the requirement to be registered, and set out the good governance and risk mitigation measures registered charities and NPOs have to implement; and
The Charities etc (Commencement and Transitional Provisions) (Guernsey and Alderney) Regulations, 2022, which sets out the phased timetable of implementation of the Ordinance and Regulations