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Could they give a grant to be used for whatever church requires?
by (280 points)

3 Answers

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A parish council can make grants or awards of finance to most organisations operating within its area although care is needed where any benefit is restricted to a particular group and of course the council must be mindful of descrimination on (in this case)the grounds of religion. Such grants would usually be designated for a specific purpose otherwise it could be construed that the council is merely a non executive finance provider for the church.
by (3.9k points)
0 votes
Perhaps I could add a more technical answer to Swancott's sensible comments.  A parish council may only spend money on matters for which it has a power in legislation.  There are many powers, but the description "whatever church requires" is too vague to fall under any specific power.

The remaining power is the Local Government Act 1972 section 137 (often referred to simply as section 137).  This allows a parish to make a grant that is not covered by any specific power, provided there is a direct benefit for part or all of the parish that is commensurate with the cost.

To satisfy this criterion, it would seem that the council would need to know at least a little more than "whatever church requires" to be able to lawfully make a grant, or would need to make some effort to spell out the benefit expected to accrue to the parish.
by (33.5k points)
0 votes
Noting that it is a really old thread, just wanted to add the attached link as information which might be useful when considering this issue.

There appears to have been "guidance" via NALC to regional associations naturally filters down to individual PCs which disqualifies PCs from making s137 grant to religious institutions.

I've certainly 'seen' and challenged this approach when it was interpreted as being rigidly applied [by a clerk recently returned from a 'training' session] even though the verdict on the interpretation is clearly ambiguous.

https://lawandreligionuk.com/2017/03/07/may-a-parish-council-grant-aid-a-place-of-worship/
by (6.4k points)

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