Because of our unusual history, Christ Church is run in unusual way, by a group of Trustees, who work in partnership with Church Council. Today the work of the Trustees of Christ Church is still defined in its simplest form by the original Trust deed: to maintain the building in perpetuity and to provide a minister. Their other original responsibility, that of collecting rent for the gallery seating, has happily not been upheld in recent times!
The Trust deed specifies ten trustees, and they are a self-appointing body – that is, whenever a place is vacant, the remaining trustees appoint a new member to the Trust. The trustees are currently drawn largely from members of the Christ Church congregation, with the addition of the Archdeacon of Bath and the rector of St Swithin’s, Walcot, the parish within which Christ Church lies. The Priest-in-Charge and the elected church wardens are always invited to attend Trustees meetings (in a non-voting capacity).
Nowadays, the Charity Commission regulates the Trust’s funds and the Trustees therefore hold themselves responsible for all financial matters, including the receiving of planned giving and donations. As a proprietary chapel, Christ Church is not obliged to pay a parish share and historically did not do so, but for many years we have chosen to donate the equivalent sum to the Diocese, although the provision of a minister remains the responsibility of the Trustees without financial help from the Diocese.
The Trustees are therefore in essence the property managers, providing a church building, properly heated and lit, and a minister employed for leading worship. The existence of this administrative body is an important defining feature of Christ Church which sets it apart from a parish church.
The trustees meet at least once a quarter and more often if there are important items to discuss. Please pray for them as they carry out this important work on behalf of Christ Church.
The current Trustees of Christ Church are:
The Bishop of Bath and Wells is also an honourary trustee of Christ Church.
Copies of the Trustees accounts can be found on the Charity Commission website, by searching for charity number 1055275.