Questions > : 'Fate of "gifts in perpetuity" to Church of England'


Aug 09 2013, 18:31:08 Fate of "gifts in perpetuity" to Church of England

I often see carved panels in churches talking about a gift of money from someone, which was supposed to be invested and the interest distributed to the "poor of this parish" in perpetuity. These would date from the 1700s or 1800s.

I was wondering how these would have been handled over time. Would the capital have just been rolled into the broader church holdings, or was there an attempt to honor the intention and direct the funds to the parish, distibuted as directed? How would those gifts have been handled over time?

For example, in St. Nicholas Church, Oddington, one Joseph Harvey died in 1812, and gifted "Rector and Churchwardens £100 upon trust, to place the same out at Interest, and distribute the interest to the poor of this parish on Saint Thomas' day for ever". I'm sure this doesn't still happen. How long would it have happened, and what happens now?



Aug 17, 2013 15:42:08

I think in some cases these have been wound up, but others survive.

I happen to be a Trustee of a small 'parish charity', which can trace its origins to two bequests, one of which dates from 1812. One specified that it should be for the benefit of the poor and sick of the parish, the other for a wider 'general charitable purposes' within the village; they were originally administered by the Rector and Church Wardens.

In recent years, working with the Charity Commission, they have been combined and the funds are now administered by representatives from the Parochial Church Council and Parish Council. The constitution today states that the money generated from investments and interest shall be used for the benefit of the parish, with a provision that a portion of the income available for making grants is reserved for any requests from the poor or sick of the village.....we do receive requests and these are considered once a year.


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