WEBA’s two Trust Companies deal with all matters relating to church property. The first point of contact, if you have any questions about church buildings, is our Trust Manager Rob English. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07534 513941. Rob normally works in the WEBA office from 10am to 4pm Mondays to Fridays.
“What the Trust Company does is often described in legal terms” says Rob, “But the heart of what we do is missionary work. Whilst buildings are not the church, for the local community, they do represent what we do. We do have a responsibility to make sure our buildings are a physical expression of what we’re trying to do.”
It’s important that churches get in touch with Rob when considering major building work, repairs, or alterations to church buildings. Seeking advice at an early stage will usually save money later on.
Churches are not allowed by law to hold property in their own name. They need to appoint trustees who then hold the trust deeds and take on certain legal responsibilities.
Finding volunteers with the necessary qualifications and experience became a problem for Baptist Churches as far back as 1891. In that year the Baptist Union Corporation was formed, which would take on this legal role on behalf of churches. Several regional trust companies were founded in the years that follow, including the forerunners of the two trust companies which now serve the WEBA region and operate from the WEBA office: West of England Baptist Trust Company (East) Ltd, and West of England Baptist Trust Company (West) Ltd.
These two companies hold the deeds of most WEBA churches, and offer help and advice in legal, trust, practical, and charity matters, and with property transactions and redevelopments.