Welsh Church Act 1914

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1914 c. 91


Welsh Church Act, 1914

(4 & 5 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 91.

An Act to terminate the establishment of the Church of England in Wales and Monmouthshire, and to make provision in respect of the Temporalities thereof, and for other purposes in connection with the matters aforesaid.

[18th September 1914]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Act, 1911, and by authority of the same, as follows:

I Disestablishment and Vesting and Distribution of Property.

Part I.

Disestablishment and Vesting and Distribution of Property.

Disestablishment.

Disestablishment.

S-1 Disestablishment and prohibition of future appointments.

1 Disestablishment and prohibition of future appointments.

1. On the day after the expiration of six months, or such extended period as His Majesty may fix by Order in Council, not being more than twelve months, after the passing of this Act (in this Act referred to as the date of disestablishment), the Church of England, so far as it extends to and exists in Wales and Monmouthshire (in this Act referred to as the Church in Wales), shall cease to be established by law, and, save as by this Act provided, no person shall, after the passing of this Act, be appointed or nominated by His Majesty or any person, by virtue of any existing right of patronage, to any ecclesiastical office in the Church in Wales.

S-2 Ecclesiastical corporations and bishops.

2 Ecclesiastical corporations and bishops.

(1) On the date of disestablishment every cathedral and ecclesiastical corporation in the Church in Wales, whether sole or aggregate, shall be dissolved.

(2) On and after the date of disestablishment no bishop of the Church in Wales shall as such be summoned to or be qualified to sit or vote as a Lord of Parliament; but save as aforesaid every person who is at the passing of this Act a bishop, dean, canon, or archdeacon of or the holder of any ecclesiastical office in the Church in Wales, shall during his life enjoy the same title and precedence as if this Act had not passed.

(3) Writs of summons shall be issued to bishops not disqualified by this enactment for sitting in the House of Lords as if the bishops so disqualified had vacated their sees.

(4) On and after the date of disestablishment no person shall be disqualified or liable to any penalty for sitting or voting in the House of Commons by reason of having been ordained to the office of priest or deacon if the ecclesiastical office he holds is an ecclesiastical office in the Church in Wales, or, if he does not hold any ecclesiastical office, if the last ecclesiastical office which he held was an ecclesiastical office in the Church in Wales.

S-3 Ecclesiastical law and courts.

3 Ecclesiastical law and courts.

(1) As from the date of disestablishment ecclesiastical courts and persons in Wales and Monmouthshire shall cease to exercise any jurisdiction, and the ecclesiastical law of the Church in Wales shall cease to exist as law.

(2) As from the same date the then existing ecclesiastical law and the then existing articles, doctrines, rites, rules, discipline, and ordinances of the Church of England shall, with and subject to such modification or alteration, if any, as after the passing of this Act may be duly made therein, according to the constitution and regulations for the time being of the Church in Wales, be binding on the members for the time being of the Church in Wales in the same manner as if they had mutually agreed to be so bound, and shall be capable of being enforced in the temporal courts in relation to any property which by virtue of this Act is held on behalf of the said Church or any members thereof, in the same manner and to the same extent as if such property had been expressly assured upon trust to be held on behalf of persons who should be so bound:

Provided that no alteration in the articles, doctrines, rites, or, save so far as may be rendered necessary by the passing of this Act, in the formularies of the Church in Wales, shall be so far binding on any ecclesiastical person having any existing interest saved by this Act, as to deprive him of that interest, if he, within one month after the making of the alteration, signifies in writing to the representative body herein-after mentioned his dissent therefrom.

(3) The said constitution and regulations of the Church in Wales may, notwithstanding anything in this section, provide for the establishment for the Church in Wales of ecclesiastical courts, and, if the Archbishop of Canterbury consents, for appeals from any of the courts so established being heard and determined by the provincial court of the Archbishop, and the Archbishop may, with the approval of His Majesty in Council, give such consent, but no such courts shall exercise any coercive jurisdiction and no appeal shall lie from any such court to His Majesty in Council.

(4) The power of making by such constitution and regulations alterations and modifications in ecclesiastical law shall include the power of altering and modifying such law so far as it is embodied in the Church Discipline Act, 1840 , the Public Worship Regulation Act, 1874 , the Clergy Discipline Act, 1892 ,or the Ecclesiastical Dilapidations Acts, 1871 and 1872 , or any other Act of Parliament.

(5) As from the date of disestablishment the bishops and clergy of the Church in Wales shall cease to be members of or be represented in the Houses of Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, but nothing in this Act shall affect the powers of those Houses so far as they relate to matters outside Wales and Monmouthshire.

Vesting of Property.

Vesting of Property.

S-4 Vesting of property.

4 Vesting of property.

(1) As from the date of disestablishment there shall, save as by this section provided, vest in the Welsh Commissioners herein-after mentioned—

(a ) all property vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners or Queen Anne's Bounty, which is ascertained as herein-after mentioned to be Welsh ecclesiastical property; and

(b ) all property not so vested, and not consisting of charges on the common fund of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, which, at the passing of this Act, belongs to or is appropriated to the use of any ecclesiastical office or cathedral corporation in the Church in Wales, or the holder of any such office as such;

subject, in the case of all such property, to all tenancies, charges, and incumbrances, and to all rights and interests saved by this Act, affecting the property.

(2) All plate, furniture, and other moveable chattels belonging to any church affected by this Act, or used in connexion with the celebration of Divine worship therein, not being the property of a private individual, shall vest in the representative body herein-after mentioned if and when incorporated:

Provided that if such a body is not incorporated at the date of disestablishment all such moveable chattels as aforesaid shall, until the incorporation of such a body, remain vested in the same persons and be applicable to the same purposes as before the date of disestablishment.

S-5 Apportionment of property by Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty.

5 Apportionment of property by Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty.

(1) The Ecclesiastical Commissioners shall, as soon as may be after the passing of this Act and before the date of disestablishment, ascertain and by order declare what property vested in them at the passing of this Act, or under the provisions herein-after in this section contained, consists of property of either of the classes or descriptions mentioned in Part I. of the First Schedule to this Act, and property so ascertained and declared shall, subject to the adjustments made in accordance with Part II. of the same schedule, and to such alterations therein as may be made between the passing of this Act and the date of disestablishment, be Welsh ecclesiastical property within the meaning of this Act.

(2) Queen Anne's Bounty shall as soon as may be after the passing of this Act, and before the date of disestablishment, ascertain and by order declare what property vested in them at the passing of this Act, or under the provisions herein-after in this section contained, is property of the class or description mentioned in the Second Schedule to this Act, and all property so ascertained and declared shall, subject to such alterations therein and additions thereto as may be made between the passing of this Act and the date of disestablishment, be Welsh ecclesiastical property within the meaning of this Act, and the order shall distinguish between the property derived from grants made by Queen Anne's Bounty out of the Royal Bounty Fund or moneys provided by Parliament and property derived from other sources.

(3) There shall as from the passing of this Act become vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty respectively all property (other than ecclesiastical residences) belonging to or appropriated to the use of any ecclesiastical office or cathedral corporation in the Church in Wales, or the holder of any such office as such, towards the purchase of which grants made by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty respectively have been applied; but such vesting shall not affect any beneficial interest in any such property.

(4) Orders of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and Queen Anne's Bounty under this section and the schedules therein referred to shall be made with the concurrence of the Welsh Commissioners, or, in default of such concurrence, with the approval of His Majesty the King in Council given on the advice of the Judicial...

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