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Religious Buildings: Registration

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 28 October 2009, Official Report, column 474W, on “Non-domestic Rates: Religious Buildings”, which organisations have had applications to be certified under the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 rejected by the Registrar General since 1979. (308766)

The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (the Act) provides for places of meeting for religious worship, excluding those belonging to the Established Church, to be certified to the Registrar General. A number of tests are applied by the Registrar General when a place of meeting for religious worship is certified to him. This includes the application of the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the Segerdal case in 1970. The main finding in the judgment is that the words ‘place of meeting for religious worship’ in the Act connote a place of which the principal use is for people to come together as a congregation to worship God or do reverence to a deity. A further test is whether the principal use of the building is for worship or for other matters, such as a private home or social club.

Once the Registrar General is satisfied that the place of worship certified to him is capable of recognition, he adds it to the register of such places which, under the Act, he has a duty to maintain.

The duty placed on the Registrar General does not extend to maintaining and retaining records of places or organisations that are not capable of recognition as places of worship under the Act, and the records held in this respect by the Registrar General are incomplete. However, the records that the Registrar General does hold confirm that since 1979, the following organisations have made unsuccessful applications for buildings certified as places of worship to be added to the register:

Miracle Revival Assembly

Calvary Full Gospel Church

Christians not otherwise designated

Roman Catholics

The Methodist Church

Who object to be designated by any distinctive Religious Appellation

Order of Christ Spirit

Christian Spiritualist

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Centre for Christ

Pentecostal Assemblies of God

Baptists

Mount Zion Holiness Assembly

Church of Christ

Christian Fellowship in Huddersfield

Interdenomination

Christians Nazarenes Methodist and Pentecostal

First Church of Christ, Scientist

Wentworth Road Christian Fellowship

Assemblies of God

Llanelli Baptist

Great Conrad Free Church

Calvary Church of God

Church of God

Good News Church Macclesfield

The Spiritualist Sanctuary

German Speaking Evangelical Lutheran Congregation

The Order of Women Freemasons

Muslims

Gur Sangat

Orthodox Christians

Cramlington Spiritualist Church

Frankley Methodist /Anglican Church

Fellowship of Churches of Christ

God’s Church of Peace

Penzance Christian Fellowship

Nailsea Christian Fellowship

Pentwyn Christian Fellowship

Officers and Members of Emmanuel Pentecostal Faith Church of God

Church of Christ of Bethlehem

Weybridge United Reformed Church

Horringer Court Christian Fellowship

Christchurch Abbeydale

Brotherhood Movement

Caribbean House Chaplaincy

Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association

The Independent African Caribbean Church of Christ of Nazareth

The Pentecostal Evangelistic Assembly

Letchworth Lodge of the Theosophical Society in England

The Holiness Church of God Inc.

The Othona Community

Trinity Church of Christ

The New Benedictine Order

The Spiritualists National Union Redwoods

Redditch Christian Fellowship

The British Sailor’s Society

Emmanuel Christian Fellowship

Highfield Free Church

Good News Church

Hammarens Ordens Sallskap—The Order of the Hammer

Apostolic Church of God Seventh Day

Mechanics

Korean Presbyterian Church

Coptic Orthodox Church

United Reformed Church

The Ashford Christian Spiritualist Church

Universal Life Church

Amazing Grace and Friends

Tavistock Community Church

Apostolics

Trinity Church of Christ

Church of England and United Reformed Church

Confucians (Buddhists, Goddess of Mercy)

Apostolic Church International (in UK)

Members of the Correllian Nativist Church International

Buddhists (New Kadampa Tradition)

Cantheist

Freedom Family Church

Redeemed Christian Church of God

C.J’s City

St. Andrews Church of God

Wiccan

Life Sanctuary Church

Kriya Yoga Ashram

Jesus Christ The Great Salvation Fellowship

Mount Sion Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ