Due to our low income and our status as a church we are officially ‘excepted’ from charity registration. This means we do not have a charity number. However, our church is still an official charity, is regulated by the Charity Commission, and is expected to comply with charity law.
The following explanation is gleaned from the Charity Commission website (see link at bottom of page).
Some charities are ‘excepted’ from charity registration.
This just means they don’t have to register or submit annual returns.
Apart from that, the Charity Commission regulates them just like registered charities and can use any of their powers if they need to.
A charity is excepted if its income is £100,000 or less and it is in one of the following groups:
churches and chapels belonging to some Christian denominations (including the United Reformed Church).
Apart from not having to register or make annual returns, excepted charities must comply with charity law.
Their trustees have the same responsibilities as trustees of any other charity.
The exception for church charities currently runs until 31 March 2021.
Legislation covering the charity
The Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations 1996, www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/180/contents/made
The latest legislation extending the regulations to 2021, www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/242/contents/made
This information was taken from the Charity Commission website, http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/detailed-guidance/registering-a-charity/exempt-charities-cc23/changes-to-the-regulation-of-exempt-and-excepted-charities