A common question from a congregation is “Where do we find our letters patent?” or “Are we a corporation?” Congregations themselves are not corporations. Congregations have some independent legal status under the Act of Parliament that created The United Church of Canada in 1925, but they are neither federally nor provincially incorporated. However, a congregation may set up a separate legal body, such as a foundation, and this would be an incorporated body.

Presbyteries, districts, and Conferences (except for Newfoundland and Labrador Conference) are not separate legal entities or incorporated bodies.

Often, congregations develop programs or start projects that lead to developing a separate body, usually a not-for-profit corporation. This is done by applying to the appropriate provincial or federal government body to be granted status as a corporation. In addition, the Un ited Church has requirements for organizations that want to continue to affiliate themselves with the church and use the name of The United Church of Canada.  

Incorporated Ministries Resource Guide

The guide replaces the Section 429 Resource Guide. The primary function of this online resource is to assist Conferences in their role as supervising court for corporations. However, the information is also relevant to existing corporations in meeting United Church requirements and emerging corporations exploring their continued relationship with the church. This resource guide complements the Incorporated Ministries document.

For more information contact

Duty of Care 1-800-268-3781 ext. 4094dutyofcare [at] united-church.ca