Incorporated Ministries Policy and Guidelines
The Incorporated Ministries Policy (November 2022) replaces Incorporated Ministries (December 2019). At the November 2022 General Council Executive meeting, the addition of a clause regarding the handling of major assets was passed. This clause has been added as a required clause for Category 1 incorporated ministries.
The Incorporated Ministries Guidelines includes points for those groups considering incorporation, or existing corporations considering a change in their relationship with the church. The guidelines provide general information and should be read together with the policy.
Corporations organized under Ontario provincial legislation are now regulated under the Ontario Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010. These corporations have until October 2024 to comply with the new legislation. Visit the Ontario government's “Guide to the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010” for more information.
Corporations and Regional Councils
On January 1, 2019, regional councils replaced Conferences as the supervising court for incorporated ministries. These ministries needed to revise their bylaws to reflect these changes. See "Regional Councils and Incorporated Ministries: What Is the Relationship?" under Downloads, below, for some quick tips to assist in the process.
Please contact your Regional Council Executive Minister as you plan to revise your bylaws.
Is a Congregation a Corporation?
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.
Congregations may decide to set up a separate legal entity, usually a not-for-profit corporation, when programs or projects are such that the liability needs to be contained. This is done by applying to the appropriate provincial or federal government body to be granted status as a corporation. The United Church has additional requirements that need to be met for those corporations that want to continue to affiliate themselves with the church and use the name of The United Church of Canada.
For More Information
- Incorporated Ministries Policy (November 2022) (126.09 KB) (PDF)
- Incorporated Ministries Guidelines (February 2019) (129.16 KB) (PDF)
- Regional Councils and Incorporated Ministries: What Is the Relationship? (130.32 KB) (PDF)