Corporations and Regional Councils

On January 1, 2019, regional councils will replace Conferences as the supervising court for incorporated ministries. These ministries will need 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 by-laws.

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. 

Incorporated Ministries Policy and Guidelines

The Incorporated Ministries Policy (2019) replaces Incorporated Ministries (October 2016) and reflects the new governance structure that came into effect January 1, 2019. The Incorporated Ministries Guidelines includes points for those groups considering incorporation or existing corporations contemplating a change in their relationship with the church. The guidelines provide general information and should be read in conjunction with the policy.

For more information contact

Duty of Care
416-231-7680 x4094
1-800-268-3781 x4094


Attachment Size Type
Incorporated Ministries Policy (December 2019) 376.72 KB PDF
Incorporated Ministries Guidelines (February 2019) 129.16 KB PDF
Regional Councils and Incorporated Ministries: What Is the Relationship? 130.32 KB PDF