Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2001] All ER (D) 458 (Jul)
Court: Chancery Division
Judge:

Patten J

Representation John McDonnell QC (instructed by Bindman & Partners) for the claimants.
  Daniel Gerrans (instructed by Gandecha & Pau) for the defendants.
  William Henderson (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Attorney-General.
Judgment Dates: 31 July 2001

Catchwords

Charity - Religion - Scheme - Sect existing as charity in England - Rift causing it to split into two groups - Each group wanting establishment of scheme for administration of charity - Court making declaration that it had jurisdiction to make scheme dividing assets of charity and holding them on trusts - Basis and way in which division of assets to be made - s 13.

The Case

In a scheme such as the present where the assets of a religious charity fell to be divided following a rift on theological grounds, the court had no choice but to assume an agnostic role. In assuming that role, s13 of the existed to simplify the court's task by making provision for both groups without adjudicating on the central issue which divided them, and the court should seek to strike a balance between both groups having regard to their own need. In the instant case, having regard to those matters, and having identified the assets subject to the scheme, the court would direct, inter alia, that the minority group be provided with a place of worship, and be given two out of the five sacred objects. Furthermore, both groups would be allowed to continue to use the name of the faith with some differentiation.

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