The Corporation of The Church House

The Corporation of The Church House was founded as a charity in 1888 by Royal Charter. Based in and adjacent to Dean’s Yard, near Westminster Abbey, the building houses the National Institutions of the Church of England.
Exterior view of Church House, Westminster, early evening

Church House was designed to be a home for the Church Assembly (now the General Synod) of the Church of England. The General Synod meets up to two times a year in London and once in York.

The Royal Charter charity is managed by a board of nine trustees, known as the Council. The Council meets four times per year ad holds its Annual General Meeting in July.

Read more about the Council

Since 1990, Church House has also housed the very successful Church House Conference Centre Ltd, (trading as Church House Westminster), the wholly-owned trading subsidiary of the Corporation.

Chris Palmer CBE is the current Secretary to the Corporation of The Church House.

Assembly Hall in Church House set up with chairs for conference

History of Church House

The Corporation of The Church House was founded as the Church of England's permanent tribute to Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. The man who developed the idea, Dr Harvey Goodwin (Bishop of Carlisle), saw it as the national administrative headquarters and likened it to a "chapter-house for the Church of England".

Land was quickly acquired in Dean's Yard, close to the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey, but the existing tenancies meant that only a fraction of the original design could be built in the early 1890's. The original gothic-style buildings were demolished in the 1930s and replaced with the current Church House in 1937.

During World War II Church House survived a bombing and was requisitioned by Parliament to serve as an alternate location for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In the years immediately following the war Church House was used:

  • By the War Crimes Commission for the preparation of evidence for the subsequent trials at Nuremberg
  • For the preparation of the United Nations Charter
  • The first sitting of the United Nations Security Council
  • The inaugural meeting of the United Nations Maritime Organisation, now located on the South Bank.

Contact

Postal address

The Corporation of the Church House
Church House, 
27 Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3AZ

Telephone

020 7898 1311

Email

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General Synod

The 'Parliament' of the Church of England. The General Synod usually meets twice a year to debate and discuss matters of interest and to consider and approve amendments to Church legislation.