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.
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.
Since 1990, Church House has also housed the very successful Church House Conference Centre Ltd, (trading as Church House Westminster), a wholly-owned trading subsidiary of the Corporation.
Stephanie Maurel is the current Secretary to the Corporation of The Church House.
The next Annual General Meeting of the Corporation of the Church House will take place on Thursday, 25 July 2024 at 12 noon.
You can download the latest annual report and financial statements of the Corporation of the Church House.
The Royal Charter charity is managed by a board of nine trustees, known as the Council, who are selected on the following basis:
- Two members elected by the members of the Corporation at the Annual General Meeting.
- Three members appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Church of England. These nominations are selected from the current membership of the General Synod.
- Up to four members co-opted as trustees for specific expertise required by the Council.
The Council meets at least four times per year and holds its Annual General Meeting in July.
The members of the Council may serve up to two 5-year terms or until they reach the age of 75 upon which they will be invited to retire.
The current members of the Council are:
- Stephen Barney (Chair) - Elected
- Hywel Rees-Jones (Treasurer) - Elected
- David Kemp - Appointed
- Keith Cawdron - Appointed
- Dr Justine Allain Chapman - Appointed
- Andrew Penny - Co-opted
- Josile Munro - Co-opted
- James Bryer Co-opted
The Investment Committee is a standing committee and consists of:
- Hywel Rees-Jones (Chair)
- Andrew Penny
- Tom Clark (Independent member)
- David Kemp
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.
You can send enquiries to The Corporation of the Church House, Church House, 27 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ, call us at 020 7898 1311, or by using the webform below: