Christian grant-making charity ‘Benefact Trust’ seeks new Trustee – lawyer sought
Benefact Trust Limited (formerly Allchurches Trust Limited) is an independent registered charity established in 1972, which seeks to promote the Christian faith and other charitable purposes. The charity is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee with a membership body. The Trust was originally founded by Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) to preserve the independence of that company and to ensure that EIO’s founding principles, to protect the Anglican Church and return profits to the Church’s and other charitable work, were safeguarded.
Since its incorporation, the activities of the Trust have remained the promotion of the Christian religion and values, providing a broad range of grants to Anglican churches, churches of other Christian denominations and charitable organisations with an emphasis on heritage, supporting those in need and strengthening communities. Through its grant programmes, the Trust aims to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Benefact Trust is the charitable owner of the Benefact Group and largely derives its income from its trading subsidiaries, and in particular Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc. In addition, the Trust receives donations from Methodist Insurance PLC (which are designated by the Trustees to support the Methodist Church) and investment income generated from the charity’s Expendable Endowment Fund. The Trust does not fund-raise.
The Trust is a major grant funder and in 2021, it donated £19.3m in support of Christian churches and charities, compared with £23.3m in 2020. The 2020 donation reflected the Trust’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the desire to help beneficiaries respond to the emerging challenges. Over the past five years the Trust has given over £100m in grants and these are used to benefit people of all religions denominations and none.
The successful candidate will bring a governance mindset which will assist the Board in dealing with legal and regulatory matters.
In a more general sense, the key duties of Trustees include:
- Ensuring that the organisation complies with the Trust’s constitution, charity law and any other relevant legislation or regulations
- Ensuring that the organisation pursues its objectives
- Contributing actively to the Board of Trustees’ role in giving firm strategic direction to the charity, setting overall policy, defining goals and setting targets and evaluating performance against agreed targets and budgets
- Safeguarding the good name and values of the charity
- Ensuring the effective and efficient administration and financial stability of the organisation
The Benefact Trust’s Board of Trustees ensure that assets and resources are only used for the strategic purposes of the charity and that it is run in accordance with its constitution, charity law and other applicable laws and regulations. The Trust is fortunate to have a board with a broad range of skills, and is looking to add to the skill sets represented through this appointment.
The Benefact Trust is looking for someone with legal governance experience expertise to join the Board. The successful candidate will have gained the relevant skills working as a lawyer or as a chartered secretary, and will have experience of working with legal issues, a strong understanding of risk management, and be comfortable with scrutinising legal issues which come before the Board.
Other desirable, but non-essential, characteristics for this appointment would be charity experience (specifically, experience in charity law) and an understanding of the religious ethos of the Trust and support for the charity’s mission. Benefact Trust has confirmed that the successful candidate does not need to personally follow the Christian faith.
Tim Carroll, Chair
Very Revd Jane Hedges
Sir Stephen Lamport GCVO DL
The Venerable Karen Lund
Sir Laurie Magnus
The appointment for this role is unremunerated but all pre-agreed, reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. The time commitments for this role includes four Board meetings per year. The Trustee may be asked to join one of the Trust’s additional Sub-committees for an additional three meetings per year. The Trustee will also be expected to attend the two annual strategy away days, as well as be asked to engage on a further ad hoc basis. Meetings are currently being held in a hybrid of both virtual and in-person attendance.