A much appreciated gospel partnership
We are immensely thankful to Roger Dix – former trustee of the Christian Outdoor Pursuits Trust (COPT) – and the charity itself for writing and sharing their experience of working with Edward Connor Solicitors (ECS):
A potted history
Although the Trust was formed in 1981, it was set up to formalise a ministry among young people begun within Brethren Assemblies, and dating back to the late 1940’s. Over those years the Lord has honoured and blessed the work in amazing ways, which encouraged one of our founding trustees, Steven Gaunt, to compile in 2022 a booklet ‘Reflections on Forty Years of the Christian Outdoor Pursuits Trust’, a collection of memories and testimonies by trustees, staff, guests and campers from over the years.
Time for a legal review
Around three years ago, with around half the then serving trustees approaching retirement within the next few years, we were conscious that the scope of COPT’s ministry and operation, and that of the political and legal environment in which we are called to serve, had changed significantly over the last few years. It was therefore decided that before more proactively seeking new and younger trustees, we should review our legal basis, and changing to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) would help in two main areas, that of trustees’ liability and greater simplicity in registration of ownership of the Trust’s freehold property. One of our trustees was already working with ECS in connection with the registration as a CIO of a local church, and it was decided to appoint ECS to act for COPT in August 2020.
Ensuring fit for purpose succession
In many ways it has been a long and hard two years, but without the patient help and advice of ECS it would have been longer and harder! It became more than a mere change of legal status, but an opportunity to review and revisit many aspects of the Trust’s operation in the light of current legislation. Although not part of our original intention, we later also asked ECS to review and advise on staff contracts and staff handbook. Once started, we realised we needed to be able, and wished to ensure, that as far as legal issues were concerned, we could confidently hand over the ministry to our successors on a basis which was fit for purpose.
A valued partnership
We appreciated in ECS a partnership with lawyers who instinctively understood, and were in full sympathy with, our Christian ethos and biblical foundations, which was a vital factor particularly in our discussions with Charity Commission staff who, though consistently helpful, seemed to have a very restricted concept of the breadth of Christian ministry! But more than that, we valued ECS’s access to specialists whose depth of knowledge covered every aspect of the law as it impacted our Christian ministry.
Thank you ECS, may the Lord bless your vital ministry to His Church.
Partnering with your ministry
We (Edward Connor Solicitors) would love to hear from you to see if we can partner with your ministry in providing you with Christ-centred legal expertise.