Attorney-General v Pearson: 1817

No Alteration to Charty’s Objects

A protestant dissenters’ meeting house in Wolverhampton which was declared by a trust deed to be held for ‘the worship and service of God’ was the subject of a dispute between the schismatic congregation. The issue was the nature of the worship denoted by those words and the occasion was the ejection of a minister.
Held: Referring to Craigdallie, Lord Eldon said: ‘if any persons seeking the benefit of a trust for charitable purposes should incline to the adoption of a different system from that which was intended by the original donors and founders; and if others of those who are interested think proper to adhere to the original system, the leaning of the Court must be to support those adhering to the original system, and not to sacrifice the original system to any change of sentiment in the persons seeking alteration, however commendable that proposed alteration may be.’

Lord Eldon
(1817) 3 Mer 353, [1817] EngR 645, (1817) 3 Mer 353, (1817) 36 ER 135
England and Wales
ExplainedCraigdallie v Aikman PC 14-Jun-2013
A chapel was acquired with the subscriptions of a congregation which seceded from the Church of Scotland in 1737 and subsequently split over whether a magistrate might suppress heresy. Each of the rival groups claimed that the chapel belonged to . .

Cited by:
Not followedVarsani and others v Jesani, Patel and Her Majesty’s Attorney-General CA 3-Apr-1998
A Hindu religious sect, constituted as a charity, had split into two factions.
Held: The court had jurisdiction to order that the assets of the sect should be divided under the powers in the Act, and held upon separate trusts for the two . .
CitedKhaira and Others v Shergill and Others CA 17-Jul-2012
The parties disputed the trusteeship and governance of two Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). The defendants now applied for the claim to be struck out on the basis that the differences were as to Sikh doctrines and practice and as such were unjusticiable. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Charity, Trusts

Leading Case

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.187518