In re South Place Ethical Society: 1980

The court considered the meaning and nature of religious belief, and whether a trust for this purpose could be charitable.
Held: Dillon J referred to Russell LJ as having taken the view that the court could hold that there are purposes ‘so beneficial or of such utility’ to the community that they ought prima facie to be accepted as charitable, but he observed that this approach was difficult to adopt in view of Lord Simonds’ comments in Williams’ Trustees. Religion requires ‘faith in a god and worship of that god’.


Dillon J


[1980] 1 WLR 1565, [1980] 3 All ER 918

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Education and Employment and others ex parte Williamson and others HL 24-Feb-2005
The appellants were teachers in Christian schools who said that the blanket ban on corporal punishment interfered with their religious freedom. They saw moderate physical discipline as an essential part of educating children in a Christian manner. . .
CitedHelena Partnerships Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs CA 9-May-2012
The company had undertaken substantial building works and sought associated tax relief. The court was asked whether, following a change in the company’s memorandum and articles of association, the company, a registered social landlord, remained a . .
CitedHodkin and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages SC 11-Dec-2013
The appellants sought to be married in their regular church in London. The minister would be pleased to perform the ceremony, but church to which they belonged was part of the Church of Scientology, and had been refused registration under the 1855 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Ecclesiastical, Charity

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.223024

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