Buckland Village Charity

The income of Buckland Parochial Charity (our “Village Charity”) is made up of a right to receive a yearly sum from the Trustees of the General Charity of Henry Smith (Worth Estate) together with income earned on its capital.  As the capital of our Village Charity is a permanent endowment it must be retained and only the income may be spent on beneficiaries.

The income of our Charity can only be applied to relieve a need of someone living within the parish boundary as it was defined in 1889.  If you become aware of any situation where it might be possible for the charity to help, whether by providing support through a financial donation or by paying for items, services or facilities in order to reduce the need, hardship or financial distress of a “Buckland resident in poverty” please do contact the Clerk or one of the Trustees to make them aware.

The Parish Council nominates four Trustees; they are currently Martin Cantor (Treasurer), Debbie Jones (Clerk), Amanda Oakes-Smith and Liz Vahey (Chair). The Trustees meet at least twice each year, in May and November, to discuss any need that has come to light and to agree distributions.  During 2019 two financial distributions were made to assist with the provision of food and payment of fuel bills, helping eleven residents.

To contact the charity please contact Debbie Jones on call Debbie on 07701 347351.

A Brief History of the Buckland Parochial Charity

The charity, as we know it today, is regulated by a Scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 29th August 1974 which modernised the original Scheme which established the Charity on 10th May 1889.

The 1889 Scheme brought together “the Charities of Laurence Denton and John Brown “The Poor’s Land” and the Charities of William Cooke and Henry Smith, so far as they are applicable for the benefit of the poor of the Parish”.  Henry Smith was born in Wandsworth in May 1548 and died in on 3rd January 1628. He was a salter by trade who grew rich and purchased estates in various parts of England. He had no children and during his lifetime created a number of charitable trusts for the relief of the poor; one such trust was for the relief of the poor of 202 specific parishes, of which Buckland was one.

Before 1889 the Henry Smith Charity distributed its income to each parish which was then applied by “The Churchwardens and Overseers of the Poor”. Under the 1889 Scheme the Trustees of the Buckland Parochial Charity consisted of “five competent persons, namely three Ex-officio Trustees and two Representative Trustees”. The Ex-officio Trustees were the Rector and Churchwardens and the Representative Trustees were appointed by the Vestry of the Parish of Buckland.

This was, of course, before the present Parish Council was created in 1894, following which it took over the responsibility for appointing Representative Trustees. The 1974 Scheme provided for four Trustees to be nominated by the Parish Council and for two further Trustees to be co-opted who “shall be persons who through residence, occupation or employment, or otherwise have special knowledge of the area of the parish of Buckland as constituted in the year 1889”. The 1974 Scheme makes no provision for Ex-officio Trustees, who are replaced by the two Co-optative Trustees.

The Trustees nominated by the Parish Council serve for a term of four years and any Trustees co-opted by the Nominated Trustees serve for five years; all are then eligible for reappointment. The nominated Trustees may be but need not be members of the Parish Council and there are no specific directions as to who they shall be. The Trustees may appoint one of their number as Clerk “who shall be dismissable at their pleasure or some other fit person at such reasonable salary as they think fit”. There is no evidence in the Charity’s files that any Clerk has been remunerated in recent years nor have they always been a Trustee. One hundred years ago, a fee of one guinea was paid.

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