Places of Religious Worship

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th February 2009.

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Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Shadow Minister (Community Cohesion), Communities and Local Government

To ask Her Majesty's Government which faith and denominations are recognised as religions for the purposes of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

The Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 provides for places of meeting for religious worship to be certified to the Registrar General, but does not apply to the established church. When considering the registration of a building which has been certified as a place of religious worship, the Registrar General applies the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the Segerdal case.

The main finding in the judgment is that the words "place of meeting for religious worship" in the Act connote a place of which the principal use is for people to come together as a congregation to worship God or do reverence to a deity. Apart from the Church of England and the Church in Wales, any faith or denomination which meets these criteria would be capable of recognition under the 1855 Act.

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