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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
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Experience:  Since 1983
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I am a member of a church which was incorporated in Jamaica

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I am a member of a church which was incorporated in Jamaica under its own Act of Parliament in 1973. This Act has some serious drawbacks and it is felt that change is needed. The Act sets out how the the umbrella organisation works as an association of the individual churches. How would you suggest that the association be re-constituted under modern Jamaican legislation? Should the new Companies Act of 2004 be used or is there a more appropriate mechanism for registering associations?
If the Church was chartered by an Act of Parliament, it would take another Act to change anything in the original act under which it was formed. The Parliament can pass a private bill, like the ones posted at

The Companies Act does not mention nonprofit or religious corporations and that does not appear to be the appropriate vehicle for a Church.

I believe that if the Church members agree on the changes they want to the structure of the church, they can draft their proposed amendments to the existing Act or Parliament, and present it to Parliament with a request that it be passed into law. And I do not anticipate any resistance from Parliament which is merely being asked to amend and update the laws relating to an existing Church at the request of the Church.

I hope this information is helpful.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You do not appear to have received by request for further information sent on 2 Sept..

Thank you for the ideas presented and the examples of a church using the old mechanism (Incorporation by an Act of Parliament) as late as last year and another amended their Act..

The new Jamaican Companies Act does however have provision for registration of charities and churches. Form 1B which relates to a Company incorporated without share capital, specifically requests notification of the type of body. The options include, charity and religious purposes. It does seem to be apparent that the new Companies Act is intended for use with charities, churches and associations, hoever as you rightly point out, the old method is still inuse. Do you have specific expertise in this area within Jamaica? If not, could you point me to a local lawyer who we might ask for advice?

Thank you in anticipation,
Sorry, but I did not see any posts from you other than what is written in this thread.

Nonprofit Organizations Lawyers in Jamaica are listed at

Even though a new church could possibly be chartered under the new law, the existing church that was chartered by Parliament would require another Act of Parliament to amend its charter.

I agree you need a local attorney to assist you.

Edited by N Cal Attorney on 9/6/2010 at 8:56 PM EST
N Cal Attorney and 3 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for your advice and list of lawyers. Much appreciated We will follow up locally.

Yours sincerely,
Thank you for accepting my answer.