Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919

The Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was made in order to delay the implementation of the disestablishment of the Church in Wales from the Church of England mandated by the Welsh Church Act 1914.

Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919
Long titleAn Act to continue in office the Welsh Commissioners appointed under the Welsh Church Act, 1914, to postpone the date of disestablishment, and to make further provision with respect to the temporalities of, and marriages in, the Church in Wales
Citationc. 65
Territorial extentWales and Monmouthshire
Royal assent1919
Status: Amended
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended


The Welsh Church Act 1914 was passed despite Conservative opposition in Commons. The Parliament Act 1911 was invoked to bypass the House of Lords. However the First World War led to the passage of the Suspensory Act 1914 under which implementation of the Welsh Church Act 1914 was delayed until the end of the war. Post-war, the Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act was created with intent to further delay the disestablishment of the Church in Wales until 31 March 1920.[1]

The act made provision for the Welsh Church Commissioners appointed before the act to retain their positions. Despite separating the Church in Wales from the Church of England, the act provided for the legal right for people to be married in parish churches to be retained despite the Church in Wales no longer being an established church.[2] The act also allowed for the banns of marriage to continue to be published in the Church in Wales the same way as the Church of England did, thus avoiding the need for marriages to be performed in the presence of a civil registrar.[3]

The Welsh Church Act 1914 had disendowed the Church in Wales so the Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act mandated the government to compensate the church for their losses.[3] The Bishop of St Davids later wrote a leaflet detailing the financial position that disendowment would place the Church in Wales in and the fact they could not appeal against it. He also stated that his desire that the disestablishment of the Church of England "...may never take place through the impatience or dissensions or indifference of English Churchmen."[4]


Following the official disestablishment, several sections of the act were deemed to be spent and were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1927 and the Statute Law (Repeals) Act 2004. The section relating to cross-border parishes established prior to 1850 remaining a part of the Church of England remains in force along with the sections relating to disestablishment and retention of the rights of marriage.[5]


  1. ^ "Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919 (Date of Disestablishment)". Legislation.gov.uk. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  2. ^ Hunter-Heinen, Dr Myriam (2013). Law, Religious Freedoms and Education in Europe. Ashgate Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 1409497917.
  3. ^ a b Glyn Watkin, Thomas (2012). The Legal History of Wales. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0708326404.
  4. ^ "The Acceptance of the Welsh Church Temporalities Act, 1919". The Spectator Archive. 1920-01-31. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  5. ^ "Welsh Church (Temporalities) Act 1919". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-11.