Laws of 1876, Chapter 110

An act supplemental to Chapter Sixty, of the Laws of eighteen hundred and thirteen, entitled, An Act of Provide for the Incorporation of Religious Societies and of the several acts amendatory thereof. (Passed April 11th, 1876)

The people fo the state of New York represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. It shall be lawful for any diocesan convention, presbytery, classis, synod, annual conference or other governing body having jurisdiction over a number of churches, congregations or societies of any church or religious denomination in this state, now or hereafter to be constituted or established and not already incorporated, at any stated meeting thereof, by a plurality of voices, to elect any number of discreet persons, not less than three nor exceeding nine in number, as trustees to take charge of the estate and property belonging thereto, and to transact all affairs relating to the temporalities thereof. The presiding officer and clerk of such governing body shall immediately thereafter certify, under thier hands and seals, the names of the parites elected as trustees as aforesaid, in which certificate the name or title by which the said trustees and their successors shall be known, shall be particularly mentioned, which said certificate being duly acknowledged by the said presiding officer and clerk, shall be recorded by the clerk of one of the counties situated in whole or in part, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of such governing body, or in the book kept for the record of religious corporations, and such trustees and their successors shall thereupon, by virtue of this act, be a body corporate, by the name or title expressed in such certificate.

Sec. 2. Such trustees shall be capable of taking for religious, educationl and charitable purposes, by gift, devise, bequest, grant or purchase, and of holding and isposing of the same, any real and personal estate held for the benefit of any such governing body, or of any parish, congregation, society, church, chapel, mission, religious, benevolent, sharitable or educational institution, existing or acting under such governing body at the time of their election, or which had then or may thereafter be given for any such purposes, provided that the net yearly income received from the said property shall not at such time exceed the sum of twenty0five thousand dollars.

Sec. 3. Whenever any church, parish or religious society, incommection with any such governing body shall become extinct (by reason of the death or removal of its members), or for any other cause, it shall be lawful for the trustees elected by such governing body as aforesaid, to take possession of the temporalities belonging to such extinct church or society, and manage sell or dispose of the same and apply the proceeds thereof to any of the objests or purposes mentioned in the second section of this act. It shall not be lawful for said trustees to divert said property to any other object. The governing body to which such church or c\society belongs, shall determine whn any church or sciety has become extince, or has ceased to maintain religious services for two consecutive years (as is customary in said governing body), provided that no church or society having more than thirteen resident attending male members, each of whom has annually paid pew rent, or annual contributions towards the support of the church or society the last two years, shall be declared extince, except it has failed to maintain religious services for two consecutive years, according to the customs and usages of the governing body to which such church or society belongs.

Sec. 4. The trustees elected by virtue of this act, shall hold their offices at the pleasure of the governing body by whom they are elected, and all vacancies shall be filled by such body as they occur. ____________________________________________________________________________________

This act was repealed by the Religious Corporations Law §261. While much of the same material was re-enacted in §§15 and 16 of the same law, these sections would appear to be inapplicable to The Trustees of the Estate and Property of the Diocesan Convention of New York for the reason that said corporation is not a governing or advisory body. It would appear that under §93 of the General Construction Law the corporation may still exercise the rights given to it by the Act of 1876 printed above.