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Home News A day in the life of... Liz Wallis, Trust and Property Registration Officer

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A day in the life of... Liz Wallis, Trust and Property Registration Officer

by Michael Ford last modified 04 Sep, 2021 12:01 AM

In an occasional series on Diocesan staff, we present the work of Liz Wallis, in her own words. What is a Trust Officer? Read on...

Liz writes:

I always enjoy telling people that I am the Trust Officer as I can see a slight look of puzzlement cross their faces. Trust can have several meanings but for my work it refers to both financial and property trusts.

Many Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) have financial and/ or property trusts which are often gifts from generous parishioners in the past and these are held for PCCs by the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF).

My responsibility is to act as the go-between for the PCC and DBF when any changes are made to the trusts – occasionally land or property is sold or leased, sometimes funds are released for special projects and the trust may be closed. Everything should happen in a smooth and timely fashion – hopefully!

I started working for the Diocese in 2007. My role was to encourage PCCs to engage with the Voluntary Land Registration (VLR) project. I was told that the work would involve maps and archives; perfect for someone with a Geography degree and experience with cataloguing old papers.

In fact, my expertise was Regimental Diaries and Armoured Vehicle Handbooks from working at Bovington Tank Museum and old weather journals whilst working at the Meteorological Office.

The world of the church was new to me, so I had lots to learn, but it was very interesting work and I enjoyed every minute. The VLR project closed in 2011 and I was delighted to become Trust Officer, and I still ensure that Rectories and Vicarages are registered with the Land Registry.

I am also the contact for the amazing Erskine Muton Trust Fund which gives grants mainly for building repair projects for churches in Dorset.

Over the years, I have got to know numerous PCC members, and I am always happy to help with any queries. Earlier in the year, I replied to a poignant email about a former Mother and Baby Unit located in the Diocese.

You can imagine my delight when I received a message that the long-lost baby had been found, in the United States, now an adult with a family of her own!

Life as the Trust and Property Registration Officer is full of interest and quirks – and is certainly never dull!

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