In settling the preaching-houses upon trustees, John Wesley had to ensure their continued use for the Methodist societies and by authorised Methodist preachers. Various forms of deed were tried, and the Large Minutes from 1763 prescribed a model, or pattern, deed which was a revised form of the 1751 settlement for Birchin Lane, Manchester. This limited the use to persons appointed by the annual Conference (later defined by the Deed of Declaration) and defined the approved doctrine to be preached. Successive Conferences encouraged the use of such forms, rather than local variants, and subsequent forms appeared in the Large Minutes and Code of Rules of 1797. In 1832 a new Model Deed was executed, which was legally able to be incorporated by reference into individual settlements, rather than requiring a full recital in each case. It also safeguarded the heirs of a trustee from inheriting responsibility for debts. In 1838 this new deed survived a protracted challenge by the incumbent of Llanbister in central Wales, with the result that its legal status was established.
The other branches of Methodism (e.g. PM, 1864; BC, 1863; MNC, 1846; UMFC, 1842 and 1865; UMC, 1908) used similar legal forms. All of these were superseded in 1932 by the Model Deed, still similar in form, which was authorised by the Methodist Church Union Act 1929. Existing church property could be transferred onto it by the trustees' deed of declaration and the vast majority was so transferred. Under the Methodist Church Act 1976, Model Deed property became subject instead to the Model Trusts.
This Indenture made between B. Heap of Manchester, in the county of [blank] on the one Part, and Tho. Phillips, Hatter, &c. on the other Part, WITNESSETH, That in Consideration of five Shillings, lawful Money of Great Britain, by the said T.P. &c. to the said B.H. truly paid, before the Sealing and Delivery hereof (the Receit whereof the said B.H. doth hereby acknowledge) and for divers other Considerations him thereunto moving, the said B.H. hath granted, bargained, and sold; and by these presents doth grant, bargain, and sell unto the said T.P. &c. their Heirs and Assigns for ever, All that lately erected House or Tenement, with the yard thereunto adjoining, situate near the upper End of Market-street Lane in Manchester aforesaid, now in the Tenure or Occupation of T. Woolfinden; together with all the Ways, Drains, Walls and Privileges to the said Premises, or any Part thereof appertaining, as the same were purchased of S. Hope, of Manchester aforesaid, Bricklayer, before the said House or Tenement was built; and all the Profits thereof, and all the Right, Title and Interest, in Law and Equity. To HAVE AND To HOLD the said House or Tenement, Yard and other Premises, to the said T.P. &c. their Heirs and Assigns for ever: NEVERTHELESS upon special Trust and Confidence, and to the Intent, that they and the Survivors of them, and the Trustees for the Time being, do and shall permit John Wesley, late of Lincoln College, Oxford, Clerk, and such other persons as he shall from Time to Time appoint, and at all Times, during his natural Life, and no other Persons, to have and enjoy the free Use and Benefit of the said Premises; that the said J.W. and such other Persons as he appoints, may therein preach and expound God’s holy Word: and after his Decease, upon farther Trust and Confidence, and to the Intent that the said Trustees and the Survivors of them, and the Trustees for the Time being, do and shall permit Charles Wesley, late of Christ Church College, Oxford, Clerk, and such other Persons as he shall from Time to Time appoint, during his Life, and no others, to have and enjoy the said Premises for the Purposes aforesaid: and after his decease, upon farther Trust and Confidence, and to the Intent that the said Trustees and the Survivors of them, and the Trustees for the time being, do and shall permit Wm. Grimshaw, Clerk, and such other Persons as he shall from Time to Time appoint, during his Life, and no others, to have and enjoy the said Premises for the Purposes aforesaid: and after the decease of the Survivor of the said J.W., C.W. and W.G. Then upon farther Trust and Confidence, and to the Intent that the said T.P. &c. or the major Part of them, or the Survivors of them, and the major Part of the Trustees of the said Premises, for the Time being, shall from Time to Time, and at all Times, for ever thereafter, permit such Persons as shall be appointed, at the Yearly Conference of the People called Methodists, in London, Bristol or Leeds, and no others, to have and enjoy the said Premises for the Purposes aforesaid: Provided always, that the said Persons preach no other Doctrine than is contained in Mr W’s Notes upon the New Testament, and four Vols. of Sermons; Provided also that they preach in the said House Evenings in every Week, and at Five a Clock on each Morning followg: And upon farther Trust and Confidence that as often as any of these Trustees, or of the Trustees for the Time being, shall die, or cease to be a member of the Society, commonly called Methodists, the rest of the said Trustees, or of the Trustees for the Time being, as soon as conveniently may be, shall and may chuse another Trustee, or Trustees, in order to keep up the Number of Nine Trustees for ever. In Witness whereof the said B.H. hath hereunto set his Hand and Seal, the Day and Year first above written.
In this form the first Proprietors of the House are to make it over to Trustees.
Source: Large Minutes, 1763, pp. 25-27, reprinted in Rupert Davies, A. Raymond George and Gordon Rupp, A History of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, vol. iv (London, 1988), pp. 150-51.