Membrane patches usually contain several ion channels of a given type. However, most of the stochastic modelling on which data analysis (in particular, estimation of kinetic constants) is currently based, relates to a single channel rather than to multiple channels. Attempts to circumvent this problem experimentally by recording under conditions where channel activity is low are restrictive and can introduce bias; moreover, possibly important information on how multichannel systems behave will be missed. We have extended existing theory to multichannel systems by applying results from point process theory to derive some distributional properties of the various types of sojourn time that occur when a given number of channels are open in a system containing a specified number of independent channels in equilibrium. Separate development of properties of a single channel and the superposition of several such independent channels simplifies the presentation of known results and extensions. To illustrate the general theory, particular attention is given to the types of sojourn time that occur in a two channel system; detailed expressions are presented for a selection of models, both Markov and non-Markov.