Charity Commission investigates London church charity

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Kingdom Church GB in South London over concerns about the charity’s management, including its financial reporting

The regulator first opened a regulatory case into the charity after media reports that it was selling a ‘plague protection kit’ which it was claimed would cure and protect against the Covid-19 virus.

This led to liaison with Southwark Council which had opened a Trading Standards investigation into the sale of the kits.

Since then, the Commission has examined the charity’s records, revealing concerns about its finances. The regulator is concerned about the accuracy of information provided to the Commission regarding the charity’s income and expenditure.

The Kingdom Church GB’s accounts have been filed late for each of the financial years 2015-2018, with the most recent accounts delivered 252 days after the deadline. It has also been late in providing the Commission with its annual return for each of the past five years.

The accounts indicate its annual income averaged around £300,000 over this period.

The statutory inquiry will examine the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties around the administration, governance and management of the charity, and the extent to which the trustees responsibly managed the charity’s resources and financial affairs, and particularly how they have managed conflicts of interest.

This will include examination of the charity’s relationship with a connected organisation called Bishop Climate Ministries which the charity has said was responsible for the sale of the ‘plague protection kits’.

The Commission has already intervened to ensure the charity removed all known links to sales of the kits from the charity’s web and social media sites. The regulator will continue to liaise with Southwark Council Trading Standards’ investigation into the sale of the kits.

Helen Earner, director of regulatory services at the Charity Commission, said: ‘Charities should be organisations that people can trust. Many will have been concerned by allegations about this charity’s activities in relation to Covid-19, and so it is right that we, and others, have intervened.

‘Our own examination into The Kingdom Church GB has identified further concerns that require investigation which is why we have now opened an official inquiry.’

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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