Charity regulator launches inquiry into church found promoting fake Covid-19 protection kits
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Kingdom Church GB.
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into The Kingdom Church GB (charity number 1137370) in South London over concerns about the charity’s management.
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.
As a result, it launched a statutory inquiry into the charity on 7 August 2020. The inquiry will examine:
- the trustees’ compliance with their legal duties around the administration, governance and management of the charity
- 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. Reports of previous inquiries by the Commission are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors:
- For media enquiries for Southwark Council Trading Standards, please contact Jane Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- As the charity regulator, the Commission’s powers and remit are limited to the trustees of charities and their compliance with legal duties; it cannot investigate potential breaches of consumer protection or product safety laws and has therefore been liaising with Trading Standards.
- The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
- The opening of an inquiry is not a determination of wrongdoing.
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