South London charity under investigation over financial concerns

13 Feb 2020 12:36 PM

Charity Commission opens investigation into The Everlasting Arms Ministries

he Charity Commission, the regulator for charities in England and Wales, has opened a statutory inquiry into a South London based charity, The Everlasting Arms Ministries, over serious concerns about its financial management.

The regulator is especially concerned about the charity’s sale in 2016 of a property on the Old Kent Road in South London, the proceeds of which appear not to be adequately reflected in the charity’s accounts for the following years.

The charity was subject to a books and records check at the charity’s premises in August 2019, which revealed further concerns, including that the charity did not have adequate records of its assets, despite significant expenditure on musical and audio-visual equipment.

There are also serious concerns about payments to individuals connected to the charity, including its trustees. The Commission has frozen the charity’s bank accounts, and ordered the trustees to provide information to the inquiry.

The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity, including whether the charity’s funds have been used for solely charitable purposes, whether there has been unauthorised private benefit and whether the trustees have met their duties and responsibilities under charity law.

The inquiry opened on 30 December 2019.

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.