Freemasons association appeals for reinstatement to the register of charities

The Charity Commission struck off the Ingham Street Masonic Benevolent Association after it failed to submit annual returns or reply to correspondence

Charity tribunal
Charity tribunal

A Freemasons benevolent charity has appealed to the charity tribunal for reinstatement to the register of charities after its failure to answer Charity Commission correspondence led the regulator to believe it had closed down.

Ingham Street Masonic Benevolent Association, based in South Tyneside, was removed from the commission’s register of charities in May 2015, according to a commission spokesman.

The charity, which was registered in September 2003 and had objects including the relief of poverty, sickness and distress and the advancement of education, did not submit annual returns in 2013 or 2014 and did not respond to correspondence from the commission urgently asking it to submit the required documents.

It was then removed, "on the basis that it no longer operated", the spokesman said.

But on 18 July this year, the association filed an appeal with the charity tribunal against its removal.

On 1 August, tribunal judge Alison McKenna ordered the case be delayed until 28 October while the commission considered the charity's application for reinstatement. 

The commission spokesman said: "The appellant has informed us that the charity does operate and wishes to rectify its failure to file documents with the commission.

"We have agreed a stay of the tribunal case while we consider the charity's application for reinstatement to the register," the commission spokesman said. 

Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from the benevolent association for comment. 

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