Charitable status for the Plymouth Brethren

Read how the Plymouth Brethren has been refused charitable status by the Charity Commission and is taking its case to the charity tribunal

Latest News

Baroness Berridge

Peer urges former Brethren to report concerns to the Charity Commission

Baroness Berridge says the regulator, which yesterday said it would accept the congregation's application for charitable status, should be 'commended for its hard work'

Preston Down Trust

Charity Commission will accept Plymouth Brethren application for charitable status

The regulator says the Preston Down Trust, whose initial application was rejected in 2012, has agreed to change its governing documents

Brethren meeting room

Brethren decision 'could pave the way for other congregations'

Plymouth Brethren Christian Church says the Charity Commission's decision to allow the Preston Down Trust to apply for charitable status to is a relief

Preston Down Trust

Committee of MPs will not comment on charitable status of Brethren congregation

Public Administration Select Committee says it cannot take a view on the Preston Down Trust case, but is unhappy with the Charity Commission's conduct of policy on public benefit

Wilton Park School

County council and police dismiss complaints against Brethren school

Anonymous source had claimed that children at Wilton Park School were subjected to abuse for creating Facebook pages

Department for Education

Department for Education turned down 14 Brethren applications to open free schools

The Christian group has made a number of applications through its schools umbrella group, the Focus Learning Trust

Peter Bone MP

Peter Bone to meet Nick Hurd to discuss bill to amend Charities Act 2011

Conservative MP's bill seeks to reinstate the presumption of public benefit for religious organisations

Baroness O'Loan

Parliamentarians gather evidence of alleged 'harm' from former Plymouth Brethren

Baroness O'Loan says she is not yet sure what she will do with the information collected about the Brethren, which are the subject of a forthcoming charity tribunal case

Wilton Park

Police and government to investigate claim of child abuse at Brethren school

Trustees of Wilton Park school near Salisbury, run by a charity, deny allegation that at least one child suffered mentally and physically after being disciplined for setting up a Facebook page

Dominic Grieve

Attorney General did not agree with regulator's request to refer religion and public benefit to the charity tribunal

The Charity Commission asked Dominic Grieve for a reference to the tribunal when considering the application for charitable status by a Plymouth Brethren congregation

The Gospel Hall, Plymouth

Open Brethren write to the Charity Commission to stress differences with Exclusive branch

Neil Summerton, chair of Partnership, says he fears the forthcoming charity tribunal case involving the Preston Down Trust will damage the reputation of other types of Brethren

Preston Down Trust

Charity Commission reasons for refusing charitable status to Plymouth Brethren included doctrine of separation

Regulator provides further explanation as Garth Christie, a Brethren member, apologises for misquoting commission statements to a select committee of MPs

Paul Flynn MP

MP tables parliamentary motion congratulating Charity Commission for denying Plymouth Brethren charitable status

Paul Flynn's motion says the religious group's doctrine of separation has 'divided families' and excludes members from society

Robert Halfon MP

MPs call on Charity Commission to grant Plymouth Brethren charitable status

Backbenchers including Robert Halfon write to The Daily Telegraph newspaper saying the government should review the public benefit test for charities

Peter Bone MP

Conservative MP to table parliamentary motion calling for all religious organisations to be considered charitable

Peter Bone seeks amendment to the Charities Act 2011 but the NCVO says the move risks 'downgrading religious charities in the public mind'

Dominic Grieve

Attorney General will not intervene in Plymouth Brethren charity tribunal case

Dominic Grieve decides not to join as a party to the appeal against the Charity Commission's refusal of charitable status to the religious group


In Depth

Analysis: Regulator and Plymouth Brethren settle their differences

The way has been cleared for a brethren congregation to register as a charity. Sam Burne James looks at how it happened and gauges the reaction


Editorial: Will a leopard change its spots?

The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church has pledged to be more forgiving and compassionate in its disciplinary practices and its treatment of former members, says Stephen Cook


Analysis: Religion and public benefit

Why does being a charity mean so much to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church? David Ainsworth looks at their legal dispute with the Charity Commission and assesses what they have to lose; Ian Griggs attends a meeting


Editorial: a messy battle looms over the Brethren

The church's appeal against refusal of charitable status is gaining attention from its opponents, says Stephen Cook


Stephanie Biden: The Charity Commission should seek an early solution in the Preston Down Trust case

Another battering in the charity tribunal could undermine the commission's important role as an independent regulator and leave it in crisis, writes the charity lawyer in a guest column


Analysis: Plymouth Brethren Christian Church heads for the courts

A trust that runs a Brethren meeting hall in Devon is appealing to the charity tribunal against the refusal of the Charity Commission to register it as a charity. Stephen Cook looks at the case and David Ainsworth profiles the church


Analysis: The Plymouth Brethren take a literal view of the Bible

The Preston Down Trust belongs to the Exclusive Brethren, a church with about 16,000 members in the UK and 47,000 around the world.


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