Charity Commission opens inquiry into Christian charity over accounts issues

The Redeemed Christian Church of God New Life Assembly, based in north London, was released last August from the class inquiry into charities that did not file annual documents on two or more occasions

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Christian charity in north London after its trustees failed to take the action promised when the charity was released last year from the regulator's class inquiry into double defaulters.

In May 2014, the Redeemed Christian Church of God New Life Assembly, based in Barnet, was added to the commission's class inquiry into charities that had failed on two or more occasions to file their annual documents.

The charity was released on 26 August from the inquiry after it submitted its accounts for the years ending 31 December 2011 and 2012. The charity's trustees told the commission that its failure to submit happened in part because it would shortly close or merge with another charity.

But the charity has since missed its 31 October 2014 deadline for filing its 2013 accounts and has not provided the commission with any update about the planned merger or closure. The commission has used its statutory power under the Charities Act 2011 to order the trustees to submit these missing annual documents by 30 March.

The commission said today that it opened a statutory inquiry into the charity on 10 December.

A statement from the commission said: "The scope of the inquiry will be to regularise the defaults and consider taking appropriate remedial action against the trustees for persistent breach of their duties."

The charity had an income – made up entirely of voluntary donations – of £62,128 in 2012, down from £76,651 the year before and £285,154 in 2010.

As of early March, 26 charities remained in the class inquiry, while 48 had been released after submitting their annual documents.

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

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