The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to a religious charity that was accused of promoting fake coronavirus protection kits.
The regulator opened a compliance case in April into The Kingdom Church GB, which runs a church in south London, after the National Secular Society said the charity had been advertising false coronavirus cleansing products made of oil and string.
The charity denied at the time that it promoted or sold the equipment, but said it was instead sold by a separate company called Bishop Climate Ministries, run by a church trustee.
In August, the commission said it had escalated the case into a statutory inquiry after it uncovered issues with the charity’s finances, including concerns about the accuracy of the information provided to the regulator about its income and expenditure.
The regulator said today it had serious ongoing concerns about the charity’s administration, governance, and the financial relationship with its two subsidiary companies, World Conquerors Christian Centres and Kingdom Church.
“The commission found the charity does not have a bank account and charity funds have instead been deposited into the charity’s subsidiaries’ bank accounts,” the regulator said in a statement.
“The subsidiaries have since been removed from the charity’s control and the inquiry is trying to determine whether this was done lawfully.”
It said it had appointed Virginia Henley of the law firm Hewitsons LLP to conduct a review of the charity and its relationship with the subsidiary companies.
“Following this initial review, the interim manager will consider the charity’s future operation and viability,” the commission said.
The charity, which has filed its accounts with the regulator several months late in each of the past four years, had an income of £368,790 and expenditure of £367,648 in 2018.