Regulator appoints interim manager to charity that backs religious broadcaster Revelation TV

The Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the Revelation Foundation last year after receiving complaints that the charity was being used for private advantage

Revelation TV: interim manager appointed
Revelation TV: interim manager appointed

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to the Christian charity behind the religious broadcaster Revelation TV.

The regulator opened a statutory inquiry into the Revelation Foundation in September after it identified regulatory concerns about trustee benefits, conflicts of interest and a "potential significant loss of charitable funds".

The commission announced yesterday that Brian Johnson, a partner in the business recovery and insolvency division of the accountancy firm HW Fisher & Company, had been appointed interim manager on 11 June to conduct a review and make recommendations on the governance of the charity.

His appointment is not to the exclusion of the charity’s seven trustees.

The commission has been monitoring the Cheshire-based charity, which makes and broadcasts Christian TV shows from Spain, since March last year after receiving complaints from members of the public that the charity was being used for private advantage.

A statement from the commission said Johnson’s work would include, "but is not limited to, reviewing its internal financial controls and policies, current model of operation, finances and accounts, and examining the charity’s relationships with a number of entities".

The charity issued a statement on its website saying the trustees had nothing to hide and welcomed the appointment.

It said the trustees would draw upon the expertise of Johnson and his team "to ensure the public have full assurance as to the work of the trust".

Alan Tun, chief operating officer of Revelation TV, told Third Sector that "in no way are the trustees being dictated to do anything other than what they are doing. It is very clear the Charity Commission is not minded to exercise any excessive powers than appointing someone to come alongside the trustees to help it understand how the charity operates."

He said that Howard Conder, the founder of Revelation TV, had "devoted 55 minutes of airtime to commenting on the Charity Commission decision to appoint an interim manager".

According to the Revelation TV website, Conder is a former drummer with the pop band the Barron Knights, which had hit singles in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The charity’s trustees include Conder’s wife Lesley, Gordon Pettie, who is chair, and Pettie’s wife Lorna. Howard Conder is not a trustee, according to the charity’s entry on the Charity Commission’s website.

Its accounts for 2013 show an income of £1.7m, according to its entry on the Charity Commission’s online register, with five employees and 20 volunteers.

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