Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Christian charity over late filing of accounts

The Charity Commission says it might appoint an interim manager to run the Apostolic Faith Mission International Ministries UK, based in Leicester

Apostolic Faith Mission International Ministries UK
Apostolic Faith Mission International Ministries UK

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Christian charity that was recently removed from the regulator’s class inquiry into late-filing charities after it again failed to file its annual documents.

The trustees of the Leicester-based charity the Apostolic Faith Mission International Ministries UK have been ordered by the regulator to prepare and submit its annual report and accounts for the year to 31 March 2013, which were due by the end of January, before 6 March.

The commission warned that it could appoint an interim manager to run the charity, possibly at the personal expense of its trustees, if the filing deadline was not met.

In September, the charity was one of 12 named in a class inquiry by the commission into charities that had repeatedly failed to file their annual accounts on time. It was removed from this inquiry in November, having told the commission it was restructuring and improving its governance.

The commission’s report on the charity when it was removed from the class inquiry, published in January, said the charity put its non-compliance down to problems with "management, due to a centralised structure whereby people accountable are far from the activities".

During the inquiry the charity told the commission it was seeking to "bring accountability closer to the activities, by registering our churches as local charities with their own trustees". It said it had now registered most of its churches.

AFMIM had an income of £654,627 in the year to 31 March 2012, and spent £715,159. Both figures were down from more than £1m in 2010.

Its accounts and annual returns for all of the previous five years have been late by at least five months, and in some cases more than 18 months.

A number of other Apostolic Faith Mission charities are also registered with the commission, some of which have repeatedly filed late or have documents overdue but are not part of this or any other current inquiry, a commission spokeswoman said. Some charities that use the name Apostolic Faith Mission are not linked to AFMIM.

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