Regulator opens statutory inquiry into Christian charity

The Charity Commission says failings in the way Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries International was run might have led to significant financial losses

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Christian charity amid concerns that it might have suffered significant financial losses because of administrative failures.

The commission announced today that it had opened the inquiry into Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries International on 27 March because of failings in how it was run, which could have created an environment in which significant financial losses occurred for a prolonged period.

The commission said the charity had repeatedly failed to submit returns and financial information on time, and its accounts for 2014 and 2015 were qualified by auditors.

The charity has been in touch with the commission since September 2017, when the trustees were made aware of potentially significant losses to the charity, the regulator said today.

According to the Charity Commission website, the charity had an income of more than £4.2m and spent almost £3.5m in the year to 31 December 2016.

The charity’s accounts for that year were submitted 163 days late, the commission’s website shows.

Concerns about the trustees’ oversight of the charity’s 40 branches – which all have a degree of financial and administrative autonomy from the main charity – have also been raised by the commission.

The regulator said it had concerns about the trustees’ failure to promptly report serious incidents to the Charity Commission and the police.

The inquiry will examine the extent of the charity’s financial losses and whether adequate steps were taken to recover the losses and safeguard the charity’s funds.

It will also examine weaknesses in the charity’s governance, management and administration, its oversight of its branches and the adequacy of serious incident reporting at the charity.

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