Church faces Charity Commission inquiry

Charities regulator, the Charity Commission, recently opened a statutory inquiry into Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries International (MFMMI). The church, which has a focus on prayer and fasting, has approximately 40 branches across the UK, and promotes the Christian faith using various means, including events, Bible studies and the distribution of educational print and media.

The reason why MFMMI has come under the Charity Commission scrutiny is because they have repeatedly failed to submit returns and financial information to the Commission on time, and its accounts for 2014 and 2015 were qualified by its auditors. The Commission has been in active engagement with the trustees of the charity since September 2017, having been made aware of potentially significant losses to the charity.

The Commission has identified concerns as to the adequacy of the trustees’ oversight and control over the individual branches. The Commission also has concerns about the trustees’ failure to promptly report serious incidents to the Commission and to the police.

In order to address these concerns, a statutory inquiry has been opened, which will look into the following:

  • the governance, management and administration of the charity by the trustees, exploring
    • the extent of financial loss to the charity, and the circumstances which led to the losses
    • whether adequate steps were or are being taken to recover such losses
    • whether reasonable steps were or are being taken to safeguard charity funds and assets
    • the adequacy of the trustees’ oversight and control of the charity’s branches
    • the adequacy of serious incident reporting by the trustees
  • the extent to which the trustees have complied with their duties and responsibilities under charity law,
  • whether and to what extent any issues or weaknesses in the administration of the charity
    • were as a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees, and
    • require rectification by the trustees or the Commission

Once the inquiry is completed, the Charity Commission will publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry, and what were the outcomes.

 

 

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