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Charity Commission launches investigation into London church over £900,000 loan

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Gov.uk

The Charity Commission has launched an investigation into a church in Beckenham, London.

Citygate Christian Outreach Centre is being investigated after the Commission found that the charity's trustees had given an individual £900,000 via unsecured loans.

Concerns were also identified by the regulator around the charity’s awarding of payments and other financial benefits to trustees and others connected with the charity.

The inquiry was opened on 20th August 2021 and will examine various factors around the charity's financial decisions including whether potential conflicts of interest in relation to financial transactions have been handled appropriately, and if there has been any financial loss to the charity. 

Answers will also be sought on whether the trustees have complied with their governing document and fulfilled their duties and responsibilities under charity law.

The Charity Commission noted that the opening of an inquiry "is not a finding of wrongdoing", adding that they "may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge". 

The Commission said that Citygate Christian Outreach Centre was originally investigated as part of an inquiry in March 2021, after it failed to file its accounts.

"These accounts have since been submitted," it added. 

After it has concluded an inquiry, the Commission will publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.

Premier has reached out to the Citygate Christian Outreach Centre for a response to the investigation. 

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