In a statement, the commission says it's unable to clarify whether around £280,000 was spent correctly in accordance with the church's charitable objectives.
The government's regulator has been engaging with the Croydon church as part of an operational compliance case since February 2015 and says Church trustees have only partially complied during the initial investigation.
The inquiry will look into:
- The administration, governance and management of the charity
- Whether or not and to what extent there has been mismanagement and/or misconduct on the part of those acting in the administration and management of the charity
- Whether the trustees are willing and able to take necessary action to rectify the problems within the charity
- The possible misappropriation and/or misapplication of the charity's funds
- The charity's financial controls and risk management policies
- The failure to comply with legal obligations in relation to the filing of the charity's accounts and annual returns
The Charity Commission has stressed that the inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing. It says the purpose of an inquiry is to examine issues in detail and investigate and establish the facts so that the regulator can ascertain whether or not there has been misconduct or mismanagement.
Rhema Church London, which meets at Fairfield Halls(pictured) in Croydon is led by Martin and Sandy Phelps and is linked to a church group in South Africa.
It describes itself as a thriving, contemporary evangelical church based in the heart of Croydon, focussed on building up and supporting people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life, with practical Bible based teaching so they may be equipped and develop a greater knowledge of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
No one was available to comment when Premier got in touch with the church.