Peek-a-Boo: Where are you? Playing Hide and Seek with the Charity Commission

Phil Groom writes:

As the Charity Commission say, it may simply be an oversight. J Mark and Philip W Brewer are not usually backward about coming forward. But in the meantime it seems that the Charity Commission investigation into SSG may have run into a wee problem:

Chester shop is also still using bags with the SPCK name and charity number on.

I have contacted the charity commission to complain about this and they told me that at present they have no contact address for Saint Stephen the Great as any letters are being returned to them as not known at the address.

When I said surely no charity can operate without a contact address they said it was probaly just an oversight that no one had thought to give them a new address.

yorkshire pride, January 6, 2009, 8.01pm

The good news is that there are other options; as I said in response to yorkshire pride:

It should be possible to contact J Mark Brewer here:

Brewer & Pritchard PC: Contact. Assuming he’s still with the company, of course. But if not, as a wannabe US Congressman, his campaign address is also a matter of public record: Campaign Money: John Mark Brewer.

(Don’t get too excited about the outstanding debt of $559,846 from his 2000 campaign; it was self-loaned: “Brewer ranked fifth among U.S. House candidates for self-loans during the first half of the year” – Texas Weekly: ‘Tis the Season to Spend Money.)

Mark, old chap, if you or any of your colleagues should happen to be reading this, please do get in touch with the Charity Commission, there’s a good fellow. Thank you.

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14 responses to “Peek-a-Boo: Where are you? Playing Hide and Seek with the Charity Commission

  1. Phelim McIntyre

    Try the Chichester shop or Durham shop as the Brewers are directors – of course do not use SSG on the envelope. Or try the Salisbury shop as a Brewer is manager there.

    But as far as I am aware not notifying the Charity Commission of change of details is a legal offence, but then when has something like doing what is right legally been an issue to MB?

  2. The Charity Commission has statutory power sunder the Charities Act to remove trustees. If the Trustees cannot be contacted, or refuse to receive official correspondence, that must be a good ground for the Commission to consider using those powers.

  3. As well as Mark Brewer, there are two other trustees for the two St. Stephen charities registered at the charity commission. Sandra and Karen Brewer have a responsibility as trustees too.

    http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/ShowCharity/RegisterOfCharities/ContactAndTrustees.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=1119839&SubsidiaryNumber=0&TID=3079191

    The contact on the CC website is http://www.ststephentrust.org.uk/ where you can find phone and address details. The registered address – Faith House, 7 Tufton Street London – is (was?) shared with a property dealer, a furniture store, and Forward in Faith.

    However, I haven’t rung in case I get accused of harassing Mark Brewers family.

  4. Phelim McIntyre

    David – that was the address of the London shop. This has now closed and the shops were told to send correspondence to the Chester shop. It would appear that MB. PB and the rest as SSG forgot to update their records with the Charity Commission.

  5. … and that’s from back in April 2008… wonder how long they have legally before an ‘oversight’ becomes negligence?

  6. Have heard that Bradford was supposed to be the “new” “Head Office” now….

  7. Annie, you are probably right. My sympathies lie with that worker who has to do the Brewers bidding or be without a job. That bothers me a lot. What bothers me a wee bit (and it’s only a wee bit) is whether we should be reporting the Brewers to the Charity Commission. If USDAW needs to find the organisation responsible for the shenanigans of the Brewers, surely it needs to be the Charity and its trustees. I’m just wondering.

  8. Valiant for Truth

    Never quite sure on the law re personal liability of directors, but Mark Brewer has been a director of every company.

  9. Can we abbreviate that? “Mark Brewer: has been” — no, that’s not intended to be vindictive, just hopeful… as in “Mark Brewer has been generous and given the £507,000 he obtained from the sale of the Exeter shop to the Save the SPCK Booksellers fund…”

    Come on Mark, old bean, you know you want to 🙂

  10. I’d just like to point out, if no one else has, that Val Muspratt (note the surname) runs the Salisbury shop, unless anything has changed in the last three days.
    She’s lovelly & a friend, and I defend her right to not be a Brewer! 😀

  11. In which case the use of the SPCK sign must be an oversight not a deliberate act.

  12. asingleblog
    I understand that USDAW and the Charity Commission are aware of (almost!) every move the Brewers take
    Things take time, if , they have to be done properly……….

  13. John,
    Can I take it that you have informed her (Val) of the oversight poster so she can remove it – as horrible though it is as the owners are not resident or in the UK, fines or legal responsibility in some circumstances can default to the most senior person responsible in the UK – and if she is deemed as Manager of the shop then that could be her! Horrid but true, unfortunately when PB said in his much earlier missive about it being the managers responsibility even when not there – well in some ways it can be so! one of those scary but true things!

  14. will do. J.

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