Phil Groom writes:
Thanks to ‘Mole Island’ for the pointer to the Charity Commission’s Case Summary for their investigation into the St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust, report issued 8th March 2010, published 12th March 2010 :
Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust (1109008, formerly 1119839-1)
1. In April 2009 a number of Orders were made by the Charity Commission in relation to this charity under s.18(1) of the Charities Act 1993:
i. to vest the charity’s interests in land in the Official Custodian for Charities; and
ii. to appoint an Interim Manager to the charity, with specific functions to address immediate and serious difficulties which it faced.
2. The Commission was asked to review its decisions to make (and subsequent decisions not to discharge) these Orders.
3. The review, which was conducted by Board Members John Wood and Simon Jones acting under the delegated authority of the Board, considered the evidence and the reasoning behind the original decisions, as well as representations made on behalf of the applicant.
4. The Board Members decided on 3 February 2010 that the Orders are upheld (unvaried) because it remained necessary or desirable for them to remain in place for the purposes of protecting or securing the proper application of the property of the charity.
5. The applicant has been advised of the decision, the full reasons for it and the right for persons with standing to bring an appeal against the decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Charity).
Third Sector, the charities and voluntary services news site, have reported the story here: Christian charity to remain under crisis management, h/t Eddie Arthur.
Meanwhile a report in this month’s Christian Marketplace (Industry News, p.6, ‘SSG Tribunal claims completed’, online edition available here) notes that all outstanding payments (total £301,500) to former SPCK/SSG bookshop employees who were Usdaw members have now been made. Sadly, however, as the report concludes, whilst this is good news for the 32 Usdaw members, “there are many others who have received no compensation and still carry the scars of their experience in one of the most unhappy events in the history of Christian retailing in the UK.”