Roundtable on Public Benefit and Religious Charities

The Commission’s refusal to register Preston Down Trust, a Plymouth Brethren gospel hall, discussed at last week’s Public Administration Select Committee hearing raises important issues for faith-based charities.

Dates & Times

December 13, 2012 @ 12:00 am

The Commission decision identifies a number of key principles about the advancement of religion and public benefit and states the Commission’s view that these principles are now in doubt since the Charities Act 2006 removed the presumption of public benefit for religious charities. This is contrary to assurances which were given in Parliamentary debate on the Charities Act 2006. Then Ministers stated that the Act was not intended to narrow the range of activities which are recognised as charitable nor to impose onerous obligations on individual religious charities.

BWB is holding a roundtable for faith based organisations to consider the implications of this case. It will be chaired by Lindsay Driscoll, BWB consultant and former Charity Commissioner who contributed to the Commission’s guidance on public benefit and religious charities. Stephanie Biden will provide a briefing on a current case and the implications for other religious organisations. Robert Oakley will give an introduction to the Tribunal procedure and how organisations which may be affected can consider intervening in the proceedings.


9.00am: Registration and breakfast
9.30am - 10.45am: Roundtable discussion