Charity Commission investigates evangelical church
Posted: Thu, 05 Sep 2013
The Charity Commission has begun a statutory investigation into "a number of serious concerns" relating to an evangelical church called Christ Embassy, which has a registered headquarters in Folkestone, Kent.
The Charity Commission released a statement this week saying it was looking into "large connected party payments" and "the potential misapplication of grant funding" by Christ Embassy, but gave no further details.
Among the Trustees of the Church are Christian and Anita Oyakhilome. Christ Embassy also has "ministries" in South Africa, USA, Canada and Nigeria.
Third Sector magazine, which serves the charitable and voluntary sector, reports that the ministry's UK accounts for 2011 show it had an annual income just short of £13m (of which £12.2m was voluntary income) but spent £8.1m. It had 28 full-time employees and spent £565,000 on staff costs.
Christ Embassy lists its charitable activities, in the UK and abroad, as advancing the causes of Christianity and Christian education and helping people in need or suffering hardship, as well as building places of worship.
The regulator, which has legal powers to demand answers from trustees, will also examine whether charitable funds have been used properly and "take remedial action if necessary".
The website of the Christ Embassy promotes miracle healing sessions and offers prayers in exchange for donations.