The British government, through its Charity Commission, has said it is still considering the financial information of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners Chapel headed by the popular Pentecostal clergyman, Bishop David Oyedepo.
The Charity Commission is responsible for registering eligible organisations in England and Wales which are established for only Charitable purpose, taking enforcement action when there is malpractice or misconduct and also ensuring charities meet their legal requirements. It also provided information on their activities each year, making appropriate information about each registered charity widely available, providing major online services and guidance to help charities run as effectively as possible.
The commission spokeswoman, Sarah Hitchings, told Punch that the consideration of the church’s finances by the British government did not qualify as conducting an investigation on the church.
She said: “We are not ‘investigating’ the charity. In the terms of our regulatory work, an ‘investigation’ is another word for ‘statutory inquiry’, the highest level of our investigatory work.
“We are not investigating Winners Chapel; we have an operational case open into the charity.”
According to her, following concerns raised from some quarters in the United Kingdom about Winners Chapel London (charity number 1134421), the commission has been reviewing a number of issues including conflicts of interest, concerns about the reputation management of the church and its financial management.
“It has taken some time for the review to scrutinise the information available to determine the extent of any regulatory concerns.
“We have now met with the trustees, and are satisfied that we have no regulatory concerns relating to conflicts of interest and the reputation management of the charity. We are still considering financial information supplied by the charity to reach a conclusion on the issue of financial management,” the spokeswoman stated.
She however added, “At this stage, we cannot comment on the details of the case; however, it is our usual policy to report on the outcomes of our work once we have reached a conclusion. Please note, we are not ‘investigating’ the charity