Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Monday, June 16, 2008

Christians - prove your benefit to society

In the near future the Charity Commission in England will be asking Christian charities and churches to prove they benefit the public in order to maintain charitable status.

The Commission has published its draft guidance on how it will assess 'public benefit' specifically for religious groups, including churches, and is currently holding a consultation. This is a different consultation from the general consultation on 'public benefit' held last year.

When assessing 'public benefit' the Commission proposes to consider
  • evangelism
  • membership policy
  • interpretation of doctrine
  • personal viewpoints based on the Bible
  • public opinion

Most churches will not have a problem complying with the draft guidance. However, the Christian Institute are concerned that the Commission is straying into territory which may have future implications for religious liberty.

The consultation closes on 30th June and details can be found on the Christian Institute website here.

Although this consultation is focussed on England, it is always worth bearing in mind that issues such as this can sometimes be taken up by Scottish Government and it's quangos, not always with any further clear consultation - so, you may wish to make your views known!

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