Concern Over “Public Benefit” Test of Christian Charities

27 August 2007 – United Kingdom
By Maria Mackay

Christian lawyers are urging Christian organizations to express their concern over a number of ongoing Government consultations questioning the ‘public benefit’ of Christian charities. The Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF) and its partner group Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON) have voiced concern over the implications of ongoing Government consultations which call into question the ‘public benefit’ of Christian charities. Under the Charities Act 2006, it can no longer be presumed that the services of charities working to advance religion have a public benefit. Instead, the Government is proposing that every charity prove its public benefit on a yearly basis. Groups failing to satisfy Government officials of their public benefit could lose their entitlement to Registered Charity status as well as a number of financial benefits such as recovering tax on donations through Gift Aid.