The Charity Commission has launched a ‘sector specific’ consultation which specifically focuses on how the new ‘public benefit’ test will apply to religious groups.
A general consultation on ‘public benefit’ ended last June. This second, more specific, consultation will close on 30 June 2008.
The Charities Act 2006 removes the presumption that religious groups are for the ‘public benefit’ and are therefore charitable. In the future, a religious group will have to demonstrate ‘public benefit’ in order to be a charity.
The question is, how will ‘public benefit’ be interpreted for religious groups? That is what this new consultation will specifically examine. Its conclusions will, therefore, be crucial.
The Christian Institute will be examining the consultation documents in detail. In due course we will publish our view.
There is a recent talk containing more information by the Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, which can be listened to in our audio archive. (There is also a transcript of the talk available.)