Far be it from me –

Curbing the Prophets? Religion, political activity and the Charity Commission

on June 16, 2015


The Charity Commission’s muddled but distinctly negative rhetoric since 2012 about political activities by charities could, if continued, bring them into confrontation with England and Wales’ religious leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster.

In much public discourse in the UK, religion and faith organisations are regarded as a different subject from “the voluntary sector” or “charities”.

This might seem odd. After all, charities for the advancement of religion account for about one fifth of all registered charities. One pound in six given to charity goes to religious charities, so this is not only an integral part of the sector but a very substantial one.

When Conservative MPs attack campaigning by charities, however, they are thinking of the likes of Oxfam, War on Want, Shelter, RSPCA, the IPPR or welfare charities criticising benefit cuts. They are not generally thinking of the churches. When…

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