Update November 9, 2022
And so the United Kingdom’s watchdog of organizations with charitable status – The Charity Commission – have published their report into the antics of the Trustees of Christ Church which takes the form of an “Official Warning” under the UK Charities Act 2011 which states that:
75A Official warnings by the Commission
(1)The Commission may issue a warning—
(a)to a charity trustee or trustee for a charity who it considers has committed a breach of trust or duty or other misconduct or mismanagement in that capacity, or
(b)to a charity in connection with which it considers a breach of trust or duty or other misconduct or mismanagement has been committed.
The report is a very long (20 page) read, and a lot of it is concerned with dismissing arguments made by the Trustees that they did nothing wrong. But then you get to Paragraph 119 where the report says:
“The Reviewer finds that the case has been made that the trustees
collectively have not managed the Charity’s resources responsibly and ensured the Charity is accountable and that this amounts, as a minimum, to mismanagement in the administration and management of the Charity.”
Here in Nineveh, such actions would almost certainly lead to a dinner-time visit to the lions’ enclosure but in Oxfordshire the citizens will probably have to be satisified with the delivery of a large collection of resignation letters by the disgraced Trustees who have clearly failed to live up to the trust with which they were entrusted (do they still have the charming habit of having them delivered by owls ?). But we are afraid that none of them will have the moral courage to do this. Instead they will get their PR minions to draft a statement about “Lessons will be learned” and how they must all “Stay on until the Governance Review has been completed in order to be agents of change”.
In the meantime, the students and research fellows of Christ Church have lost access to more than 6 million pounds sterling of funding which was improperly squandered. BUT they can get this money back. The individual Trustees are personally liable for their mismanagement, and so they can be sued for this money, and if this means that they end up bankrupt, they can no longer be Trustees even if they haven’t resigned.
Maybe the visit to the lions’ enclosure would have been less painful.
So read the report by clicking here and watch to see where this sad Caravan of the Criticised and Condemned meanders on to next. And also watch to see if the Church of England, and especially the Bishop of Oxford, will show any backbone and initiate proceedings against the clergy members of theTrustees under the all-but-useless Clergy Discipline Measure for their poor stewardship.