Kingsway International Christian Centre

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Kingsway International Christian Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom
Clergy
Senior pastor(s)Matthew Ashimolowo
 
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Kingsway International Christian Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom
Clergy
Senior pastor(s)Matthew Ashimolowo

Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) is based in London, England and was established in 1992 with 200 adults and 100 children. It currently has up to 12,000 people in attendance at the main church every Sunday.[1] The Church was located for nine years on a 9.5-acre (38,000 m2) site in Hackney, London, close to the site of the new 2012 Olympics Village. The church is pastored by Matthew Ashimolowo. The majority of the membership is under 50 years of age and is predominantly of West African origin, but it is claimed that worshippers come from 46 nations.[2]

KICC had to vacate the site by November 2006 in order to make way for proposed developments for the 2012 London Olympics[3] but did so only in late 2007. The last programme held at the old site was IGOC 2007, with many international guest speakers. The church has now relocated to Hoe Street, Walthamstow, awaiting planning consent and the development of a large new site in Rainham, Essex, near the A13. However, the government has been reluctant to give the required development planning consent.[4]

Contents

Charity Commission Enquiries

Irregularities in the operation of the charity behind Kingsway International Christian Centre (The King's Ministries Trust) has led to it being investigated by the Charity Commission on two occasions.

The first investigation started in 2002 and reported in October 2005. This report concluded that there had been serious misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity. At an early stage in the investigation, it was considered that the charity's assets were at risk, and control was removed from the existing trustees and placed in the hands of an independent external company (the accountancy and management consultancy practice KPMG), who regularised the charity's affairs. The Charity Commission reported that senior pastor Matthew Ashimolowo acted as both a trustee and a paid employee of the charity, in contravention of charity law. He had been responsible for approving payments and benefits to himself and his wife, Yemisi, totalling more than £384,000. Benefits received included free accommodation for himself and family, an £80,000 car, purchase of a timeshare in Florida for £13,000 using a charity credit card, and over half a million pounds paid out to Ashimolowo's private companies, which were operated from church property and had unclear business relationships with the charity. £120,000 was spent celebrating Ashimolowo's birthday. He repaid £200,000 to the charity.

A second statutory investigation into misapplication of funds was reported to have started in February 2011. The charity had received £10m from the London Development Agency for the compulsory purchase of its property in Hackney wanted for the 2012 Olympics. Subsequently the Commission enquired into £5m given for investment to a former trustee, the former professional footballer Richard Rufus in 2009/10 and 2010/11. Although the trust reported returns from the investment of £1,336,720 in its accounts, the Commission's appointed accountant says that there is doubt about whether the charity would get the original £5m back. The Trust has been told it must obtain written permission from the Charity Commission before making any more investments.[5]

The cost of the Charity Commission's running of the first investigation was questioned in the House of Lords by Lord Swinfen during a review of charity law. The three-year long investigation had cost £1.2 million, chargeable to the charity. [6]

Crystal Palace

KICC have bought a site in Crystal Palace that was originally designed as a cinema, but planning permission to use it as a church has not been granted. KICC have gone ahead and used it as a church; they held their first full prayer meeting there on the 25th of August 2012. The intention is to use it for their South West branch based in Wimbledon London SW19.[7][8][9]

References

External links