One of the areas of concern for many churches has been the need to demonstrate that they have some public benefit, a necessary condition for charitable status.
Well, the Commission has published its report into the matter and you can download the .pdf here.
John & Olive write (in the midst of a longer and brilliant post):
Now the report is out, it looks as if the Charity Commission has more confidence in the transformational power of the Gospel than some Christians, as they clearly state that ‘Charities whose aims include advancing religion do not have to undertake secular activities in addition to their religious activities in order to meet the public-benefit requirement’.
More interesting still is the fact that missional activities are specifically singled out as a key way in which Christians might demonstrate their care for their fellow citizens – by reaching out to others and sharing the good news.
I posted the comment below, and I'd be interested to hear your views:
I can’t really begin to count the number of times I’ve been encouraged to write, pray, complain, or be fearful about some piece of government legislation or other that was going to restrict the Church’s ability to be the kind of Christ-centred, loving, missional and generous community we’re called to be.
I wonder if we need to feel targetted and oppressed, as this gives us an excuse for not living up to the freedom that is, in reality, ours?
If we shrink away, and proclaim that we’re not actually doing that badly given all the oppression we’re under, and that it’s no wonder we’re in decline with the government, the culture, the media and everyone against us, then we have a ready explanation for the decline we experience.
If we come face to face with the reality that we are free, that society doesn’t hate us, that faith is not only welcome but encouraged in our culture, then we have to ask some very scary questions about what we’re doing. Challenging-everything kinda scary. Questioning what pastors have been doing scary. Shining a light on where we use resources kinda scary. And questioning the validity or understanding of most people’s faith kinda scary.
Far easier to hide under this oppressive rock…Don’t shine the light…