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CHARITY CONCERNS: Commission assesses donations to charity programme founded by Chorleywood man

 Published on: 21st August 2023   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Accusations have been made that donations relating to a Christian charity, which was founded by a former Chorleywood youth worker, were not handled properly.

Reverend Mike Pilavachi MBE founded the Watford-based Christian charity Soul Survivor in 1993, having previously been a youth worker at St Andrew’s Church in Chorleywood.

Rev Pilavachi resigned from the charity in July amid an ongoing Church of England investigation into safeguarding concerns.

Now, the Charity Commission for England and Wales is assessing donations made to Soul61, Soul Survivor’s gap-year programme led by Rev Pilavachi.

Richard Scorer, a solicitor at Slater and Gordon, said: “The suggestion that very substantial donations may have been controlled by Rev Pilavachi personally as opposed to through the normal mechanisms of trustee oversight is troubling and it is very important that the Charity Commission scrutinise these matters without delay.”

A Charity Commission spokesperson said: “We have an ongoing compliance case into Soul Survivor. We have made no finding of wrongdoing and cannot comment further at this time. We have not opened a statutory inquiry into this charity.

“We are also assessing information relating to donations to Soul61 to determine any next steps.”

A Soul Survivor spokesperson said: “Three non-restricted gifts were donated to Soul61 to support the various ministries of Soul Survivor. Projects that received funding included the church building programme, the gap year programme and sound and video equipment. The board of trustees collectively approved the disbursement of the funds where they agreed it would be most effective and all of the disbursements were made legally and in line with the wishes of the donor.

“We have not been contacted by the Charity Commission but would be happy to provide any information required, should they request it.”

Photo Credit: Soul Survivor

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