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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prayer-book-society/prayer-book-society-charity-commission-decision
The Commission was asked to grant consent to The Prayer Book Society, a charitable company (the “Charity”) to allow it to change its objects if its members voted to do so. The Charity trustees told the Commission that it wanted to change its objects because it would be undertaking a number of new activities closely related to its existing activities, and rather than amend the objects to include these activities it had decided to simplify them. The Commission granted consent to the Charity under section 198(1) of the Charities Act 2011.
A member of the Charity requested a decision review of the Commission’s decision on the grounds that the Charity’s object will no longer be to promote the Book of Common Prayer as the norm in all principal services of the Church of England and other Churches in the Anglican tradition. The member considered that the revised object would allow the charity to promote other forms of service and goes to the foundation of the Charity and that the trustees’ decision to seek the change was not made in good faith.
The review was conducted by a senior manager in the Commission’s operations team. The review concluded that the consent to the change of objects is lawful and within the Commission’s policy. It concluded that the proposed change did not go to the foundation of the charity and disagreed with the member’s analysis of the existing object of the charity. There was no evidence to suggest that the Commission gave consent in bad faith or in any other way that would be a breach of its public law duties. Nor was there any evidence that the trustees acted in bad faith in applying for such consent.