One of our recent concerns was the change in the Charities Act which impacted immediately on all LEPs with a turnover in excess of £100,000. Representatives of the Church of England, the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union and the United Reformed Church met ecumenically with the Charity Commissioners to determine the registration process. Once this was published, those LEPs affected were required to review their constitutions, determine an Ecumenical Vision Statement and a Schedule to the Constitution - model documents of which were made available through Churches Together in England. Under the revised legislation it is envisaged that eventually all LEPs will need to register as charities in their own right, if they have an annual turnover in excess of £5000.
North Kent Council for Interfaith Relations
The Council co-ordinates various interfaith initiatives across North Kent. It is currently involved in the setting up of a multi-faith community and enterprise centre at the Old Town Hall in Gravesend. The Council organises multi-faith thanksgiving services and prayers upon request from establishments like Bluewater shopping complex. It is also looking at the possibility of establishing a multi-faith chaplaincy for Kent Thamesside. A booklet published by the Council, “Guidelines for Spiritual and Pastoral Care,” is well used by nursing homes and hospitals and a new revised edition was published this year. The Council also works with several public service agencies, for example Local Children’s Strategic Partnership and Kent Police, and its office-bearers represent faith communities on various local boards and partnerships.