Coronavirus: Church that sold £91 coronavirus 'plague protection kit' faces fresh inquiry

26 August 2020, 13:19 | Updated: 26 August 2020, 15:06

A fresh inquiry has been launched into a church which was found to be selling a coronavirus "plague protection kit".

The Charity Commission is investigating The Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London.

Bishop Climate Wiseman, the head of the church, claimed that the £91 small bottle of oil and piece of red yarn would protect people against COVID-19.

Media reports about his coronavirus claims sparked an investigation by the charity watchdog in April.

As a result, the link to buy the kits was removed.

The Charity Commission has now launched another inquiry into the church, which is registered as a charity, over concerns about its management and finances.

The watchdog said it had looked at the charity's records and was "concerned" about the accuracy of the information provided about its income and expenditure.

The new investigation, which began earlier this month, will scrutinise the charity trustees' compliance with their legal duties around its administration, governance and management.

According to the commission, the probe will include an examination of its relationship with a connected organisation called Bishop Climate Ministries, which the charity claimed was responsible for the sale of the "plague protection kits".

Helen Earner, director of regulatory services at the Charity Commission, said: "Charities should be organisations that people can trust.

"Many will have been concerned by allegations about this charity's activities in relation to COVID-19, and so it is right that we, and others, have intervened.

"Our own examination into The Kingdom Church GB has identified further concerns that require investigation, which is why we have now opened an official inquiry."

Bishop Wiseman claimed in a blog post, published earlier this year, that his concoction of cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn acts as "an invisible barrier to the powers of darkness".

He wrote: "It is by faith that you can be saved from the coronavirus pandemic by covering yourself with the divine plague protection oil and wearing the scarlet yarn on your body.

"That is why I want to encourage you, if you haven't done so already, to get your divine plague protection kit today!"

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The church sold more than 1,000 kits, Bishop Wiseman told the Press Association in April.

"This is based on the Bible - I'm a Christian and there is a way that the Bible says to protect us from plagues," he said.

Bishop Wiseman previously maintained that the church was not selling kits, and that the price was just to cover the cost of the ingredients, yarn and postage and packaging.

He said the church was not telling people to ignore the government's advice.

Southwark Council Trading Standards' is investigating the sale of the kits, an inquiry the Charity Commission said it will continue to support.