Eye of the Needle...
The Plymouth Christian Brethren Church members run one of the UK's biggest charities, this charity has declared income in excess of £100 million per annum for three of the last five years. The charity is the Grace Trust.
The Grace Trust has a number of subsidiary charities, active in 2019 were UBT (EU) & UBT Accountants (companies that offer business support & central buying to brethren companies).
The non active list including NOA (UK), UBT (Vine), Insignia Enterprises (Europe) and Academy Schoolwear (Int). They also have under the UBT umbrella an investment fund call the Vision Foundation fund. We have looked at similar previously in regards to Moroak Management & Nuvik Global who are owned by the Vision Accelerator fund from UBT in Australia.
The Grace Trust has been structured to be tax efficient for Brethren members who run their own companies, to send their children to a OneSchool Global school.
UBT (EU) Ltd is a charitable company which means all the profits that are raised to go to Grace Trust income. The Grace Trust then donates the money to various charities. In 2019 the income raised by the Grace Trust umbrella was £102,694,033. UBT (EU) Ltd contributed circa £78 million to that figure but had an expenditure of approx £64 million. Therefore UBT (EU) made a profit of around £14 million. The Grace Trust also received donations of circa £21 million. After all costs are taken into consideration the Grace Trust had fund of £32.9 million.
So being a charitable trust, where did the £32.9 million go?
Almost 90% of all donations were shared with Brethren School Network. Thus enabling the brethren private independent schools to exist.
In total another 6% went to funds to support Brethren members in need.
RRT & Overheads
In total almost 3% going to another brethren member charity and overheads.
In total approx £250,000 went to other charities that are non brethren. A total of 0.7% of all money raised by the Grace Trust.
In general terms it would appear that a brethren member company is paying for business services from UBT (EU) & UBT Accountants and then receiving education through OneSchool Global for their children. The schools may still charge for attendance as an independent school however a large percentage of funding is being raised via this tax free scheme.
In 2013 the Charity Commission met with the Grace Trust following an increase of income and how it's trustees unusually are two different corporate entities Scribefort Ltd & Allerbrook Ltd. The directors for both Ltd companies are the same
John Anderson (Australian Brethren)
Richard Blackledge (Arrow County Supplies)
Timothy Dallow (Plant Plan)
Charles Hathorn (Pineapple Contracts)
Bernard Reiner (Bible & Gospel Trust)
Douglas Smart (Frederic Smart)
It will be interesting to see with all the Covid-19 contract won by Brethren member companies in 2020/2021, how much ends up sat in the Grace Trust coffers!
The Brethren seem to forget that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god"
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