In the charities faith world, there has always been an ongoing debate about charitable purposes and how wide they need to be to cover activities motivated by faith. I was advised many years ago by the Charity Commission that a charitable purpose that states it is to further a particular faith, in that particular case Christian, is the widest possible charitable object. Why? Because, the Commission said, if the reason you are carrying out an activity is to further or share your faith, then it is in compliance with your object, however "strange" that activity might be. I have argued this point many times over the years and seen faith-based charities with the single object to furthering their faith, registered with activities as unusual as football and tenpin bowling.
In the current pandemic, faith-based charities have, quite rightly, sought to demonstrate their faith by caring for the most vulnerable in their communities. They have done this in a multitude of ways from providing food, helping those in financial need, providing accommodation, carrying out online youth work and yes, still providing acts of worship but online. Those in the charities faith sector will continue to fight to say that advancing faith is the widest possible charitable object you can have because to limit that object is to suggest that faith too can be limited and put in a box. #faith
Many faith-based charities have been in existence for decades, and in some cases, we are seeing constitutional documents that contain narrow objects. Whereas in “normal” times these may have been considered adequate, resulting in a lack of urgency to modernise, the pandemic has led to the need for trustees to be agile and also responsive to the needs of the local community and the practical constraints on the charity.