Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This Week is No Longer an SPCK/J Mark Brewer-free Zone

(if you're new to all this, Private Eye is a good place to start, then Matt Wardman)

I'm increasingly alarmed at what I read at spckwatch - posts today and yesterday indicate that, in the legal papers for their bankruptcy filings, SSG are claiming $6m from 3 individuals. Two are from SPCK (the publishing arm, not owned by SSG) - Simon Kingston the General Secretary, and Rev. Haley Dossor, who is Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. The third person is Rev. Joanne Grenfell, who works for Sheffield Diocese and is something to do with the Cathedral. They are claiming a further $500,000 from SPCK itself.

This quote from spckwatch gives you an indication of the way SSG, or ENC Management, or whatever they call themselves now, handles some of its finances:

According to the documents given to the courts in Houston Texas, SSG Ltd owes Brewer and Pritchard $56,694.98 and owes Orthodox Christian Mission Fund $494,097.55.

If we add the $75,000 retainer Mark Brewer has agreed to Mark Brewer, as trustee of SSG Ltd owes himself, or his own companies, $625,792.53.

Brewer & Pitchard has already been paid $111,092.36 while Orthodox Christian Mission Fund (Mark Brewer?) has been paid $75,338.07.

Orthodox Christian Mission Fund is by far the largest creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings, but what is it owed money for? Or is this just another in the spaghetti junction of Brewer-run companies designed to keep money a couple of yards out of arms reach of the people to whom it is legally owed? I just ask the question - that's how it looks from here, but I'm hoping it's not true.

Other developments: the bankrupcty hearing itself seems to have been delayed, Mark Brewer has offered to pay some money owing to a former SPCK employee after an appeal on the SPCK/SSG blog, which a) shows that he reads it and b) is very hopeful.

Meanwhile another SSG alias, '40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste', turns out not just to be the trading name on an SSG website, but a Houston Orthodox church whose website bears several resemblances to that of the Orthodox church in Poole set up by SSG a couple of years ago (the congregation then decamped to another church after falling out with them). Whether they are aware that they're down as the registered online trading name of SSG is another matter, let alone the fact that the Brewer and Pritchard offices are given as their registered address. Must get pretty crowded in that office come Sunday worship.

Finally, the Facebook group is nearing 450, and there's an interesting discussion post just gone up on how the libel law does or doesn't apply to bulletin board posts on the internet. Don't get any ideas though...

1 comment:

  1. I just hope SPCK got themselves some very good lawyers before getting involved with lawyers like the Brewers.

    I guess libel laws are less likely to apply to comments on a blog, which tend to be conversational, and more to blog postings which are expected to be more considered statements.