Canon Andrew White suspended over investigation into FRRME charity

By Gavin Drake
Posted Jun 24, 2016
Photo: FRRME

Photo: FRRME

[Anglican Communion News Service] The President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME), Canon Andrew White, has been suspended by the charity’s trustees. And the charity itself is the subject of a statutory inquiry by the official regulator of charities in England and Wales, the Charity Commission.

Canon White, the FRRME, and the Charity Commission have all refrained from stating explicitly what the inquiry and suspension relates to; but it is understood to relate to concerns over alleged ransom payments to secure the release of young girls held as sex-slaves by Daesh. If any such payment had been made to Daesh, it would be unlawful in English law.

In a statement, the trustees of FRRME confirmed that Canon White had been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the Charity Commission inquiry. “It would be inappropriate to comment further on an active investigation other than to say that the Foundation believe at this stage that the alleged incident stemmed from a genuine desire by Canon White to help others,” they said, as they confirmed that they were “cooperating fully” with the authorities.

The Charity Commission confirmed that they had launched a statutory inquiry, but said they could not comment further on what was a “live investigation.” They said that once their inquiry is concluded, they would “publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.”

Canon White himself said that the inquiry was launched “in response to some inaccurate statements I made about our work with and funding for the former slave girls taken by [Daesh]. What is clear is that at no time did we pay money to any terrorists.”

He asked his supporters to “please pray for us at this very difficult time.”

Andrew White, a former Canon for Reconciliation at Coventry Cathedral, served as the Vicar of Baghdad until he was encouraged to leave the country following advances made by Daesh. He now spends his time travelling between his home in England and bases in Amman and Jerusalem.

In Amman, he works as pastor to a number of Christian families who sought refuge in Jordan after fleeing Daesh’s advances in Iraq. And in Jerusalem he works on reconciliation initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians.

His suspension by FRRME will not affect his preaching and teaching ministry.


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Comments (5)

  1. Robin Rowan says:

    Ive known Canon Andrew since my time in Iraq in 2008. His work and sacrifise for the persecuted church is non-stop and his integrity without question. He speaks publically so often that it is not surprising his words may have been misunderstood, or twisted by the many that are against his amazing work. He will surely be vindicated, in the meantime, may he get some rest. But doubtful this will slow him down. His passion for his mission unstoppable.

    1. Fadel Alfatlawi says:

      I was the Director for the FRRME from 2004 to 2007 and I’m honored to work with him he is one of the greatest human been I came cross and work with, we have worked to saved many hostages never paid any terrorists
      God bless Andrew

  2. Canon Andrew White ministers to hundreds of thousands in the many churches he makes himself available to around the entire world! Though, he suffers greatly, from Multiple Sclerosis, he never stops from giving of himself to G-d’s people! After terrible losses from his primary church in Baghdad, Iraq when l,000s were slaughtered by Daesh (ISIS)…he continued to work to set up refugee camps and schools for the remaining children and their families in neighboring countries. He always makes himself available to anyone of any faith, tribe, background…stating that he once invited one of the heads of Isis to dinner, but the man said, “I would come, but then I would have to chop off your head”. Canon is one of the most brilliant negotiators for peace in the Middle East and once said, “I don’t know what to say, but God does!”. He is of the highest quality in integrity, brains, wisdom and even humor; his love for God and people is breathtaking!! I love reading his books and following his adventures; but, even more, my husband (also with M.S.) and myself, love this man who has the biggest heart in all the universe. Though, he must wear protective military bullet-proof vests while ministering the most dangerous areas of the Middle East; when he is on tour for his thousands of speaking engagements, he is impeccably dressed: after all, he is an Englishman of the highest caliber, graduating from Cambridge, serving God, man and his country, in spite of constant pain and severe fatigue! His heart burns for the ways of his God, he deeply loves his wife, sons, adopted Godchildren, many adopted children~he is Abouna to so very, very many of all ages!!! I am completely honored he calls me, “dear friend”

  3. Felicity Whitcombe says:

    I have the greatest respect for Canon Andrew White and my heartfelt prayers are with him his family
    His integrity and courage have inspired us. May Our Lord keep you and your family in peace
    Many Blessings Felicity

  4. Helen Sheridan says:

    How can I make a small donation to the work of returning refugees to their homeland, and the rebuilding of their churches, towns and cities.

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