What are the ‘Charitable Objects’ of the Auctions for Christian Mission Trust?

The Trust (established in 1969) is committed to encouraging the raising money for Christian causes in the UK and overseas. The formal words in our Trust Deed state that “the charity was established for the advancement of Christianity and the Christian gospel at home and abroad”.  In practical terms this means we encourage enquirers to support individual Christian missionaries, missionary societies, organisations (usually charities) that are themselves based on Christian principles.  The Trust is interdenominational and has supported Christian based humanitarian and mission work throughout the world.

Who are the Trustees?

The Trustees of AfCM are a group of Christian folk from a variety of walks of life and different denominations who give their services free of charge.  A list of current Trustees can be found on the Charity Commission website.

Who are the beneficiaries?

A selection of organisations that have benefitted from AfCM in the past is to be found through this link.  

How is the work of AfCM financed?

The source of income to cover the expenses of the Charity came from a generous endowment that was made to the Charity some years ago. Our outgoings are kept to a minimum and the day-to-day work is undertaken by volunteers.

Are AfCM accounts available to view?

A summary of AfCM financial activity is available on the Charity Commission website.

Please note that in recent years, our annual income has fallen below the threshold for which accounts need to be lodged with the Charity Commission, so there are no full accounts for review for the past few years.

Is there any relationship between AfCM (previously known as Northwood Missionary Auctions) and Wallington Missionary Auctions (“WMA”)?

Wallington Missionary Auctions provided us with the model on which we based our work when we started our own sales over 50 years ago; sadly, it no longer operates. AfCM (first known in 1969 as Northwood Missionary Mart) was independent of WMA but was closely associated with WMA and followed the same principles of raising money for Christian causes. Recently we changed our name to Auctions for Christian Mission to reflect the wider, non-geographically focussed activity.

What about very valuable or specialist lots?

We can no longer advise on an appropriate auction saleroom that specialises in particularly valuable categories of items or that has suitable specialist sales. You are advised to seek independent advice and not necessarily use your local auction house.

Which denomination is AfCM connected to?

AfCM is interdenominational.  We have no formal links to any particular Christian denomination.  You will see from the list of the organisations and individuals we have supported in the past the wide variety of beneficiaries that have received proceeds from our sales.

I have no transport - how do I get my items to the Salesroom?

Have a word with your contact at the salesroom you have selected to sell your items.

I tried to sell my items on eBay, and they did not sell – what should I do?

If items fail to sell on eBay it can be for several reasons. Some examples are that: the reserve you have placed on the item is too high; the condition of the item leaves much to be desired (e.g. incomplete sets; damage or cracks; the market is flooded with the sort of item you have listed, and so on). If this is the case, it is unlikely you will find an auction house that will be able to do any better.  Most salesrooms have a minimum lot value estimate of anything between £50 and £500.

How does 'condition' affect the value of an item at auction?

Condition is critical when considering the expected proceeds of an item sold at auction.  Repairs, tiny chips, scratches, fading, tears, general wear and tear can all have a significant baring on eventual proceeds. But don’t let that put you off – make an enquiry of the auction house when you are considering submitting items for sale.  Incomplete sets can also impact on value.  A ‘pair’ of vases is likely to be more valuable that twice the value of a single vase, for example.  A set of china or silver cutlery that is complete may be many more times more valuable than a incomplete one – though rarer items will sometimes still have value even if not in a set.  There are no fixed rules – so take advice.

Why might my piece of jewellery (or other item) only fetch so little considering what I (or the original owner) paid for it?

Do bear in mind that auction prices are more like ‘wholesale’ prices and can bear little resemblance to retail prices.  For example, jewellery sold in auction may be, for example only, 50% or less than the retail (shop) price.    AfCM used to try to sell ‘limited edition’ collectible china that was original sold at high prices based on (allegedly) potential rarity value even though issued in their ,ooo’s.  Prices raised could be as little as 1/20th of cost price even though the item was in its original packing!  Stamps are also a challenge when it comes to matching expectations with reality.  Rarity, condition, presentation, age, origin, context and quantity on the market can all have a depressing (in both senses) impact on value.