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Where the funding of the Church of England comes from
Prydain ^ | 8/19/2004 | Will

Posted on 08/19/2005 8:33:01 AM PDT by sionnsar

Jeff commented about the post on the two sermons by Revs. Toon and Payne below, and provided this link to a webpage on Cashflows in the Church, which addresses the question of where DOES the Church of England get its funding. This is really interesting, and I had never realized the extent of this funding, nor the wide variety of sources. If you are curious as to how the established Church of England is financed, I think you may find this page fascinating.

Incidentally, Jeff has a post on Eucharistic Sacrifice in Catholic Teaching that you may find of interest--not the least for what he writes about Lancelot Andrewes.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

Cashflows in the Church

The Church of England

It costs £600 million a year, in round figures, to run the Church of England. Where does the money come from, where does it go and how does it get there?

Where does the money come from?

More than half (£300 million plus) comes from the parishes:

Church members promise to give a certain amount in a regular and planned way, either through weekly envelopes or banker's order. Many who pay income tax also sign a Deed of Covenant so that the church can claim back the tax they have already paid.

Others contribute in lump sums through the Gift Aid scheme and some straight from their wage packets through Payroll Giving. Then there are the collections that are taken in church and gift days.

In addition to giving during their lifetime, some agree to leave a proportion of their assets to the church through a legacy in their Will.

Fund-raising activities, such as jumble sales and fêtes are held in many parishes. Some give away the money raised to other charitable work.

Part of the fees paid for weddings and funerals goes to the church. Visitors make contributions and there is the rent from letting church halls. The church also receives income from any profit on the parish magazine and/or church bookstall.

The other major source of income is the tax recovered on covenants, the interest on money invested, grants (perhaps from the local council towards the upkeep of the churchyard) and income from special trust funds.

From time to time churches appeal for funds for special projects, such as new buildings or repairs.

Almost a quarter of the Church's money, about £150 million each year, comes from the Church Commissioners:

The Church of England has been fortunate in having the income from historic resources to help fund it.

The Church Commissioners was set up by Parliament and the Church to be responsible for the investments and the property the Church has owned for, in some cases, almost 1,000 years.

Until these assets were looked after centrally, the wealth of the Church was not fairly distributed and, while some clergy were well off, some were a lot poorer.

The Commissioners' primary responsibility is to manage the investments entrusted to them to maximise the financial support for the ministry of the Church of England, especially in areas of particular need or opportunity.

The Church has, over the years, given them additional responsibilities and asked them to look after matters related to clergy housing, pastoral reorganisation and boundaries between parishes and dioceses, redundant churches (which to close and what use to put them to), administering clergy stipends and meeting the cost of pensions.

The rest of the Church's income comes mainly from investments held by dioceses and cathedrals.

Where does it go?

On average, half the money given by church members or raised by parishes in other ways is spent by the parish's own PCC or Church Council.

The worship of the church has to be paid for. Depending on the size of the parish and the style of worship, expenses might include the organ, organist, choir, music, books, robes, candles and Communion elements.

Like a house, the church building incurs costs for heating, lighting and insurance. Some have to pay water rates.

Larger parishes may employ someone to look after parish administration. Printing, stationery and postage have to be paid for.

It is right that parishes should pay the expenses incurred as part of their priest's ministry in the parish. In most cases this includes the cost of running a car.

Most Church Councils are responsible for the upkeep of the vicarage or rectory. Even if church members do the work themselves, money has to be spent on materials.

Church buildings must be kept in good repair, too, and regular inspections arranged. Sometimes, this becomes a large expense for a small parish.

Finally, though perhaps most importantly, comes outward giving, the charitable contributions the church makes. Many churches try to give away at least a tenth of their income.

Some people may feel that local costs are all the local church should be responsible for but the whole Church also has to pay for:

Where each £1 of the Church of England's money comes from and where it goes


How does it get there?

It is how dioceses collect money from parishes and spend it that can be most confusing.

Each diocese has a Board of Finance that, as the financial executive, works out an annual budget. It receives money from three main sources:

Just as the parishes make a contribution to the dioceses, so the dioceses make a much smaller, but still important, contribution to the national running costs.

This is used for training new clergy and funding the Church's national response to matters such as education, social responsibility, communications, mission, ministry, ecumenical relations and so on.

So, the quota that each parish contributes to the diocese is used to pay for:

The figures in this leaflet are based on 1992, the latest year for which full statistics are available.

This is one of a range of leaflets available explaining the working and beliefs of the Church of England

Edited by Steve Jenkins
Published by the Communications Unit
General Synod of the Church of England
Church House, Gt Smith Street, London SW1P 3NZ

1 posted on 08/19/2005 8:33:02 AM PDT by sionnsar
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