Funding the Church of England
It takes just over £1000 million a year to run the Church
of England, financing its 13,000 parishes and 43 cathedrals.
For more details see The Church of England Today and Financial Overview 2004-2013.
Where do the funds come from?
Around three-quarters (£750 million) comes from
worshippers in the parishes. Over the past five years, parishes
have increased their giving by around £100 million to meet
increased ministry and pension costs.
Across the Church, regular, tax-efficient giving rose by
nearly 50% in the five years between 1999 and 2004.
over £200 million is given tax-efficiently each year through Gift Aid
and a further £60 million is recovered from the Inland Revenue in
£200 million is given in cash and donations by congregations and
£250 million is raised through legacies, special events, the
letting of church halls, bookstalls, fundraising and parish
Around 16 per cent (over £215 million) comes from the
Church Commissioners who manage assets of £6.7 billion (at the end
of 2014) on behalf of the Church:
In 2014 the Church Commissioners' total return on its investment
was 14.4 per cent. The Commissioners exceeded their long-term
target rate of RPI + 5 percentage points. Over the past 30 years
the fund has achieved an average return of 9.8% per annum. After
taking account of expenditure the fund has grown from £2.4bn at the
start of 1995 to £6.7billion at the end of 2014.
In 2014 the charitable expenditure of the Commissioners was
almost £215 million. Independent research carried out at the end of
2014 suggested the Commissioners were one of the largest charitable
givers in the UK and the eighth largest globally.* Commissioner
funded projects ranged from clubs and drop-ins to youth work and
food bank hubs, all supported by local churches.
In addition, income for the Church of England is generated
£50 million through income on reserve funds in parishes;
£50 million through income on reserves in dioceses and
£30 million from fees paid for weddings, funerals and
How the money is spent
The 'Parish Share' paid by parishes to dioceses contributes to
the costs of clergy stipends across the diocese and, from 1998,
pension contributions. The way the contributions are
calculated varies from diocese to diocese.
The working expenses of their own parish clergy - phone bills,
stationery, car mileage etc.
In addition, some parishes employ local staff, such as
administrators, youth, children's or community workers.
Running costs of the church, and church buildings. e.g.
insurance, heating, and lighting etc.
Maintenance of church buildings and new building work costing in
the region of £160 million per year. In 2004 parishes
successfully reclaimed over £6 million of VAT payments by taking
advantage of the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. Such
VAT costs fall directly on parishes and it is appropriate that the
Scheme responds directly to parishes as they deal with the heavy
burden of caring for their Listed church buildings.
Many parishes give financial support to UK and overseas mission
agencies, and to local and international charities. In 2004,
parishes gave away over £40 million to such causes.
The majority - around 90 per cent - of the 'Parish Share' and
other income (for example, from diocesan property or land) is used
by the dioceses to pay for the clergy and other diocesan
ministries. That is the costs of stipends, pensions and National
Insurance, parsonage housing, Council Tax and training expenditure
both for ordinands and in-service development. This also includes
money spent on ministries that support the parishes, such as youth
work, children's work, stewardship and communications.
The remainder is divided between the costs of ensuring the
diocese is run efficiently, centred on a administrative team and an
amount paid to General Synod for the national Church
responsibilities. (See below for details)
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The 'National Church'
Archbishops' Council (including work commissioned by
The Archbishops' Council, chaired by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, consists of bishops, clergy and lay members. It gives
strategic direction to the national work of the Church of England,
within an overall vision set by the House of Bishops and informed
by an understanding of the Church's opportunities, needs and
Supporting the Archbishops' Council is the professional,
management and administration team, based at Church House, London,
and led by the Secretary-General.
The Council's expenditure in 2008 was £73.2 million, which
included £41.6 million of grants paid to the dioceses.
The 2010 budget of the Archbishops' Council, which is
funded by diocesan contributions, falls into five
Training for ministry: the costs of selecting and training
tomorrow's ordained ministers - £11.8 million or 43 per cent
An average of 510 men and women have been ordained each year over
the last three years
National support costs: the costs of running national services,
such as General Synod, mission and public affairs, education, legal
services and communications - £10.3 million or 37 per cent. A wide
range of activities is covered. See: The Archbishops' Council
Grants: contributions to ecumenical and other bodies, such as
the World Council of Churches and Churches Together in Britain and
Ireland - £1.5 million or 6 per cent.
Mission agencies' clergy pensions contributions: a contribution
to the pensions of retired members of Church of England mission
agencies - £830,000 or three per cent
Retired housing subsidy and administration costs: the costs of
helping retired clergy with a home in retirement - £3.3 million or
12 per cent
More details on the Archbishops'
Council's 2012 Budget.
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In addition, the Archbishops' Council is responsible for
Allocations of Ministry and Stipends Support for low income
dioceses: funds provided by the Church Commissioners which are
issued as parish mission and ministry support to the least
'well-off' dioceses - £28.7 million in 2008.
Mission Development Fund: funds provided by the Church
Commissioners which are issued to all dioceses for mission
initiatives but can also be used stipend support - £4.8 million in
Extra mission and ministry support - £8.0 million in 2008 -
distributed to dioceses as parish mission and ministry support
based on their stipendiary clergy numbers.
The Church Commissioners
The Church Commissioners manage the historic assets of the
Church of England, worth £6.7 billion. The portfolio of assets
includes stock market investments, and commercial, residential and
rural property investments.
The Commissioners' mission is to support the Church of England's
ministry, particularly in areas of need and opportunity.
In 2014, the Commissioners made payments of:
£123 million for clergy pensions based on service before
£46 million for parish mission and ministry support
£32 million for diocesan and suffragan bishops' stipends,
housing, office staff and working costs
£5.5 million for the stipends of the Dean and two residential
canons in each cathedral, and grants to cathedrals, mainly for
other staff salaries
More information about the Church
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The Church of England Pensions Board
The Pensions Board provides retirement services set by the
Church of England for those who have served or worked for the
Church. This includes:
- administering three main pension schemes for over 250 employers
and 35,000 people (clergy and others in stipendiary ministry, lay
employees, and staff of the national church institutions),
- managing assets of over £1.8 billion, and
- providing housing for 2,500 retired clergy and their
More information about the
Church of England Pensions Board
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Giving and Christian