The Church's Money - How Does It Get There?

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

Each of the 43 dioceses in England has a Board of Finance that, as the financial executive, works out an annual budget. It receives money from three main sources:

  • its own investments;
  • a contribution from the income of the Church Commissioners shared out according to the wealth of the dioceses so that the poorer ones benefit most (more detail is given here); and
  • a contribution from the parishes known as the family purse, common fund or parish share. This is worked out by dioceses in different ways that all aim to be fair in sharing the burden between richer and poorer parishes.

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 apportionment 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 parish share that each parish contributes to the diocese is used to pay for:

  • the Church organisation and ministry available to parishes, which are administered by the diocese;
  • clergy stipends, administered by the Church Commissioners
  • future pensions for the clergy, administered by the Pensions Board; and
  • national church responsibilities and training new clergy, administered by the Archbishops' Council.

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