Where The Church's Money Comes From

Nearly two-thirds (£600 million plus) comes from the parishes:

  • Church people 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 complete a Gift Aid declaration so that the church can claim back the income or capital gains tax they have already paid.
  • Others contribute in one-off 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 (either locally or nationally) through a legacy in their Will.
  • Fund-raising activities, such as jumble sales and fetes are held in many parishes. Some give the money raised in this way 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.
  • Tax is recovered on Gift Aid payments.
  • Money invested provides income through interest or dividends.
  • 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.

Just under a fifth of the Church's money, about £170 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 earned until January 1998.

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

Parishes will seek grant funding for special projects and one source is the Church's own fund, the Central Church Fund, which provides grants for innovative projects.

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