What we fund

The Church Commissioners fund mission in churches, dioceses and cathedrals throughout the Church of England.
Little girl waving flag

Mission projects

Whether funding city centre churches, community projects in low-income areas or research programmes to examine how the Church can grow, the returns on the Church Commissioners’ investments make a tangible difference to the lives of thousands across the country.

Our funding is targeted towards mission opportunities and those areas which are most in need. Having worked with the Archbishops’ Council as part of the Renewal and Reform programme, our funding for mission has been divided into two streams – Strategic Development Funding (for major mission projects) and Lowest Income Communities Funding (for dioceses serving lower-income areas).

Strategic Development Funding

Strategic Development Funding supports major projects within dioceses that can make a significant impact on their mission to the communities they serve.

Since 2014 around £50m has been given to projects across the country, including for church planting, multi-faith work, work in schools, and help for rural parishes to develop the use of their buildings.

Lowest Income Communities Funding

Lowest Income Communities Funding is given to 25 dioceses, determined by a formula that takes into account average income and population. It is designed to give dioceses extra capacity to serve less financially well-off communities.

25 dioceses receive Lowest Income Communities Funding, and funding will be distributed over three years from 2017-19.


The Church Commissioners support the ministry of bishops and archbishops – funding their stipends, office and working costs. How bishops spend their funding is at their discretion, ensuring they can meet needs specific to their dioceses.

This support also extends to bishops’ houses. Some are historic properties, such as the two archbishops’ palaces at Lambeth and Bishopthorpe. However, most have been bought or built more recently, and are regularly reviewed to ensure they provide appropriate accommodation to facilitate the bishops’ work and mission.


Cathedrals are focal points not only for the Church, but for the communities they serve, opening their doors to millions of visitors each year.

The Commissioners support the ministry of cathedrals through two funding streams. ‘Section 21’ funding is given to every cathedral, funding the stipends and pension costs of the dean and two residential canons at all cathedrals except Oxford. ‘Section 23’ funding is given to fund staff costs for cathedrals with the lowest incomes, freeing up local resources and helping to facilitate mission and ministry to their local communities.


The Church Commissioners meet the cost of clergy pensions earned in service until the end of 1997, ensuring that those who have served the Church can be secure in their retirement.

Clergy pensions since 1998 are funded by dioceses, and managed by the Church of England Pensions Board.