About the Church Commissioners

Founded in 1948, the Church Commissioners have always sought to support the work and mission of the Church of England. We are accountable to Parliament, General Synod and, as a registered charity, the Charity Commission.

Trustees and Board of Governors

There are 33 Church Commissioners, who have responsibility for making sure we meet our charitable obligations. Six of the Commissioners hold Offices of State and the other 27 make up the Board of Governors, the main policy-making body.

Thirteen Board members are elected either by General Synod or the cathedral deans, and other members are appointed either by the Crown or the Archbishops for their expertise (e.g. actuarial, legal, investment).

Board members are organised into five committees (Assets, Audit and Risk, Bishoprics and Cathedrals, Church Buildings, and Mission and Pastoral), which fulfil the Commissioners' various responsibilities to the Church. They are joined by other, non-trustee members, and the Board and all the committees are supported by an executive team led by the Secretary (Chief Executive), Andrew Brown.

Second Church Estates Commissioner

The office of the Second Church Estates Commissioner, currently held by the Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, maintains our accountability to Parliament by regularly answering questions in the House of Commons.

More details about the work of the Second Church Estates Commissioner, and the questions she has answered, can be found at churchinparliament.org

History

The Church Commissioners have a long and prestigious heritage, supporting the work of the Church of England since 1948. The organisation was formed by merging two bodies - Queen Anne's Bounty, formed in 1704 to support poorer clergy, and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, set up in 1836 to administer several functions of the Church.

We have undergone a number of changes since our formation. In 1998 our obligations for clergy pensions earned after 1998 were transferred to a new scheme managed by the Church of England Pensions Board. In 1999 the Archbishops' Council was formed, giving strategic direction to the Church of England and providing us with a clear focus on making the most of our investments to support the work of the Church. In 2007 we moved from 1 Millbank, where we had been since our inception, to Church House.