Synod debates review of Strategic Development and Lowest Income Communities Funding


The General Synod has voted to take note of a report examining the performance of Strategic Development and Lowest Income Communities funding and making recommendations for the future, following a debate and presentation.
Sir Robert Chote (Chair) at Synod

The review, published earlier this year and commissioned by the Strategic Investment Board of the Archbishops' Council, looked at the Lowest Income Communities (LInC) and Strategic Development Funding (SDF) programmes through which the Church expects to award around £160 million in grants between 2020 and 2022. 

Headed by the economist Sir Robert Chote, it found that the Church of England’s support for ministry and mission in low income and poorly served communities was producing positive results but could be reformed to be more effective and accountable.

Speaking at the General Synod, Sir Robert said: “Even at this relatively early stage of the SDF’s life, the projects we saw demonstrate that by intentionally doing something different, funding of this sort can provide opportunities for growth, so decline is not inevitable.

"Our recommendations were not to throw either fund away and start again but rather to build on learning and successes to date and to make some specific adjustments.”

John Spence, Chair of the Strategic Investment Board, thanked Sir Robert and the review panel members for their work and told the Synod that much had been gained from the review.

“All that has come out of this independent review has been helpful to us, we have accepted the recommendations in full and the Strategic Investment Board as currently constituted is working through a regular progress check to ensure that all recommendations are duly implemented,” he said.

In a separate move, the Synod has also backed a call for a follow-up report on the implementation of the recommendations of the Chote review, to be made available to General Synod in July 2024.

More information

The full text of Review of Lowest Income Communities and Strategic Development Funding.