The Archbishops’ Council was established in 1999. The Council is a charity, set up in law to co-ordinate, promote, aid and further the work and mission of the Church of England. It does this by providing national support to the Church in dioceses and locally, working closely with the House of Bishops and other bodies of the Church. The Archbishops’ Council is one of the seven National Church Institutions.
The Church of England's calling is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ afresh in each generation to the people of England.
The Vision for the Church in the 2020s is that we become a Church that is centered on Jesus Christ and shaped by Jesus Christ through the five marks of mission:
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.
- To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.
- To respond to human need by loving service.
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
The Archbishops’ Council has seven objectives.
- A Younger Church: To double the number of children and young active disciples in the Church of England by 2030.
- A More Diverse Church: To fully represent the communities we serve in age and diversity.
- Revitalise Parishes: A parish system revitalised for mission so churches can reach and serve everyone in their community.
- New Christian Communities: Creating 10,000 new Christian communities across the four areas of home, work / education, social and digital.
- Missionary Disciples: All Anglicans envisioned, resourced, and released to live out the five marks of mission in the whole of life, bringing transformation to the Church and world. All local churches, supported by their dioceses, becoming communities and hubs for initial and ongoing formation.
- Sustainability: A Church that cherishes God’s creation and leads by example in promoting sustainability.
- Safety and Dignity: A Church that affirms the dignity of all people by being a safe place for all, especially children and vulnerable adults.
The Council and its staff achieve these objectives in a number of ways. Our work can either be indirect or direct and largely falls under seven types of activity:
- Legislate, regulate and deregulate matters (directly or through General Synod)
- Distribute money
- Provide national services to dioceses, parishes, cathedrals, schools etc.
- Provide consultancy services
- Campaign and engage publicly
- Enable the Church to govern itself
- Engage people directly, especially through digital means
The work of the Council over the past year is described in more detail in its annual report which includes a list of grants to dioceses and other institutions awarded by the Council, and is debated by the General Synod each year.
Social Impact Investment Programme
In 2020, the Archbishops Council set up a Social Impact Investment Programme, funded by the Church Commissioners, to deploy social investment capital to advance the Church’s missional objectives. The programme is designed to support projects which share the Church of England’s Christian values and benefit society.
Through this programme, the Church of England is making £16 million available for a social impact portfolio, which will seek investments targeting deep positive impact. The project is managed by, and works closely with, the Mission and Public Affairs division.
The portfolio will focus on investments that strengthen communities, particularly through access to housing and access to affordable finance, as well as investments that focus on protecting and sustaining the environment. The portfolio will be invested primarily through investment funds and similar investment vehicles, targeting investments with a geographic focus in England.
The programme has been designed to complement the Five Marks of Mission and to complement the work of the Archbishops’ Council, set up to co-ordinate and further the work and mission of the Church of England both on a local and national level.
The programme will align with the wider Ethical and Responsible Investment policies and guidelines of the Church’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group.
An Investment Committee has oversight of the social investment programme and the programme is managed by the Head of Social Impact Investment.
The Programme's first Impact Report was published in May 2023 outlining investments made by the Social Impact Programme in its first two years.
The work of the Archbishops’ Council is governed by the Council itself, a board of trustees comprising:
The Most Rev and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Most Rev and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York
Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury
The Venerable Luke Miller
Prolocutor of the Lower House of the Convocation of York
The Revd Kate Wharton
Chair of the House of Laity
Canon Dr Jamie Harrison
Vice-Chair of the House of Laity
Mrs Alison Coulter
Elected by the House of Bishops
The Rt Rev Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester
The Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham
Elected by the House of Clergy
The Rev Dr Ian Paul
The Rev Tim Goode
Elected by the House of Laity
Dr Rachel Jepson
Mr James Cary
Church Estates Commissioner
Mr Alan Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner
Appointed by the Archbishops
Mr John Spence
Mrs Maureen Cole
Mr Mark Sheard
Mr Matthew Frost
The Rev Charlotte Cook
Mr Joseph Diwakar
Here is a guide to the departments, committees, councils and staff who work together to support the Archbishops’ Council’s Objectives.
Vision & Strategy
Directors: Dave Male & Debbie Clinton
Including the General Synod, Bishops’ meetings, governance meetings of the Archbishops’ Council, Safeguarding, Liturgical Commission, Dioceses Commission and the Council for Christian Unity
Director: Simon Gallagher
Faith & Public Life
Including the Mission and Public Affairs Council, Healthcare Chaplaincy and the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns
Director: The Rev Dr Malcolm Brown
Cathedral & Church Buildings
Including the Church Buildings Council and the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England
Director: Emily Gee
Including the National Society and the Foundation
Director: The Rev Nigel Genders
Including the Ministry Council and the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme
Director: The Rt Rev Chris Goldsmith
Including the Remuneration and Common Services Committee and the Council for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled People
Director of People and Change: Christine Hewitt-Dyer
Including the General Synod
Director: Alexander McGregor
Including Church House Publishing and the Digital Team
Director: John Bingham (Interim)