The Church of England today announced plans for a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation.
The Church Commissioners for England intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, and plan to maintain this level of funding in the subsequent six years.
In total, this would mean the Church Commissioners plan to distribute £3.6 billion to frontline work of the Church of England between 2023 and 2031, making the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council among the largest grant givers in the country.
The Church Commissioners’ distributions will account for approximately 20% of Church funding, whilst the biggest contribution comes from the faithful and generous giving of churchgoers across the country.
The core of the extra funding will be channelled into the revitalisation of parish and local ministry. The distributions will help fund dioceses’ plans to serve the nation by reaching more young and disadvantaged people, addressing issues of racial justice, and radically cutting the Church’s carbon footprint.
In line with the Church’s Vision and Strategy for the 2020s, funds will also be used to support parish churches and dioceses. This will include:
- Continued funding for the Church in the poorest parts of the country, taking into account lessons from the recent independent review into Strategic Development (SDF) and Lowest Income Communities (LInC) funding.
- Increasing the number of clergy in front-line ministry in parishes and chaplaincies, with the intent that the Church’s clergy better reflects the diversity of the nation that we serve.
In addition, the Church will lead by example in areas that are important not only to the Church but to wider society.
- Enable thriving local churches across the country, making significant contributions to their local communities and delivering even more social action work
- Support diocesan, parish and cathedral plans for the Church to become carbon net zero by 2030 – a target set by General Synod.
- Fund measures that will make the Church more diverse.
The 2023-25 spending plans have been supported by the Assets Committee, and the Boards of the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council and are subject to formal approval at the Church Commissioners’ Annual General Meeting on 23 June 2022.
Funding plans for 2026-31 remain subject to investment performance, market fluctuations and future approval by the Church Commissioners.
The distributions from the Church Commissioners are dependent upon long-term investment returns.
Separately, the Church Commissioners today announced that in 2021 they generated returns of 13.3% on its investment of the Church’s endowment.