Thursday, 12 November 2015

Church of England Financial Overview 2004-13

The Church of England has just published its Financial Overview 2013 which draws together the finances of the Church of England into one place. It aggregates financial information from over 12,000 parishes, 44 dioceses, 41 cathedrals and 3 National Church Institutions as the press release below explains.

New report consolidates finances of the Church of England
10 November 2015

The Church of England has published a new overview of its finances for the 10 years from 2004-2013, drawing together information from over 12,000 parishes, 44 dioceses, 41 cathedrals and three National Church Institutions (NCIs) into one place.

The report finds that the church’s overall income in 2013 was just over £1.41 billion, over half of which was from donations from parishioners, fundraising and grants. It also shows that the majority of the income from the NCIs is from the Church Commissioners, an investment fund of around £6 billion which uses its returns to support the mission of the church across the country.

Carol Fletcher, Senior Financial Planner for the Church of England, said “Bringing together statistics from across the Church of England is a great way of showing the extent of what we do and how we function. Through our investments, trading income and of course the generosity of parishioners, we have been able to continue in our mission to be a Christian presence in every community.”

The report also reveals:

Weekly giving per parishioner has increased across the period of the study.

Two thirds (67%) of the Church of England’s income comes from parishes, 9% from dioceses, 9% from cathedrals and 15% from the NCIs (predominantly the Church Commissioners).

Expenditure in 2013 was slightly higher than income, at just under £1.43 billion. Just over half of expenditure was for clergy stipends, clergy housing and parishes, and cathedral operating costs.

Caring for church buildings, including cathedrals, represents 13% of overall expenditure.


The report is available to download here.

The Church of England is made up of a number of distinct but interconnected organisations, all of which are independent bodies. The Financial Overview amalgamates the finances of the Church of England to show its scale as if it were one, consolidated organisation.

The three National Church Institutions covered by the report are the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners, and the Church of England Pensions Board.

Posted by Peter Owen on Thursday, 12 November 2015 at 4:11pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | statistics

This report is an interesting innovation and a very positive step forward, but I couldn't see any reference to the work of the Church in Education and Schools. Maybe that belongs separately, but a national record of that work could be revealing and challenging too.

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Thursday, 12 November 2015 at 11:41pm GMT

There have been at least 2 or 3 previous editions of this report. I believe Westminster aims to update it every three years. As it involves collating data from well over 10,000 different accounts, and stripping out the contra-entries, it is not a trivial exercise.

The report aims to consolidate the accounts of clearly CofE organisations, who all are in some measure accountable to General Synod. It does of course minister through many other organisations, usually through chaplaincies (schools, hospitals, prisons, armed services), missionary societies (CMS etc) or social work (Children's Society). But these are all independent of GS, and generally the "Church" element of their activities (eg chaplains' pay) is not analysed in these external organisations accounts.

Posted by: Ian Clark on Sunday, 15 November 2015 at 4:55pm GMT

Ian - every diocese has a Board of Education (DBE) and there are national institutions doing work in this area too. The reason we could do with an account is that the amount of work and money involved is currently invisible, and politically important in the current education debate. I am an accountant myself and know how difficult the consolidation exercise must be for the existing figures.

There are Church Commissioners appointed by General Synod, it is true, but (per CC 2014 Accounts) "The Church Commissioners for England are a statutory body created in 1948 by the Church Commissioners Measure 1947. The Measure sets out how the Commissioners are governed. The Commissioners are a charity registered in England and Wales (registration number 1140097) under the Charities Act 2011." and being and independent charity it is not strictly true that they are accountable to General Synod.

DBEs have close relationships with Diocesan Synods, the Church of England has an Education Office and there is the National Society too - all of which play some strategic role in the church, spend church money and bear the church name. There are statutory trusts and multifarious trusts of land involved as well. Indeed the Roman Catholic Church has been talking about the amount of school land held in their church trusts which is potentially at risk with the current education bill. Actually the Education Bill could usefully have been on the General Synod agenda, but because our structures separate Education, as you have observed, it doesn't get the time that fees for marriages and funerals get. And we don't integrate education into more general thinking about the scope of the work we do.

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Sunday, 22 November 2015 at 4:55pm GMT
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