Comments: Church Commissioners announce annual results for 2012

Laurence said to me yesterday, "No one comments on the financial posts on TA!" Nor do they.

It was headlines when they lost money, but no plaudits when they make it - but then, gambling is a risky business!

Posted by Jeremy Pemberton at Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 8:16am BST

Alright, a financial comment: does anyone have any sense of how much the Church Commisioners would have to expand the patrimony before it would be possible to halt the drive towards larger and large multi-parish benefices?

Posted by Francis at Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 2:32pm BST

The Report mentions that the Commissioners fund about 15% of the total costs of the Church of England - mainly the cost of clergy pensions (for service up to 31 December1997).

If the move "towards larger and large multi-parish benefices" is to be reversed, there needs to be a significant increase in both the number of men and women offering themselves for the Ministry, and the amount being raised by the parishes in order to pay them.

Of course, the increased cost of pensions for those extra people would also fall on the parishes, in contributions to the Pensions Board.

Posted by John Roch at Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 5:04pm BST

Not a financial comment, but we can't staff these MPBs with stipendiary clergy - we don't have enough. We could staff churches with NSMs and Readers though if were more imaginative...

Posted by Charles Read at Thursday, 16 May 2013 at 5:54pm BST

John Roch - thank you. Very helpful, if a bit depressing. So unless there is a major reallocation of the Commissioners' spending commitments, there can only be a marginal effect on money available for clergy salaries, and hence on the need for the dioceses to save on salaries by spreading provision ever thinner. Is the number of ordinands a genuinely limiting factor here, or would a number of those presently serving as SSMs go full-time if the opportunity existed, in your opinion? And - if you don't mind me peppering you with questions - is the Commissioners' obligation to fund the pre-1997 pensions, of (presumably) a rather larger institution than the present C of E, going to dwindle as that cohort of retired clergy die, freeing resources for other things? It would be good to be able to believe that the financial equivalent of the US Cavalry might someday come over the hilltop...

Posted by Francis at Friday, 17 May 2013 at 2:24pm BST

And, just to keep the thread going, does anyone know how real estate in the portfolio is valued? My bet is that the total assets would be worth much more if realty were valued at market prices... And that would also affect return on investment (I'm thinking adversely, but ...)

Posted by Scot Peterson at Saturday, 18 May 2013 at 9:57am BST
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