Peter Owen made reference yesterday to the Q and A concerning the cost of the Lambeth Conference. The full text of the relevant Questions and Answers is below the fold.
Mr Clive Scowen (London) to ask the Church Commissioners:
Q19. How much have the Church Commissioners given to defray the debts of the Lambeth Conference, and pursuant to what powers, and what impact will this decision have on the amounts made available by the Commissioners in coming years to support parish mission?
Mr Andreas Whittam Smith to reply as First Church Estates Commissioner:
A. In 2006 the Commissioners agreed to make a grant of up to £1.05 million over 2006-2008 to the Lambeth Conference in respect of certain specific costs (e.g. English bishops’ attendance fees and the conference manager’s salary costs). It is expected that the grant, which is consistent with what has been done for past Lambeth conferences, will be within budget.
In addition they agreed in August 2008 to make available an interest free loan facility of up to £600,000. £194,000 of the loan facility has been drawn down. The Directors of the company have recently indicated that they do not expect to have to draw down any of the remaining £406,000 and that they are now able to repay £19,000, leaving £175,000 outstanding to the Commissioners (and the same amount to the Archbishops’ Council).
The sums from the Commissioners have been made available under section 5 of the Episcopal Endowments and Stipends Measure 1943 which provides that the Commissioners “may at their discretion pay the whole or any part of … such office expenses … as it is, in their opinion, necessary for the Bishop to incur”. Thus the Commissioners have a discretionary power to meet expenses of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury in his capacity as a diocesan bishop.
This expenditure will not impact on the Commissioners’ other distribution plans for the 2008-2010 triennium.
Mrs Joanna Monckton (Lichfield) to ask the Presidents of the Archbishops’ Council:
Q24. How much has the Lambeth Conference so far cost
(a) the Church Commissioners;
(b) the Archbishops’ Council
and how much more is it expected to cost either body?
Mr Gerald O’Brien (Rochester) to ask the Presidents of the Archbishops’ Council:
Q25. What contributions towards the cost of the 2008 Lambeth Conference are being made by the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners and any other Church of England bodies, and how much of these contributions is likely to be ultimately funded by dioceses (either through apportionment or through the loss of grants they might otherwise expect to receive)?
Mr Clive Scowen (London) to ask the Presidents of the Archbishops’ Council:
Q26. How much has the Archbishops’ Council given to defray the debts of the Lambeth Conference, and pursuant to what powers, and what impact will this decision have on the amounts which dioceses will be asked to contribute towards the Council’s budget in coming years?
Mr Andrew Britton to reply on behalf of the Presidents of the Archbishops’ Council:
A. With permission, I will answer questions 24, 25 and 26 together.
The Church Commissioners budgeted to make grants to the Lambeth Conference totalling up to £1.05 million in 2006-8 in respect of specific costs. This grant expenditure is expected to be within budget.
In addition, as announced in August 2008, the Council and Commissioners agreed to make available an interest free loan facility of up to £600,000 each to the Lambeth Conference. To date £194,000 has been drawn down on each of these facilities. The Directors of the company have recently indicated that they do not now expect to have to draw down more than this total of £388,000 and are this week making an initial repayment of £38,000. They are also continuing their fundraising efforts in order to repay as soon as possible the outstanding total of £350,000.
The Council’s loan has been made under its objects “to co-ordinate, promote and further the work and mission of the Church of England” under the National Institutions Measure 1998. The funds have been drawn from legacy receipts so will have no impact on the sums requested from dioceses towards the Council’s budget.
The Commissioners’ expenditure on the Conference and the loan have been funded from their bishops’ office and working costs budget and will not impact on their other distribution plans for the 2008-2010 triennium.
I do not have a figure for the total amount raised from within the Church of England towards the costs of the conference but I understand that dioceses generously contributed around £500,000 and parishes over £100,000, much of this to enable bishops from poorer parts of the Anglican Communion to attend the conference.