Thinking Anglicans

Church Commissioners' results 2013

The Church Commissioners have issued their annual report and accounts for 2013, and this accompanying press release.

Church Commissioners announce annual results for 2013
23 May 2014

The Church Commissioners’ total return on its investment in 2013 was 15.9 per cent. This means that the Church Commissioners fund has exceeded its target return of RPI + 5 percentage points over the past one year, three years, ten years and twenty years. It has also has performed better than similar funds over the same periods. Details have been published today in their full Annual Report and Account (link below) for 2013.

The Commissioners’ fund is a closed fund, taking in no new money, and has performed better than its target return of RPI +5.0% p.a. and its comparator group over the past, one, three, 10 and 20 years. The results confirm the fund’s strong long term performance

Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners, said:
“I am delighted to report the very strong investment performance the fund produced. It is from these investments that the Commissioners are able to provide the financial support to the Church. It is particularly pleasing to note that the fund has exceeded our target and performed better than its comparator group over all of the periods measured.

“As our annual report shows, the Commissioners continue to identify and fund the church’s work in areas of need and opportunity throughout England. Working towards the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church includes growing its capacity to serve the whole community.”

The Commissioners manage assets which were valued at £6.1billion at the end of 2013. More than half of their current distributions meet the cost of clergy pensions earned up to the end of 1997. The generous giving of today’s parishioners accounts for around three quarters of the Church’s annual £1.4 billion spending on its ministry and mission.

Writing in the report’s foreword Andreas Whittam Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner, said:
“The year under review was a good one for the Church and for the Commissioners. Indeed, it may prove to have been a turning point, the moment when the Church decisively increased its focus on securing numerical and spiritual growth in church membership.”
He added that at the same time the Commissioners, to assist this process, began to target their charitable distributions much more strategically.

After taking account of expenditure the fund has grown from £2.4 billion at the start of 1994 to £6.1 billion at the end of 2013.

The Commissioners manage their investments within ethical guidelines with advice from the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group.

The fund is held in a broad range of assets. Returns contribute to the ministry of each of the Church’s 44 dioceses by: paying for clergy pensions for service up to the end of 1997; supporting poorer dioceses with the costs of ministry; funding some mission activities; paying for bishops’ ministries and some cathedral costs, paying the clergy and assisting with the legal framework for parish reorganisation.

In 2013, the Church Commissioners continued to provide significant support to encourage the growth of the Church’s existing ministries and new opportunities. Along with the Archbishops’ Council the Commissioners earmarked £12 million (2011-2013) for research and development funding to help understand better which parts of the Church are growing and why, and to seek to develop that growth.

There is also this press release on some the projects funded by the Commissioners.

Transforming lives: Commissioners fund churches in new housing and other development areas
23 May 2014

Pioneer minister to new communities in Leeds shares how 60% of congregation are new to church

The Church Commissioners annual review published today (here), shares stories of support across the country for church growth in new housing and development areas as well as a dedicated stream of funding for work in deprived areas.

In a Church of England interview the Revd James Barnett, pioneer minister to new communities in Leeds, talks about people’s lives being transformed and shares inspirational stories from Riverside. Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Commissioners, also explains more about the funding.

James features on the front cover of the Report with members from Riverside, a new expression of church where 60% of the 70 regular worshippers had not attended any church before.

“Any new church is a work in progress but God’s presence is tangible at Riverside and the Church is also making a difference in the community,” says James.

The Report also features other Commissioners funded projects from around the country:

  • Former hair stylist Rev Ben Norton has an Archdeaconry brief in York Diocese for pioneering work among young people building on earlier work on a major housing estate. He is also volunteering a day a week in the local hairdressing salon.
  • Liverpool Cathedral is committed to offering a variety of styles of worship that are accessible to all. The Zone 2 all-age, café-style service meets every Sunday at the same time as the traditional Choral Eucharist.
  • The Tolladine Mission in Worcester is based in an area with pockets of multiple deprivation. The missioners live in the area and their work includes a garden project for young people with learning and/or behavioural difficulties and work in local schools, along with opportunities to explore the Christian faith

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Robert ian WilliamsJohn RochDerek GoodwinRichard Ashby Recent comment authors
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Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

A report in today’s Guardian says that to sell its stake in Wonga the CofE could lose between £3m – £9m. With these results they can afford that and should do it now.

Derek Goodwin
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Derek Goodwin

Last year I was very surprised to learn of the £5.5 billion accrued in the funds managed by the Church Commissioners on behalf of CofE. Whilst it is seen as good husbandry by those responsible for fund management it seems to me perverse that many congregations are struggling with impossible financial expectations and burdens whilst the Commissioners fund has grown by 15.9% to £6.1 billion after expenses. I have heard all the defensive reasoning behind such a massive amount of wealth but I am left wondering what Jesus would think if His excited disciples ran to Him telling how much… Read more »

John Roch
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John Roch

Can we try to have some perspective on the Church Commissioners’ funds? Every year, everyone seems to be bemused by big figures. In round terms At the start of the year, £5503 million was the total value of this closed fund (there is no new money going in). £5200 million was the value of the investment assets, which produced £140 million. Cost of generating funds was £43 million, leaving £97 million of current income available for distribution. The other outgoings were £215 million, thus exceeding the income by £118 million. Realised gains on investments (ie when sold) were £270 million,… Read more »

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

Isn’t it wonderful..a multi billion pound corporation, which can go on bank rolling the spectrum of every Anglican permeation of belief and practice. This is a time to remember the wise words of Ruth Gledhill.. ( paraphrase) there will be no Anglican schism, as the case resembles two persons living in a grand old house in London, who periodically threaten divorce but have too much to lose if they do so.

So there you have the main reason, the Church of England hangs together…. money!

Well thats how I see it from the Vatican moral high ground.