Thinking Anglicans

Parish Finance Statistics 2022

The Church of England has recently published its Parish Finance Statistics 2022. These provide the latest financial information, including:

  • Income
  • Expenditure
  • Giving

Tables showing parish finances aggregated to diocese level are available as an excel file. Finance statistics for previous years, and other publications of the Research and Statistics Unit can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.

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Froghole
Froghole
1 month ago

Thank you for this (and to Dr Piggot). The pandemic has evidently ensured permanent scarring. The number of regular givers is probably a more accurate estimate of regular attendance than almost any other metric, and if that is indeed the case the news is that the Church is now down to about 400,000, having shed about 170,000 over the last decade. I suspect that *at least* 300,000 of the 400,000 are over the age of 50, and probably about 250,000 are over the age of 70, most of them comfortably so, based on what I have seen there. Thus we… Read more »

Andrew Brown
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

The last paragraph seems to me spot on.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Andrew Brown
1 month ago

Froghole’s use of the word ‘performative’ resonates with my experience of diocesan hoopla. I managed to attract new people to my congregations but it was a struggle to keep up with the numbers moving away to the coast or to be nearer their grandchildren. The death of one of the congregation meant the loss of a friend and faithful member of the church but the added blow of one less for the Statistics for Mission so closely scrutinised by the hierarchy. I’m not the slightest bit surprised that the morale of the clergy is reported to be so low.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

“Then there are the puzzles: why was the rate of responses only 56% in Bath & Wells, and yet 100% in neighbouring Exeter”

PCC accounts are public documents, so ought to be shared with anyone who asks, including the diocesan office. Yet another example of some clergy refusing to do the parts of the job they don’t enjoy.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

Church treasurers (if there is one!) are normally expected to fill out the financial forms for the diocese, and usually the clergy fill out the “Statistics for Mission” form. I agree however that the clergy ought to fill out that form more reliably, judging by how many appear to ignore it.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Shamus
1 month ago

That’s true, but clergy have a role in recruiting, encouraging and supporting treasurers. If clergy don’t care then it’s unlikely anyone else will.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

Accounts are usually dealt with by treasurers. An increasing number of parishes are finding it hard to recruit volunteers to such roles, and many who are recruited will have limited time or capacity. The lack of volunteers for all sorts of roles is as big a problem as the lack of money at parish level.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

And it’s clergy’s role to encourage people into these positions.

Jim
Jim
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

No it isn’t.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

The numbers of clergy are in decline too and there are increasingly lengthy interregna. Perhaps some of the bureaucracy is falling between the gaps. As others have said treasurers are not easy to come by but neither are auditors. Accounts of course cannot be finalised until they have been audited.

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

Actually a lot of the time, if a member of the clergy is a good pastor who has the wellbeing of the people they care for at heart, it is their job to discourage people from taking on these roles. Increasingly dioceses ask more and more of lay people who already have incredibly busy lives trying to make ends meet and faithfully care for their families. Why would any pastor worth their salt put pressure on such people to take on roles that tend towards being arduous, over bureaucratic and so often soul destroying? I have always worked to the… Read more »

Nigel Jones
Nigel Jones
Reply to  Realist
1 month ago

Sounds like you’re a real pastor, Realist. On behalf of those amongst whom you minister, thankyou!

Woodland
Woodland
Reply to  Realist
1 month ago

No clergy need support from laity to do roles such as be treasurers, indeed often those doing the roles will be retired while the clergy have families

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

Is there anything you won’t use as an excuse to kick clergy?

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Jo B
1 month ago

Ha ha. I take your point. I do feel strongly about the issue and I can see that might come across as mean spirited, but it’s such a crucial issue. If a church member thinks the vicar is a bit useless there’s nothing they can do. There is no disciplinary mechanism for a vicar with a poor work ethic, there’s no reduction in pay for a vicar who “forgets” to respond to emails and there’s no consequences for a vicar who interrupts and talks over the treasurer so much that she gives up at the end of the year. The… Read more »

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

I don’t think the regulations say that the Vicar must chair the PCC.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Shamus
1 month ago
Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

See section 2c. The Chair may invite the vice Chair ( a layperson) to chair the meeting.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

The minister is the Chair of the PCC, but may choose to delegate the chair to the vice-chair on any occasion (M19 (2) (c)).

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
1 month ago

Okay, but the overall responsibility for the chairing of the PCC is with the vicar. To deligate or not, is the vicar’s decision alone. If the PCC is badly led and poorly motivated, then only the vicar has the power to change that.

Baptist Trainfan
Baptist Trainfan
Reply to  Oliver Miller
1 month ago

“There is no disciplinary mechanism for a vicar with a poor work ethic, there’s no reduction in pay for a vicar who “forgets” to respond to emails …”. Baptist churches employ their Ministers and have the power to sack them. That’s good if they are lazy or underperforming; however they may be the victim of powerful ly folk who simply don’t like them or who are resisting any changes they may wish to implement.

Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
Reply to  Baptist Trainfan
1 month ago

Yes, it’s the same with most jobs.

RogerB
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

I’ve just come back from the Diocesan Synod. The phrase ‘bureaucratic insider enterprise’ sums it up perfectly.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

On the basis that the current trajectory presided over by the present management cadre of the C of E is leading the institution into certain and rapid extinction, there would seem to be a very good case for doing what the 1922 Committee may well think of doing to its party leader before the next general election, and turfing the whole lot of them out, along with all those being schooled to fill their shoes along senior management-approved lines at the moment. Clearly the whole lot of them are and have been simply going about things the wrong way for… Read more »

Woodland
Woodland
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

The Church of England has £9 billion in assets and its investments make a comfortable profit as it does from rental income. It has more than enough funds therefore to keep its Parish churches open and with a stipendiary vicar if it focuses on that, even if they only have relatively small congregations. Cathedrals and some evangelical churches benefit from tourists and larger congregations and therefore can be more self sustaining. As for the USSR, after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine Russia is clearly aiming to restore the USSR again

Last edited 1 month ago by Woodland
Russell Based
Russell Based
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

And Islam waits in the wings

Woodland
Woodland
Reply to  Russell Based
1 month ago

Just 6% of UK population were Muslim on last census

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Woodland
1 month ago

“Like most major European countries, the United Kingdom has a significant Muslim population living within its borders. With the number of Muslims in Europe predicted to increase significantly in the near future, the UK’s share of Muslims in the population could rise from 6.3 percent in 2016 to 17.2 percent by 2050. This can be partly attributed to the fact that the UK Muslim population is quite a young demographic, which is also true of the wider Muslim population of Europe.” says http://www.statista.com. Given the rapid upward trajectory of the number of Muslims and the corresponding downward one of the Christians, it can’t be long before their numbers… Read more »

Fr John Caperon
Fr John Caperon
1 month ago

This does look pretty awful, and even worse than the scenario – 3% of the population remaining in the ‘congregational domain’ by 2030 – envisaged by Linda Woodhead in ‘The Spiritual Revolution'(2005). But looking at the tiny Sussex parish where I minister voluntarily while the institutional church wonders what on earth to do with it, we have five Christenings requested for the next couple of months. Something must be going on, even if we’re not quite sure what it is: the church and all that it symbolises still matters to people in the coming generation….

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
1 month ago

Many thanks. I had the pleasure of attending services at Fairwarp several times when we were still living between Edenbridge and Westerham. Your church is almost on its own, but (as you will know as well as anyone) it is conspicuous on the B2026, often resorted to by walkers and passers-by on Ashdown Forest, and therefore makes a good psychic impression on people, especially those visiting Duddleswell. A somewhat greater impression that other relatively recent foundations established as chapels of ease in the late 19th or early 20th centuries (I am thinking of Hadlow Down or Highbrook, where there are… Read more »

Fr John Caperon
Fr John Caperon
Reply to  Froghole
1 month ago

My grateful thanks to Froghole for highlighting my former parish and current diocese! There may well be, as you suggest, something about ‘central’ Anglicanism in the rural setting that still speaks to people: I devoutly hope so. As to the diocese of Chichester, one hopes and prays that the dire era of various past awfulnesses is over. But on Maundy Thursday the Chrism Mass is being celebrated in two parallel services – one presided over by the bishop of Horsham (female) and the other by the bishop of Lewes (male). Can one imagine a more powerful symbol of ecclesial disunity?

Vanessa Baron
Vanessa Baron
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
1 month ago

But that’s not entirely accurate. There are indeed two Chrism masses in the Diocese of Chichester this year but on different days and neither on Maundy Thursday. The Bishop of Horsham will preside at the Eucharist and bless the oils on Tuesday 26 March. On Wednesday 27 March, the Bishop of Lewes will preside and bless the oils. Bishop Martin will be present at both services to preach and to receive the renewal of commitment to ordained ministry.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Vanessa Baron
1 month ago

Two Chrism services a day apart cannot be seen as any better than having them on same day. Still one for the untainted, & the other for the rest. Only difference is that diocesan will be reinforcing his status with both groups.

Fr John Caperon
Fr John Caperon
Reply to  Vanessa Baron
1 month ago

Thanks to Vanessa Baron for her correction, and my apologies. There is in fact a tradition in the diocese of celebrating the Chrism Mass on other days, but I still think of it as Maundy Thursday…. My question is, does Vanessa’s restatement of the arrangements make anything look better? Can one imagine a more powerful symbol of ecclesial disunity?

FearandTremolo
FearandTremolo
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
1 month ago

I’m Gen Z, and something that always frustrates me is how easy a market my generation would be for the Church. We’ve grown up in the wake of smug New Atheists and Myers-Briggs Indicators. The urge for there to be something more to life, something spiritual, still expresses itself, albeit in star charts and manifesting. But the Church offers more than just manifesting your next job. It speaks to need and tragedy and crisis and community and love. It feels like this is a problem at which one could throw money and have it work. So many of my friends… Read more »

Fr John Caperon
Fr John Caperon
Reply to  FearandTremolo
1 month ago

Indeed – the Church speaks to ‘need and tragedy and crisis and community and love.’ And there are some out there listening and responding…

Nicholas Henshall
Nicholas Henshall
Reply to  Fr John Caperon
30 days ago

Just up the road from Fairwarp in the tiny single-church parish of St Thomas, Groombridge (pop 1,200) where I’m half time parish priest, I’d strongly affirm the vibrancy of the small village church. We typically see around 90 at the Sunday Mass and we’re just about to introduce an afternoon service not because I thought of it but because young families in the village asked for it. As a complete newcomer to rural ministry I’m bowled over by the experience and I would also note that the unequivocal focus of the Diocesan Bishop on front line parochial ministry is deeply… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Nicholas Henshall
30 days ago

Perhaps that is because they know how good you are, if you will forgive me (Stanley Monkhouse held you in the highest esteem, which means you must be very good indeed). When I attended a service at St Thomas in 2009 attendance was reasonable, and the church did not feel as deserted as some nearby: think of the fates of Hammerwood and Holtye, the fading away of Blackham or even St John’s Groombridge where attendance in what should be one of the most appealing of churches (poor parking aside) seemed quite slight. It is therefore heartening to read that attendance… Read more »

Nicholas Henshall
Nicholas Henshall
Reply to  Froghole
27 days ago

Dear Froghole – that is very gracious of you! Stanley Monkhouse was one of the great highlights of my time in Derby and I’ve never forgotten the first outing of his sermon on the Virginal Conception! Here at Groombridge – which of course has all the challenges of parochial ministry even if in miniature – I am daily grateful for being called here. It is the first time since I was an inner city parish priest in Newcastle upon Tyne that I feel simply accepted for who I am and as priest for the whole community. I was struck that… Read more »

Woodland
Woodland
1 month ago

‘2022 saw a second year of modest growth in parishes’ income after the sharp downturn of 2020, but this was eroded by the effects of inflation so that in real terms income was slightly down’ So it is inflation and cost of living like the rest of society that hit dioceses and parishes the most over the last year, giving actual saw modest growth

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