Just in case you have temporarily misplaced your copy of The Church Commissioners Annual Review 2017 I’d like to mention a few highlights (trust me some of this is quite interesting and some of it just a little bit controversial).
The Church Commissioners (CCs) manage the historic resources of the Church of England, which amount to £8.3bn. Last year they were able to contribute £226.2m to the Church of England. This was divided up between: clergy pensions; Bishops and Cathedrals so that those costs don’t fall on the local church; a small amount on administration; support for the poorer Dioceses (not ours) and £56.6m on mission activities.
The last sum is split between Lowest Income Communities Funding that enables a Christian presence in places that couldn’t otherwise afford a vicar and Strategic Development Funding that funds new initiatives such as urban regeneration and church planting in new housing developments; our Diocese has had some of this.
The CCs also see the way that they handle their funds as part of Christian mission. So, for instance, in line with their Climate Change Policy they have built coalitions with other major shareholders to put pressure on oil producers such as BP, Shell and ExxonMobil to produce reports on the impact of measures to limit climate change to two degrees. This is part of the CCs policy to make multinationals take seriously their impact on the global climate as part of a transition towards a low-carbon economy.
There, I think that’s quite interesting and a little bit controversial – Christian mission involving engaging with global issues at a level that individuals and village churches just can’t do.
PS Douglas can be contacted at email@example.com or on 01892 862821 or at The Rectory, Southfields, Speldhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0PD.