Covid-19: Financial Effect on Churches

Church Commissioners – in the House of Commons on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Mike Kane Mike Kane Shadow Minister (Transport)

What assessment the commissioners have made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on churches.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Lockdown has meant that income from hall lettings, events and parochial fees has stopped completely in many cases. Donations of gift aid have also been adversely affected, so the Church is hugely grateful to those who are able to support it through the planned giving scheme. That regular, committed giving has become more important than ever to the mission and ministry of the Church.

Photo of Mike Kane Mike Kane Shadow Minister (Transport)

The Catholic diocese of Shrewsbury, which covers my constituency, has told me that income is down by a third since lockdown—a loss heading towards £700,000. In the long term, this will have an impact on building maintenance. Have the Government considered an enhanced gift aid scheme to help our faith communities to mitigate the damage?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, and he is absolutely right to draw attention to this. I will certainly raise the issue with the Government on his behalf and that of the diocese that has brought it to his attention. I am grateful to him.