Churches: Coronavirus

Church Commissioners written question – answered on 29th June 2020.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church of England has taken to provide financial support to single parish churches to avoid the redundancy, salary review and staff restructuring of employed musicians.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

In March, the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council announced over £75m of liquidity support to dioceses and cathedrals. This money included allowing dioceses in financial need to access up to three months forbearance on sums required for the national clergy payroll [or clergy stipends] for a limited period and paying monthly grants in full for 2020. In May the National Church Institutions announced a diocesan grant scheme supported by the Church Commissioners, which totalled up to £35m of sustainability funding.

The Church Commissioners are unable to make grants directly to Parochial Church Councils and parish churches. Parishes employ staff such as musicians, assistants, and lay workers in a variety of ways. Where the Parochial Church Council directly employs an individual, the individual would have been eligible to be placed on furlough under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

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