Church of England: Finance

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 24 October 2023.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Commissioners are taking to ensure the Lowest Income Communities Funding meets the objective of assisting clergy and parishes in hardest to reach communities.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities Funding and Strategic Development Funding led by Sir Robert Chote was published in March 2022 and can be read here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/irls-final-report-2.pdf

In respect of meeting the objective of assisting clergy and parishes in hardest to reach communities the Review recommended:

  • Recommendation 2 - "Refocusing annual returns … towards more strategic reporting".
  • Recommendation 3 - asked staff to "identify and promote best practice … perhaps convening a learning symposium".
  • Recommendation 5 – asked staff to "communicate more clearly the extent to which LInC funding is sustaining ministry".

The action taken so far by the Archbishops' Council's Vision and Strategy team in response to those recommendations has been to:

  • Raise the profile of LInC funding within ongoing strategic conversations between its staff and diocesan teams, as part of dioceses' strategic development processes, with the aim of improving its effectiveness.
  • Ask dioceses to give information about the intended outcomes from their planned use of LInC funding, together with how they will be measured, as part of their annual return on LInC funding for 2022.
  • Plan a learning event to bring together diocesan representatives to share and develop their approaches on the use of LInC funding, aiming to improve the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of LInC funding.

From the start of 2023, the new Strategic Mission and Ministry Investment Board (SMMIB), a committee of the Archbishops' Council, has replaced the previous Strategic Investment Board and Strategic Ministry Board. It distributes and monitors funds made available by the Church Commissioners and Archbishops' Council via LInC, SDF, and other similar funds.

More information about the role the SMMIB plays can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/media-and-news/press-releases/new-board-oversee-unprecedented-church-england-investment-mission-and

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