12 November 2001
The Archbishops' Council and Church Commissioners are to provide an extra £10 million to support parish ministry over 2002 to 2004.
The Commissioners' support for parish ministry has held steady over the last four years at £20 million per annum. It takes the form of grants to dioceses towards stipends costs, targeted on the neediest. Plans for new ways to target that money better on areas of need continue.
The Commissioners' continued good investment record in recent years means they can now also provide, via the Archbishops' Council, more than £3 million extra in each of 2002 to 2004: more than £10 million in total.
In an important new development, dioceses will not be restricted, as with existing grant allocations, to using this money only for stipends - but within guidelines can apply it for wider purposes to meet mission needs in their dioceses, consulting with parishes.
Guidelines are being finalised for sharing with dioceses. The new scheme will be up and running from January 2002.
Nearly half the Commissioners' capital and the income from it is committed to meeting clergy pensions on service up to the end of 1997 - the Commissioners' largest liability - and will be spent out over time. Their long-term aim is to make available as much of the rest of their fund as possible, after meeting other statutory commitments such as costs for bishops and cathedrals, for the support of parish ministry in areas of need and opportunity.