Financial crisis threatens Church of England’s strategic plans, according to internal document

By Hattie Williams
Posted Feb 2, 2021

[Church Times] Declining income, accelerated by the pandemic, means that dioceses are facing “indiscriminate cuts” to clergy posts, undermining the Church of England’s attempts at strategic reform.

New assistant curates, recruited in the recent push for vocations, could struggle to find incumbencies, an internal document suggests.

Details of the scale of the challenge are contained in a discussion paper circulated to all bishops and diocesan secretaries in the middle of last month. It confirms that the Church of England’s income fell 8.1% in the year to November 2020. It projects a further fall of 10% for 2021, calculated before the latest lockdown was announced. Expected savings on expenditure for 2021 are currently 3% to 4%. These overall figures disguise a large variation between dioceses.

The document, “Perspectives on money, people and buildings,” seen by the Church Times on Monday, has not been made public, despite confusion from parish priests and others about media reports on its contents, and a declaration at the start: “Honest sharing of information on how those resources of money, people and buildings are being stewarded for greatest impact is vital.”

Read the full story, including the discussion paper, here.