Church Commissioners announce annual results for 2013

The Church Commissioners’ total return on its investment in 2013 was 15.9 per cent.

The Church Commissioners’ total return on its investment in 2013 was 15.9 per cent. This means that the Church Commissioners fund has exceeded its target return of RPI + 5 percentage points over the past one year, three years, ten years and twenty years. It has also has performed better than similar funds over the same periods. Details have been published today in their full Annual Report and Account (link below) for 2013.

The Commissioners’ fund is a closed fund, taking in no new money, and has performed better than its target return of RPI +5.0% p.a. and its comparator group over the past, one, three, 10 and 20 years.*  The results confirm the fund’s strong long term performance

Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners, said:

“I am delighted to report the very strong investment performance the fund produced. It is from these investments that the Commissioners are able to provide the financial support to the Church. It is particularly pleasing to note that the fund has exceeded our target and performed better than its comparator group over all of the periods measured.

“As our annual report shows, the Commissioners continue to identify and fund the church’s work in areas of need and opportunity throughout England. Working towards the spiritual and numerical growth of the Church includes growing its capacity to serve the whole community.”

The Commissioners manage assets which were valued at £6.1billion at the end of 2013. More than half of their current distributions meet the cost of clergy pensions earned up to the end of 1997. The generous giving of today’s parishioners accounts for around three quarters of the Church’s annual £1.4 billion spending on its ministry and mission.

Writing in the report’s foreword Andreas Whittam Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner, said:
“The year under review was a good one for the Church and for the Commissioners. Indeed, it may prove to have been a turning point, the moment when the Church decisively increased its focus on securing numerical and spiritual growth in church membership.”
He added that at the same time the Commissioners, to assist this process, began to target their charitable distributions much more strategically.

After taking account of expenditure the fund has grown from £2.4 billion at the start of 1994 to £6.1 billion at the end of 2013.

The Commissioners manage their investments within ethical guidelines with advice from the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group.

The fund is held in a broad range of assets. Returns contribute to the ministry of each of the Church’s 44 dioceses by: paying for clergy pensions for service up to the end of 1997; supporting poorer dioceses with the costs of ministry; funding some mission activities; paying for bishops’ ministries and some cathedral costs, paying the clergy and assisting with the legal framework for parish reorganisation.

In 2013, the Church Commissioners continued to provide significant support to encourage the growth of the Church’s existing ministries and new opportunities. Along with the Archbishops’ Council the Commissioners earmarked £12 million (2011-2013) for research and development funding to help understand better which parts of the Church are growing and why, and to seek to develop that growth.

The Annual Report can be read in full at:

Listen to the Church of England interview: Transforming Lives: Commissioners fund churches in new housing and other development areas

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