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The Church of England should look at use of its wealth

30 August, 2019

• THE Church of England advertisement for a new Church Commissioners chief executive officer states: “… one of the largest charitable givers in the UK, managing an £8.2billion investment fund…”.

The CofE annual report 2017 shows that charitable giving was some £226.2million – 2.7 per cent of that fund.

That “charitable” money goes to mission activities, diocese support, bishops’ ministry and cathedral support, clergy salaries and pensions. But just how much of those activities are really “charitable”?

Charitable today implies doing good for the community, not religion or mission activities. The CofE is being somewhat economical with the truth. The hugely wealthy CofE takes government money, too, not just collection plates.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport allocates tens of millions of pounds to the Listed Places of Worship (LPW) grant scheme and, in 2015, granted £55million to a LPW roof repair fund. Most of that goes to Anglican churches.

The Church should give much more of that £8.2billion to the poor, the needy, to schools and the sick, taking no account of the faith, or none, of recipients. The govern­ment should not spend a penny more on religion.

LESTER MAY
Reachview Close, NW1

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