The Church Commissioners are accountable to Parliament.  The General Synod is a devolved administration whose legislation (Measures) have to be approved by Parliament.  One manifestation of this constitutional arrangement is that Parliamentary Questions can be asked of the Church Commissioners.  This is done through the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Selous MP, Member for South West Bedfordshire.  Any MP can ask him a written or oral question and he will obtain a response from the Church Commissioners, which in turn he passes back to the questioning MP.  Oral questions are only heard a very few at a time and about once per month.  Written questions generally get a response within 10 days.

All Parliamentary Questions and answers are published by Parliament and therefore in the public domain.  Questions and answers pertinent to Save The Parish will also be published here on our website.  Asking a question about concerns you might have about the future of your parish is a good way to get your MP involved.  As a constituent, your MP should support you in asking questions of the Church Commissioners.  But you do not have to use your own MP.  If you know of a supportive MP from another constituency you can ask them to submit your question.

Save The Parish will be very grateful for your help in the asking of information-seeking Parliamentary Questions, as using this mechanism encourages MPs to recognise Parliament’s role as the ultimate authority over the Church of England and to engage with the issues affecting local parishes

Top tip:  As you can see from the style of questions and answers below, the Church Commissioners appear unwilling to give much information in response to a question.  Persistence is needed to ‘drill down‘ with tighter and tighter wording each time you ask.  Try to make the link between the responsibility of the Church Commissioners and the nature of your question.  They like to hide behind the independence of the dioceses, but many of the policies and resources flow from the Church Commissioners, via the Archbishops’ Council (of which they are a part).

Thank you and good luck.

Last updated: 26/08/2022

The Rural Church

PQ 26686

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Church of England Report, Released for mission, growing the rural church, published in 2015, which identifies that 17.6 per cent of the English population live in rural areas and 40 per cent of churchgoers attend parishes in rural areas, and with reference to the Parish Finance Statistics 2020 which shows £471 million of parish giving for the whole of the Church of England in 2020, what proportion of that parish giving came from rural parishes. (26686)

A.
A revised analysis based on ONS rural/urban land-use classifications and the latest (2019) mid-year population updates, gives a slightly different set of parishes classified as rural, totalling 24% of the English population. Analysis of church attendance has been complicated in recent years because of the effects of COVID and restrictions on in-person worship, but it is estimated that 37% of attendance is in these parishes. Analysis of the £471million giving reported in 2020 Parish Finance Statistics indicates that 44% came from these parishes in rural areas. Rural areas tend to be wealthier on average; of the population living in the most deprived 10% of parishes, 5% live in these rural areas, and 95% in urban areas.

 

The Archbishops’ Council

PQ 26688

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to Section 1(1) of the National Institutions Measure 1998 and the statement on page six of the Archbishops’ Council Annual Report 2022 that the Council was established under the National Institutions Measure 1998 to provide focus for leadership and executive responsibility and a forum for strategic thinking and planning, whether the Church Commissioners have made an assessment of the authority of the Archbishops’ Council in respect of the exercise of its executive functions.

A.

The Church Commissioners have not made such an assessment.

 

Truro

PQ582

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to Figure 10 of the report entitled Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding published by Sir Robert Chote and others in February 2022, how many of the national total of 25,923 new disciples the Church of England expects to be in Truro Diocese; and how many of the 5,019 new disciples have been recorded by the Strategic Development Unit

A.

The question relates to the ‘Transforming Mission’ project in the Diocese of Truro. Strategic Development Funding was granted initially in 2017 for Transforming Mission in Falmouth and further grants were awarded in 2019 to extend the project to Truro, Camborne, St Austell, and Liskeard. Transforming Mission represents a significant investment in parish ministry in the county of Cornwall, benefitting many deprived parishes. While the project has been hit hard by Covid, with disruption meaning detailed and up-to-date data is not available, early signs are that there has been a positive recovery and return to church since the pandemic; although more time will be needed to fully realise its planned outcomes compared to if the pandemic had not happened.

 

Transforming Mission in Falmouth has shown encouraging results, with growth in the existing parish congregation and a new congregation, and increased engagement with the community and university in Falmouth. In Camborne, at the time of the funding award in 2019 the parishes were in regular contact with 20 children and young people per month. By May 2022 this had increased to 460 children and young people, and 230 parents and carers in regular contact with the parishes.

 

PQ26687

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Answer of 28 March 2022 to Question 145801, on Church of England, and the official document, Governance: simple, fruitful and sustainable, published by the Diocese of Truro in April 2021, which states that in a multi-parish benefice a pastoral scheme may unite several parishes to become a single parish with one PCC, whether the Church Commissioners have made an assessment of the consistency of that scheme with the definition of a parish.

A.

The document Governance: simple, fruitful and sustainable summarises the Diocese of Truro’s approach to mission and pastoral planning and is consistent with the requirements of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011, which provides the legal framework for the local organisation of worship, mission and ministry. Under the terms of the Mission and Pastoral Measure several parishes can be united to become a single parish with a single PCC, or variations of that model.

 

PQ26681

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Low Income Communities Funding, if the Commissioners will ask the Bishop of Truro to pass on the benefits from that funding to mission in Truro’s lowest income communities, such as by reducing their parish share, as opposed to leaving it to underwrite the diocesan deficit.

A.

The award, monitoring and evaluation of Lowest Income Communities Funding is the responsibility of the Archbishops’ Council, as delegated to its Strategic Investment Board. The primary business of the diocese is to fund mission in parishes, chiefly through funding the provision of stipendiary clergy, and so the primary driver of a deficit or surplus is the difference in cost between ministry funded and funds received from parishes and other sources towards these ministry costs.

 

The Diocese of Truro expects that by 2023 all or nearly all of the funding received from the Lowest Income Communities Fund will have been passed onto funding ministry and mission in the diocese’s lowest income communities, and not underwriting the diocesan deficit.

Leeds

PQ 26685

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to their decision to award the Diocese of Leeds £3,094,588 of Strategic Development Funding (SDF), and figure 10 of the Independent Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding by Sir Robert Chote and others, how many of the (a) anticipated and (b) recorded numbers of new disciples came from the project Strengthening Mission Across the City of Leeds between 2017 and 2021.

A.

The Church Commissioners do not award funding to specific dioceses; this is the role of the Archbishops’ Council, as delegated to the Strategic Investment Board.

 

The Independent Review notes on page 27 para 3.32, beneath Figure 10, that “the Strategy and Development Unit do not regard the estimates of new disciples witnessed and expected for individual projects that underpin the aggregates as a robust basis to compare their actual and expected performance, which of course suggests that one should be wary of combining them into an aggregate figure.”

 

The figure used in the report is 175 new disciples out of an anticipated 1125 by 2024, but is based on older data. More up-to-date figures from the end of 2020 show that the project as a whole is ahead of its interim goals for attendance by the end of 2021, and early data shows further growth into 2022. As with all churches, the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still to be worked out. The Chote Review of Lowest Income Communities funding and Strategic Development Funding can be found at: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/IRLS%20-%20final%20report%20%282%29.pdf

Leicester

PQ153706

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Leicester, as a result of implementing Shaped by God Together, in which each Minister Community may have only one ordained oversight minister; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Leicester Diocese as a result of the implementation of Shaped by God Together.

A.

The plan referred to has been developed by the diocese of Leicester, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Lincoln

PQ153707

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Lincoln, as a result of implementing A Time to Change Together, in which across the new Deanery Partnerships the total number of stipendiary ministers will fall; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Lincoln Diocese as a result of implementation of A Time to Change Together.

A.

The plan referred to has been developed by the Diocese of Lincoln, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Liverpool

PQ153708
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113, and with reference to the finding of the report Growing Deeper that where there is an increase in stipendiary clergy, there is a greater likelihood of growth, a decrease in stipendiary clergy is more likely, on average, to lead to decline, what impact is expected on the size of the worshipping community (as defined in Statistics for Mission) in the Diocese of Liverpool, as a result of implementing Fit for Mission, in which teams will cover bigger areas; and what the five-year budget forecast is of giving across the Liverpool Diocese as a result of implementation of Fit for Mission.

A.
The plan referred to has been developed by the Diocese of Liverpool, which is responsible for the mission of the Church of England in that diocese. All dioceses are seeking to grow their worshipping communities and wherever possible to create financially sustainable churches, in order to sustain the mission of the Church across the entire country.

Liverpool – Wigan

PQ3457
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, what Church Commissioners’ funding has been awarded to that project since its inception in 2014.

A.
The Diocese of Liverpool was awarded £900,000 of Strategic Development Funding in 2014 for its Transforming Wigan project.

 

A full list of projects awarded Strategic Development Funding is available on the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/SDF%20project%20summaries%20July%202021.pdf

 

PQ3458
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, what quantitative outcomes were envisaged as a result of the Church Commissioners’ funding of that project

A.
At its outset, the project had a wide range of different metrics providing an indication of the scale and direction of change sought. These can be seen on the Project Bid Document available on the Transforming Wigan website: 1602081544.pdf (d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net)(opens in a new tab) (though dioceses are not required to publish these documents). These covered increased engagement with young people, establishing new expressions of church, training for clergy and lay people, and increased financial sustainability.

 

Some of these goals have been significantly over-achieved, others have proved more challenging. Over time, the programme has evolved based on learning about what is working and where a change in approach has been needed, including reflecting the impact of Covid-19. An independent evaluation will be commissioned when the programme is finished, to capture learning and impact.

 

PQ3459
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, in the interests of transparency in the use of charitable funding and learning lessons, if the Church Commissioners will publish (a) all requests for Church Commissioners’ finance for the project, (b) the responses to each request, (c) progress reports made and (d) comments by the Strategic Investment Board on those reports.

A.
The diocese has asked for funding for the Transforming Wigan project once, in 2014, and was awarded £900,000 of SDF at that time.

 

Funding has also been awarded to projects to improve the strategic capacity (£168,000), multiply congregations in deprived areas (£1m) and to invest in younger generations (£4.6m) across the whole Diocese of Liverpool, which also have elements which support ministry in Wigan.

 

All SDF projects are announced when they are funded, are reported to the General Synod in the SIB annual report, and a full list is available on the Church of England’s website. All projects go through a robust process of a 2-stage application with full project plan, annual reporting, continuing engagement between the diocese and the national church, and a final independent evaluation. The diocese has chosen to publish their application on the Transforming Wigan website 1602081544.pdf (d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net)(opens in a new tab) but in general this robust process is dependent on being able to have open, honest and confidential conversations, both at Board level and with dioceses.

 

Transparency and learning have been mentioned in the Independent Review of LInC and SDF as areas where the funding programme can do more, and the Strategic Investment Board is working on proposals to improve both learning and transparency without compromising the quality and robustness of its accountability. Overall, the Strategic Investment Board has confidence in the Transforming Wigan programme and its engagement with young people, founding of new church communities, and training of clergy and lay leaders.

 

PQ149136
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, if the Church of England will provide figures for the worshipping community in each of the (a) 29 former parishes and (b) 7 new parishes in the deanery of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool in each year from 2016 to 2021.

A.
While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

 

PQ149137
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, if the Church of England will provide figures for parish giving in each of the (a) 29 former parishes and (b) 7 new parishes in the Deanery of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool in each year from 2016 to 2021.

A.
While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

 

PQ149138
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the pastoral reorganisation of Wigan in the Diocese of Liverpool, Scheme 08072019, if the Diocese will provide figures for the (a) requested and (b) donated Parish Share in each of the 29 former parishes and the 7 new parishes in each year from 2016 to 2021.

A.
While financial accounts of parishes are publicly available on the Charity Commission’s website, it is not the policy of the National Church Institutions to publish the data on attendance and finances that they request from individual parishes, because the right to publish is not given by parishes when they provide the data to the national Church.

 

PQ148043

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Transforming Wigan project in the Diocese of Liverpool, (a) how much Strategic Development Fund funding has been awarded in each of the seven years of the project and (b) what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of that funding.

A.

The Transforming Wigan project was awarded £900,000 of Strategic Development Funding in 2014, which was drawn down in full by the end of 2019. As with all Strategic Development Funding projects, the project was subject to ongoing monitoring and evaluation by the Strategic Investment Board. The programme has generated significant learning, as well as generating outcomes around starting new church communities, engaging young people, developing new leaders, financial sustainability, and community support.

 

PQ 26682

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to paragraph 76 of the Diocese of Liverpool’s Transforming Wigan bid document and the 500 per cent increase in the number of young people involved in church, as reflected in average weekly attendance figures, in the performance reporting on SDF projects, what figure has been reported against that target to the Archbishops’ Council Strategic Development Unit.

A.

The latest monitoring report for the ‘Transforming Wigan’ project dates from April 2020. The project team reported that this was the most challenging part of the project. An initial attempt to develop a Network Youth Strategy was brought to an end as it did not provide the growth required or connect well with the whole. The Wigan team undertook a significant review to re-engage and develop a more embedded youth strategy, building on learning what worked well. The next phase of work was to be built around pioneer chaplaincy, an internship scheme for engaging young people in mission, and a Brighter School of Discipleship. From the information available to the National Church Institutions there have been over 2,000 direct contacts with young people in schools through this work.

 

PQ 26683

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Diocese of Liverpool’s Transforming Wigan bid document, and the expectation expressed in paragraph 76 of that document that there would be a real-terms increase in annual giving of £500,000, what figure has been reported against that target to the Archbishops’ Council Strategic Development Unit in performance reporting on Strategic Development Fund projects.

A.

Based on learning from the project, the focus of this objective was changed to focus on the long term sustainability of the deanery – to clear the parish share backlog of the deanery with the diocese, to establish an annual balanced budget that is fully funded by the deanery, and to develop a deanery giving scheme focused on the mission, engaging more people in the parish, and increasing overall giving year-on-year. This was on track at the end of 2019, at which point Wigan had cleared its historic backlog. Since then, Covid has had a significant impact, and the deanery is seeking to rebuild its financial position. A final evaluation of the project has been commissioned and should be provided internally to the Strategic Investment Board by the end of the year. More information about the Transforming Wigan project is available from the Diocese of Liverpool here: https://liverpool.anglican.org/about-us/liverpool-dbf/sdf-projects/transforming-wigan/

 

PQ 26684

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Diocese of Liverpool’s Transforming Wigan bid document, and the list of expectations expressed in paragraph 76 of that document, according to performance reporting on Strategic Development Fund projects, (a) which of those expectations were achieved in full by the end of 2021 and (b) which have not been achieved in full.

A.

Over time there have been adjustments to the programme to reflect learning and the experience on the ground. The latest internal project review with the national church dates from April 2020, and at this point a majority of these objectives were seen as on track. An end-of-project independent evaluation has been commissioned and will be presented to the Strategic Investment Board later this year. More information about the project is available from the Diocese of Liverpool here: https://liverpool.anglican.org/about-us/liverpool-dbf/sdf-projects/transforming-wigan/

PQs on Dispossessions.

PQ137966

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, how many clergy of incumbent status have been dispossessed in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) diocese and (b) year by year; and how many schemes, including dispossession of office, are being prepared.

A.

Under the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 clergy may be dispossessed of their office when changes are made to the administrative geography for worship, ministry, and mission, such as parish or benefice boundaries. The table below summarises the number of dispossessions for 2017-2021 by diocese, based on the date when they legally came into effect. There are currently 5 schemes where the process has been started, but where we do not yet know the outcome.

Year Diocese clergy dispossession
2017 0
2018 Gloucester 1
2019 0
2020 Portsmouth 6
2021 St Albans 2

 

PQs on Mega-parishes.

PQ141113

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Church of England’s report, entitled From Anecdote to Evidence, what planning assumptions have been made in dioceses where large parish structures are being implemented in relation to the consequent fall in congregation numbers and drop in giving.

A.

In the area of parish structures, the From Anecdote to Evidence report has been superseded by more recent research reports called Growing Deeper and Stronger as One. Both reports can be viewed at: Findings and reports | The Church of England(opens in a new tab)

 

This research has shown that there is no statistically significant relationship between the number of churches within a benefice (the benefice structure) and numerical growth or decline, once clergy numbers, geography, population change and initial church size are taken into account.

 

The specific planning assumptions are for individual dioceses and not the Church Commissioners.

 

PQ141114

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the announcements of the cities of Leicester, Lincoln and Liverpool on plans to implement large parish structures in February 2022, what arrangements will be put in place to compensate for the loss in local pastoral care.

A

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

 

In each of these cases, the change in structures are to enable effective ministry, including pastoral care, to be present in communities given the challenges in the overall numbers of clergy and the financial challenge facing the Church, especially post-Covid. In each of the cases there is an anticipation of better pastoral care than under the status quo.

 

PQ141115

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what estimate he has made of the potential net financial saving of areas that plan to implement large parish structures.

A

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

 

These large parish structures are not primarily about achieving financial savings, but ensuring that there is effective ministry and service to the community, given the financial and other constraints that the Church faces.

 

The dioceses of the Church of England are not-for-profit organisations, and so all funds are reinvested in the work of the Church, and the proposed changes are about how to use these funds in the best possible way to serve the whole of England.

 

PQ141116

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what alternative approaches to savings were considered at the same time as large parish structures and why were these alternatives rejected.

A.

Local strategies are for individual dioceses to work out, not the Church Commissioners.

 

These large parish structures are not primarily about achieving financial savings, but ensuring that there is effective ministry and service to the community, given the financial and other constraints that the Church faces. Where funding has been awarded by the Church Commissioners, there has been a requirement to consider the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches and these have been scrutinised by funding award panels.

 

PQ145801

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Church of England has to change the definition of a parish; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 on the definition of a parish.

A.

There are no plans to change the legal definition of a parish.

 

The Mission and Pastoral Measure carries forward from previous legislation a well-established legal definition of a parish in section 105: Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 (legislation.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab)

 

The Church Representation Rules also contain a definition in rule 82: Church Representation Rules online – part 8 | The Church of England

 

PQ148039

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141116 on Church of England: Finance, where funding has been awarded by the Church Commissioners to facilitate bringing about large parish structures, what (a) advantages and (b) disadvantages were identified during scrutiny by funding awarding panels.

A

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

 

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

 

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

 

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

 

PQ148040

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141115 on Church of England: Finance, what metrics the Church of England used to measure effective ministry in dioceses planning large parish structures; and what steps the Church of England plans to take to measure effectiveness of new ministry arrangements

A.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

 

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

 

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

 

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

 

PQ148041

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141114 on Church of England: Finance, what steps the Church of England has taken to assess the effect of removing incumbent stipendiary ministers in the Leicester, Lincoln and Liverpool dioceses on the quality of pastoral care

A.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic

 

Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

 

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

 

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

 

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.

 

PQ148042

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2022 to Question 141113 on Church of England: Finance, and with reference to the Going Deeper: Church attendance statistics and clergy deployment research, published in August 2016, what financial planning assumptions have been made in the dioceses of (a) Leicester, (b) Lincoln and (c) Liverpool on parish giving over the next five years.

A.

Funding is not given to dioceses solely for the purpose of facilitating large parish structures, but this may be a part of a wider plan that is funded by Strategic Transformation Funding, and scrutinised by the Strategic Investment Board, a subcommittee of the Archbishops’ Council.

 

The aims of the funding are to support major change programmes that fit with a diocese’s strategic plans and make a significant difference to their mission and financial strength. Alongside this they must help develop flourishing mission and ministry over a 5-10 year period, demonstrate a sustainable financial and people plan, and design a clear pathway to a thriving and sustainable future, with a clear plan for growth.

 

The assessment criteria are based around ‘Strategic Impact’ (e.g. is there a hope-filled vision embracing all contexts and traditions, a robust analysis, analysis between options, evidence or convincing logic in the approach, defining roles of clergy and lay ministers, alignment with evidence) and ‘Programme Delivery Confidence’ (e.g. is there a detailed financial plan, capability and capacity for change, a detailed measurement framework, and support for the wider cultural and emotional aspects). It would not be appropriate to reveal the internal conversations of the Strategic Investment Board, but all projects would be required to meet these criteria to access funding.

 

It is for individual dioceses to make decisions about the appropriate numbers of incumbent stipendiary ministers for that diocese, and also to make financial planning assumptions appropriate to their context.