Will Income Surplus Be Used to Aid Parishes

Will Income Surplus Be Used to Aid Parishes?

It was revealed at last week’s meeting of the General Synod that the Church of England has been had a total surplus of £290,000,000 in income since 2012.  The numbers for 2020, the last year for which accounts are available, showed a surplus of £20,000,000.  

Mr Paul Ronson, GS member from Blackburn Diocese enquired about the matter. 

Question 134:  Please provide an update on parish finances during the pandemic.

Canon Dr John Spence, Chair of the Finance Committee answered.

“Your question links to the pandemic.  To date we only have returns for 2020.  Clearly there will have been a significant impact on 2021, returns for which will arrive across this year.

“We are hugely grateful to all those who continue to contribute financially to the Church, and to all those volunteers in parishes who. Have enabled us to achieve an 84% rate for that year.  2020 was an exceptional year for parish finance.  Income fell by 15% and expenditure by 14%.  In 2020 there was an aggregate surplus of £8,000,000, continuing a run of surpluses since 2012 over which period parishes’ total income exceeded expenditure by £290,000,000.  The 2020 surplus breaks down into a restricted surplus of £20,000,000 and an unrestricted deficit of £12,000,000: 1.7% of unrestricted income.  

“These are aggregate figures and I recognise that the situation in each parish will have been different.”

It is unclear as to whether or not the Church Commissioners’ capital gain of £550,000,000 in 2020 or the accumulated surplus of £290,000,000 from 2012-2020, will be used to make up the difference in the 2020 parish deficit of £12,000,000.