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Church of England Parish Finance Statistics for 2020


2020 was an exceptional year for parish finance. Income fell by 15% and expenditure by 14%. The total income of Church of England parishes was £924 million compared with £1,093 million in 2019; total expenditure was £916 million compared with £1,067 in 2019. Although income exceeded expenditure for a ninth successive year, net income was reduced from £27 million to £8 million. Overall income fell to levels last seen in 2000, when parishes’ total income was £927 million at 2020 prices. Overall expenditure fell to levels last seen in 2001, when parishes’ total expenditure was £917 million at 2020 prices. Significant income and expenditure growth since that time was reversed (Figure 1/Table 1).

Restrictions to mitigate and contain the COVID pandemic, introduced in March and variously continuing for the rest of the year, severely affected churches’ activities. Income from parishes’ trading activities was almost halved and income from fundraising activities fell by 63%. Giving income fell by 7.6%, a reduction of £39 million compared with 2019. There was an overall reduction of £23 million, or 6.8%, in monies parishes paid to dioceses as parish share. Expenditure on buildings, church running costs, salaries and staff costs and mission giving fell by between 10% and 20% overall (Figure 2/Table2).

Giving remained the largest source of parish income. Together with tax recovered, giving accounted for £563 million. The largest item of expenditure was diocesan parish share, which accounted for £319 million (Figure 3).


While the main sources of income remained broadly similar over the period 2011 to 2019, there were significant changes in 2020.

• The proportion of total income from giving and tax recovered rose 4 percentage points from 57% to 61%;

• The proportion of total income from grants and legacies rose 4 percentage points from 14% to 18%. 2020 grant and legacy income also showed actual increases

over the figures for 2019;

  • Operational income from trading, fundraising, fees and investments fell 9 percentage points from 25% to 16% of total parish income (Figure 4/Table 3).

Information taken from the Parish Finance Statistics Report 2020, page 6.