THE Synod approved the Archbishops'
Council's draft budget and proposals for apportionment for 2013 on
Introducing the debate, Andrew
Britton, chairman of the Archbishops' Council Finance
Committee, said that last year the Synod had approved, for 2012, an
increase of 1.8 per cent in total apportionment. During the closing
months of last year, however, it had become clear "that expenditure
in 2011 was coming in well under budget".
The Archbishops' Council had decided
that it should forgo the increase that had been voted by the Synod,
and reset the apportionment at the same level as in 2011. "It's
that reduced level for 2012 which is the base on which the budget
for 2013 is built." He said that "increases in apportionment have .
. . been kept well below inflation."
Mr Britton said that the Council saw
"more training of candidates for ordination as among the highest
priorities for national expenditure". The Council, expecting a rise
in tuition fees, had built up a reserve, meaning that, despite the
changes to higher-education funding, it did not believe it
necessary to supplement further the reserve in 2013.
Mr Britton concluded by stating that
the Archbishops' Council's total expenditure for 2013 would rise by
1.9 per cent, and total apportionment would rise by 1.3 per cent.
He thanked the dioceses for their "readiness to meet the
contributions to the apportionment, as approved by Synod".
Gavin Oldham (Oxford)
paid tribute to "another carefully prepared budget". Nevertheless,
he argued that it showed "only a partial picture". The only way the
Synod would see how efficient - "or inefficient" - it was would be
to see a "consolidated picture". This had, in fact, been provided
in 2009, and he encouraged Church House to produce it "year on
The whole Church ran on "about £1.3
billion" a year, he said. While £890 million was raised by
parishes, diocesan church houses cost £150 million to run, raised
mostly by investment income, but also with support from the Church
Commissioners, and fees. Put another way, "For every £6 raised and
spent within parishes, £1 is spent and raised for diocesan Church
Cathedrals cost and raised "just over
£100 million a year", and the Archbishops' Council cost "just under
£29 million". Thus, the total cost of Vote 2 (national support) was
"about the same as three diocesan Church Houses". This was, he
suggested, "pretty good value".
The Church as a whole reclaimed "about
£84 million of tax from HMRC a year", much more efficiently in
parishes than in cathedrals. He described what the state "gets" in
return: "ministry in every square mile of England . . .
preservation of the country's heritage . . . chaplains in
hospitals, prisons, armed forces . . . governance of 4700 schools
educating one million children . . . over 23 million hours of
voluntary community action over and above church activities each
This was achieved through "the good
will of millions of people giving time freely and voluntarily", who
were "living channels outpouring the unconditional love which is
God throughout the nation".
The Archdeacon of
Rochdale, the Ven. Cherry Vann (Manchester), spoke on
behalf of the Committee for Ministry of and among Deaf and Disabled
People. She thanked the Council for approving an increase from
£10,000 to £40,000 in provision of vote monies for work with these
people. Last year, she had expressed "disappointment and concern"
about the proposed cut from £90,000 to £10,000 for this "vital"
work. This cut had been interpreted by deaf and disabled
Christians, and those who worked alongside them, as the Church of
England's "not wanting them, not caring about them".
The allocation of £40,000 showed that
they were valued. It would aid work at the "cutting edge of
ministry and mission" with "some of the most marginalised and
alienated people in our country".
The Church benefited from including
people of all backgrounds, and was weakened by excluding them.
Peter Smith (St
Edmundsbury & Ipswich) asked for clarification about the
pooling among dioceses of the additional maintenance grants given
to married students and some single students; and what made some
dioceses make a contribution to pooling while others received funds
The Revd Stephen
France (Chichester), a member of the Archbishops'
Council's finance committee, said: "While the finance of the Church
of England might not be the most exciting part of Christian
ministry, it underpins all that the C of E is able to do." He hoped
that Synod members "will be reassured that, in these difficult
times, the Finance Committee has its eyes firmly on the ball".
Berry (Chester) questioned whether the cost and
effectiveness of the Church's training provision was being "pursued
as sharply as it can". He called for £250,000 to be spent on
research and development of a new software suite to deliver an
electronic distance-learning facility to help deliver
pre-ordination, ordination, and post-ordination training, and the
continued professional development of the clergy.
The Revd Eva McIntyre
(Worcester), thanked the Council for an increase in the budget for
work with people with disabilities, but urged that, when the next
budget was produced, the Council be minded to consider that "we are
an area that deserves another increase."
(Carlisle), president of Crosslinks, gave thanks for the "vision"
of the Synod in carrying an amendment to support the pension
contributions of clergy working in mission agencies, which, he
said, was "invaluable".
(Liverpool) asked whether "we have any idea of the effects coming
through of the 50 per cent cap," and of "the advantages accrued so
far from the inter-diocesan training for clergy and Readers
(Lichfield) said that it was "alarming" that some dioceses were
"accepting money and not accounting for it". Dioceses should be
"more accountable for ministry and mission", she said.
Mr Britton responded to the questions.
He acknowledged concerns about the cost of training and the small
size of colleges and training institutions. The cheapest way to
deliver education was undoubtedly in "larger units", but the House
of Bishops believed "that diversity in terms of tradition is
something to be preserved, and that is the essential reason the
units are sometimes small".
Mr Britton said that "considerable
emphasis" had been put on distance-learning in negotiations with
Durham University to validate ordination training. On the question
of the proper stewardship of money, Mr Britton said that he wanted
from dioceses a full account of how money was spent.
The budgets were approved for:
training for ministry (£12,559,340); national support
(£10,636,428); grants and provisions (£1,284,774); mission
agencies' clergy-pension contributions (£644,986); and the CHARM
The Synod went on to approve the
Archbishops' Council's proposals (set out in the Table of
Apportionment in GS1872) for the apportionment among the dioceses
of the net sum to be provided by them to meet the expected
expenditure shown in the Council's budget for 2013; and the
Council's proposals (set out in the same table) for the pooling
adjustment for 2013 in respect of additional maintenance grants for