ON TUESDAY afternoon, the Synod gave first consideration to the
Draft Diocesan Stipends Funds (Amendment) Measure.
This was "a short and technical" draft Measure that "will not .
. . set many pulses racing", John Booth
(Chichester), who chairs the steering committee, said. The Measure
would allow diocesan boards of finance (DBFs) to "make decisions
about the investments held in their diocesan stipends funds" in the
same way as they could about "other charitable assets under their
The existing rules prevented dioceses' investing their diocesan
stipends funds on a "total returns" basis, "which may deliver most,
if not all, of their returns by way of capital".
Mr Booth said that there was a distinction between income
returns and capital gains; and that current rules required capital
gains to be re-invested. "As a result, dioceses may find that they
are locked into an unhelpfully restrictive investment policy
because of the need to generate income to preserve their ability to
make stipend payments."
He said that "Passing a total-return resolution is not a licence
to spend money now without regard to the needs of future
generations. In deciding how much of their unapplied total return
to apply in any year, the DBF would have a duty to exercise its
power in a way that does not adversely affect its ability to
further its purposes now and in the future."
Canon Christopher Lilley (Lincoln) told the
Synod that the proposal had been well received at the
inter-diocesan finance forum. "They, like us, would like to spend
some of the capital growth as if it were income," he said. "We
languish at the bottom of the giving tables, but, in the meanwhile,
we wish to use some of the capital growth on our stipend fund to
help kick-start the new initiatives in mission and
Paul Boyd-Lee (Salisbury) said that he backed
the principle behind the Draft Measure, but cautioned that it was
important to build up diocesan reserves. Elizabeth
Renshaw (Chester) said that she thought that the Draft
Measure was both "sensible and timely", and could allow dioceses to
employ more stipendiary clergy than they could presently
The draft Measure was committed to a revision committee.