THE next First Church Estates Commissioner of the Church of England is to be Loretta Minghella, the chief executive of Christian Aid, it was announced on Wednesday. She will take up the post on 1 November. Her predecessor, Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, retired this month (News, 24 February).
The First Church Estates Commissioner chairs the assets committee of the Church Commissioners, responsible for managing its £7.9-billion investment portfolio, and is a member of the Church Commissioners’ Board of Governors, the General Synod, and the Archbishops’ Council.
Ms Minghella was appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister after an open selection process. The Archbishop of Canterbury praised her “exceptional record of service” in the financial, legal, and charitable
sectors, and her experience in business, investment, and economic affairs.
“The Church Commissioners support the mission and ministry of the Church through the effective stewardship of their investments,” Archbishop Welby said. “I am delighted that Loretta has chosen to use her great skills and experience in serving the Church, and greatly look forward to working with her.”
The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, said: “Her background has prepared her well to be the First Church Estates Commissioner. A Christian who delights in Jesus Christ and has a warm heart for everyone. I rejoice greatly at her appointment.”
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams, who also chairs the trustees of Christian Aid, said that, while the charity would be sad to lose its chief executive, “we know that she leaves an organisation in good heart, with a clear and transformative vision of the future. Our debt to her is huge, and we send her on her way with the greatest gratitude.”
Ms Minghella said on Wednesday that she hoped to build on her experience at the charity, and in the financial sector, to help the Church to maintain its funding, and uphold its reputation as a leader of ethical and responsible investment.