THE chairman of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales (RB), James Turner (ex officio), gave a presentation on the financial affairs of the Church.
The biggest piece of news was the establishment of the new £10-million Evangelism Fund, which was a “sizeable financial commitment”, he said, but a necessary investment for the future of the Church.
“We must be prepared to act now, and act decisively, in favour of pursuing growth. And make a determined effort to ensure [that] imaginative ideas for evangelism and church growth receive the financial support they need to be successful.”
The total assets of the RB at the end of 2017 amounted to £924 million: an increase of £53 million on the previous year. But much of that was tied up in pensions liabilities (£203 million) and the value of all the Church’s buildings (£265 million). The remaining £456 million was the money that the Church had had to use to generate investment returns to fund its activities.
Last year, these funds grew by 11.6 per cent, which compared favourably with a charity benchmark of 10.1 per cent, Mr Turner reported. Over a five-year period, the returns averaged out at 9.1 per cent each year, compared with a benchmark of 6.4 per cent.
This year had not been as strong a year as 2017, however; in global financial markets, many of the gains of the last year had already been wiped out, he warned. But, because of its strategy of diversifying its investments, the RB was well prepared to ride out the storms, including any uncertainty which followed the departure of the UK from the EU in March next year.
Motion was carried nem. con.: that the Report of the Representative Body be approved.