UK Notes

Church makes massive 8.2% return on investments

Mon 16 May 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The Church of England made a return of 8.2% on its billions of pounds of investments last year.

That well exceeds the 2% target set by the Church Commissioners and the fund is now worth £7billion.

Over the past 30 years the money the Church has invested across the world, in things like fossil fuels, property and timber, made an average return of 9.7%.

After taking account of expenditure, the fund has grown from £2.4bn at the start of 1995 to £7.0 billion at the end of 2015, the Church said.

In 2015 the Church Commissioners spent £218.5 million of the return on mission and ministry costs.

Most of the money was spent on clubs and drop-ins to youth work and food bank hubs, all supported by local churches.

Andrew Brown, Secretary of the Church Commissioners, said: "I want to congratulate the investment team for the continued strong performance, delivering more than 8% in a challenging financial climate.

"Without this leadership and good stewardship it would not be possible to support the Church as we do. But we must not forget the generous support from parishes, dioceses and cathedrals which provide around three quarters of the Church's annual spending on ministry and mission."

But the Church has warned of a tough year ahead for the fund.

First Church Estates Commissioner, Sir Andreas Whittam Smith, said: "Unfortunately it may be harder in the future to achieve such a satisfactory performance.

"My message to the wider Church is - don't count on it.

"The nervousness of investors is explained by the feeling that governments have lost the power to reverse any slowdown in economic activity. In earlier time they would reduce interest rates, but now that rates hover around zero, that remedy is unavailable."

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speak to John Morris, Managing Director of the Harvest Partnership Limited, a Christian company, here:

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