UK - £207.8m
“There is no greater joy than helping a young person explore more about God and the big questions of this universe, as they journey through this life,” says Jane Gillis, a school community worker at Christ Church Clifton, who is working with local schools to provide spiritual development opportunities.
Gillis’ work is one of many religious projects aimed at young people that the Church Commissioners helps to fund. It contributes more than £40m annually in the form of grants to dioceses, used mainly for clergy stipends, plus grants towards the Church Urban Fund and the Archbishops’ Council’s youth evangelism fund, for projects to enable young people to share their faith with peers as well as projects with a local focus.
In total, the Commissioners contribute 15p in the pound to the cost of running the Church of England, with the rest coming from parishioners.
The body's main role is supporting the Church of England by managing its investment portfolio – valued at £6.1bn last year, and it can trace its history back to “Queen Anne's Bounty” of 1704, set up to support poor clergy.
It manages investments within ethical guidelines: this means they do not make direct investments in companies if their revenues from defence, tobacco, gambling, high cost lending, pornography and human embryonic cloning exceed thresholds specified by the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group.
“I pray that as the Commissioners continue to support the ministry and mission of the Church to the nation by providing financial support, we will see continued growth and new areas of opportunity,” says Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
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