UNITED KINGDOM - £216m
The Church Commissioners main role is supporting the Church of England by managing its investment portfolio – valued at £6.7bn last year – and it can trace its history back to Queen Anne's Bounty of 1704, set up to support poor clergymen.
The Church Commissioners manage 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.
In total, the Commissioners contribute 15p in every pound it costs to run the Church of England, with the rest coming from parishioners.
Through the City Church Fund, the Church Commissioners also support six dioceses in and around London and all Church of England churches in the City of London, as well as local projects in these areas.
The Refugee and Migrant Project (RAMP), for instance, works in the London Borough of Newham with refugees, offering advice, food and clothes to people in desperate need.
Using monies from the City Church Fund, Chelmsford diocese supports RAMP’s ‘Food for a Penny’ scheme, which acts as a food bank, supplying fresh fruit and vegetables on a weekly basis, and as an emergency food and clothing store for asylum seeker and refugee families with no income.
Another project, Community Turf, also in Chelmsford diocese, focuses on adults and young people working together to find solutions to entrenched and dangerous behaviours.
Sixty adults have been trained to work with vulnerable students in three secondary schools, and 12 adults have been trained to work with young people who face social exclusion, grief and loss.
This work helps to address the cycle of risk-taking behaviours, shame and violence, and the hopelessness that many community members face at any age.