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Why is the Church of England worth so much and how does it make money?

Why is the Church of England worth so much and how does it make money?

By Jasmine Andersson
September 18. 2018

The Church of England has hit the headlines after it offered to buy off the £400m loan book of collapsing pay-day loan firm Wonga.

However, just the week before, it announced it would not be severing ties with Amazon and has been found to offer zero-hours contracts in some of its establishments, leading people to question the church's choices as an investor and employer.

But where has the Church's money come from, and how does it tend to invest it? How much money does the Church of England have and where did all the money come from? The Church's property portfolio and investments are immense.

It is sitting on a combination of ancient endowments and investments worth £8.3bn, which last year alone increased by £400m. As i has previously reported, these earnings are enough to make the CofE by far the UK's biggest charity, with an income more than three times that of Oxfam.

. The Corporation of Church House has £27m, the Archbishop's Council is worth £49m, the Church Commissioners has £6.7m, and the Church of England Pensions Board is worth £1.2m reported secularism.org. The Church's wealth started out in property. It owns 16,000 churches and 42 cathedrals, and many are Grade 1 listed -- though they do come with huge maintenance bills.

The Church owns a string of property, including Hyde Park Estate in London and and 105,000 acres of land across England and Wales.

It purchased 17,000 acres of forestry in Scotland and Wales, and 765 acres of land in Kent last year, reported The Independent.

It also owns 10% interest and associated land in the MetroCentre in Gateshead. It has also made £57m in financial collections from parishioners.

Is there some controversy over its funds? Like many businesses, the church has ran into issues over where it uses its funds, and has been asked to practice what it preaches.

Justin Welby may have described zero-hours contracts as "the reincarnation of an ancient evil", but it later emerged that the problem is closer to home.

Although Welby said that "when vast companies like Amazon and other online traders, the new industries, can get away with paying almost nothing in tax, there is something wrong with the tax system", two Church of England cathedrals have also been seen advertising zero hours contract roles.

However, its largest investment is in UK treasury bonds worth £459 million.

The Church, however, has said that its advice on zero-hours contracts was issued in 2013, and "does not reflect [its] current thinking".

"As a responsible employer, the Church of England is now reviewing its working practices," it added.

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