The third in my series of Diocese wealth rankings, 2017 being found here. As I now have multiple years of figures the trends are becoming as interesting as the yearly figures, so I’ll refer to these quite often.
The only change in the top ten was Southwark leaping over Chichester. While both suffered asset drops Chichester’s was steeper.
Overall all Diocese shared an increase of just £34.5m, to £4,995,857 so just below the £5bn marker. A much lower increase though from 2017, which highlights some issues this year.
A similar list to last year, but with Southwark beating Oxford and Chichester pushing over Lichfield. London had a one-off boost last year so drop back to a lower level, but still maintain first place.
Overall income was £558,356,005 which was a drop in income of £8m over 2017.
2018 Parish Share
This is the pseudo-voluntary payment from parishes and deaneries to support the diocese and pay for priests. While a ‘suggested’ amount the Diocese maintains a monopoly on the provisions of vicars so miss your Share and you may not get a priest any more.
Anyway, only struggling Chichester dropped a place, but interestingly three of the top ten suffered falls in income from one last year.
From 2016 to 2017 there were thirteen Diocese who suffered an actual decline in Parish Share. From 2017 to 2018 there were seventeen who did so.
Is this the start of a worrying trend? Overall the Diocese’ brought in £340,408,203 in Parish Share which was a decrease of £1,438,797 from 2017.
Now if only they cut expenditure to match this drop…
No. Only one of the top ten cut expenditure in 2018, and seven over all. West Yorkshire cut back but Lincoln and Winchester entered the top ten with large increases.
Overall for 2018 the Dioceses spent an aggregate £559,495,314, an increase of £34,654,314 over 2017. Income down, Parish Share down, expenditure up. Did Investment Income cover the gap?
2018 Investment Income
No. I didn’t show these figures last year but the change was so significant I have done sothis time.
Financial markets were not good to the church in 2018 and many Diocese showed Net Investment losses rather than gains.
Overall all Diocese combined managed a paltry return of £1,155,242 which is a DROP on 2017 of £123,349,758. In 2018 the markets couldn’t cover the poor operating performance.
2018 Net Income
So to Net Income. Many Diocese did still manage to achieve a positive outcome with Worcester and Portsmouth leaping straight into the chart in first and second. Guildford once again despite their pleas of poverty managed to make a good surplus, jumping seven places to third.
Overall though the signs are not good. Overall Net losses of £1,588,211 show that regular income is not meeting Diocese costs in 2018.
Across all Diocese in 2018 the figures were:
Total Asset= £4,995,688,857
Total Income = £558,356,005
But the key figures in 2018 were the collapse of investment income and the continuing problems with Parish Share. More than 40% of Diocese suffered a drop in Parish Share while overall still continuing to spend at increasing levels. If the trend continues then that steady asset base will come under increasing strain.
As always, if anyone wants the full spreadsheet just let me know.