2017 Church of England Diocese ranked by wealth

[New figures available for 2018]

Last year I compiled together and ranked the financial performance of all the 42 Church of England diocese in 2016 and put the numbers up here. The article remains one of my more popular ones so here’s the numbers updated for 2017, the current most up to date figures as published on the Charity Commission web site.

This year I haven’t listed the cathedral funding figures, they haven’t changed much and stay at a pitiful level, so lets move straight on.

2017 Assets

London and Oxford traded places again this year with London now on top however interesting changes happened lower down. Chelmsford and Chichester moved up strongly with Chichester especially showing a huge gain of £30m. West Yorkshire and Lincoln held their places but with lower numbers and Norwich was pushed out of the top ten after only gaining £8m.

Diocese Assets 2017

Only two of the diocese actually registered an overall decline in asset value, so the trend is still very much upwards.

Total 2017 = £4,961,171,000

Total 2016 = £4,741,086,126

Increase = £220,084,874

2017 Income

A mixed bunch this year with an eye popping improvement from London at £22m up while four of the top ten registered income declines. Exeter entered the top ten while Guildford (after their planning permission travails) dropped to 14th.

Diocese 2017 Income

In total £566,345,000 was brought in, an increase of £23,866,890 over 2016.

2017 Parish Share

Parish Share (or whatever they want to variously call it) is the amount paid by PCCs to their respective Diocese. It’s an entirely voluntary payment but the ‘suggested amount’ is set each year by the diocese and shortfalls are added on to later requests, so closer to a tax than a donation. Each year the request is increased to match rising diocese costs and aspirations but with falling church attendance rates how is this income fairing?

2017 Parish Share

At first glance it’s not bad. Only one of the top ten has received less than in 2016 but the struggle can be seen further down with fully thirteen diocese faiing to maintain levels of giving equal to 2016.

2017 Parish Share by largest decrease

So overall giving was up by (only) £7,505,000 at £341,847,000.

Is the strain of requesting more and more money from fewer and fewer parishioners starting to tell?

2017 Expenditure

So how has expenditure been going? Are the Diocese trimming costs or continuing to splurge?

Overall they are continuing to spend big. Only the 14th largest spender has reduced costs in 2017. Only ten reduced spending, thirty two increased, with the top spender list not varying greatly from 2016.

Total spending was £524,841,000, an increase overall of £18,208,067

2017 Net Income

Net Income is hard to measure accurately as the different diocese treat investment gains differently when reporting total funds. Investment gains seem usually to be included in Net Gains but Unrealised Gains and Revaluations of assets are not, they are just added to the balance sheet. I’ve tried to manage these figures to show who is being careful and/or lucky with property holdings.

2017 Net investment gains

Some surprising names appear here, with Hereford featuring for the first time and Ely likewise. I’m assuming these numbers are due to land revaluations but the figures don’t get split out to that degree. So on to Net Income.

2017 Net Income

London lead the way as usual through that Parish Share increase, but Ely, Norwich, Winchester and Rochester all do well through cost control and those investment gains.

Overall the church has done well, boosting profits (ok ok) Net Income by £55,190,165 to £144,282,000.


So to conclude, across all Diocese for 2017 the figures are:

Total Assets = £4,961,171,000

Asset increase in one year = £220,084,874

Income = £566,345,000

Income increase in one year = £23,866,890

The only cautious note would be on Parish Share, is the pressure starting to tell? The 2018 figures should be out soon, that’ll tell us if this is a blip or the start of a trend.

As always, if anyone wants the full spreadsheet just let me know.

Father, husband, work in technology, dabble in secularism.