Church Commissioners fund established after slavery links revealed
17 March 2023
You may have read in the media about the Church Commissioners announcement of a £100m fund in response to a report revealing historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery.
We want to clarify where the funds are from, and how it is being allocated.
The £100m is not new money or taken from your donations via parish share. It will come from the endowment fund that the Church Commissioners already manage to support the mission and ministry of the Church. It will not impact the Church Commissioners’ commitment to spend £1.2 billion to support and develop the Church’s ministry in the current three-year period, which is up 30% over the previous three years, nor will it impact the Church Commissioners’ plans to maintain that spending level in the subsequent six years. This funding supports ministry in various communities in the Diocese, including in both urban and rural parishes through the allocation of Low-Income Communities Funding which reduces the parish share ‘ask’.
The Rt Revd Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich recently visited a former slave castle at Cape Coast in Ghana. He shared his experience in an article for the Church Times and you can read the full article here. Bishop Graham is also a Church Commissioner.
Speaking of the fund he said:
“As a Church Commissioner, I have been involved with this decision. As with many historic institutions, the Church Commissioners wanted to better understand their past. To do this they engaged forensic accountants to look at their historic records. These revealed investments, at the time of the Queen Anne Bounty, in the South Seas Company (trading in slaves) and the receipt of donations from well-known slave traders.“
The Church Commissioners are working to set up an oversight group during 2023 with significant membership from communities impacted by historic slavery. This group will work with the Church Commissioners on shaping and delivering how they decide to invest the £100m.
If you have any questions, please email Georgia Boon, Director of Planning and Engagement for the Church Commissioners.