The Church of England – “the CofE” - is the biggest charitable organisation in England.
It’s two and a half times bigger than Oxfam, twice the size of the National Trust, and four times the size of the Red Cross. 1.7 million people take part in a CofE service each month, a level that has been maintained since the turn of the millennium. For generations the CofE has represented both stability and change.
The CofE’s income is mostly spent in making sure there is a Christian presence in every community across England, although nearly £49 million was donated by churches to other charities. Regular and collection plate giving in churches, plus the tax recovered through Gift Aid, was £511 million. Total parish expenditure was £886 million.
Congregations are committed to supporting the parish church and community."
Dr John Preston, the CofE’s National Stewardship and Resources Officer, says: “Whilst figures for giving to the wider charity section showed a dip following the credit crunch, giving to parishes in 2009 saw a further increase, albeit a small one; a sign of the high level of commitment that so many have to supporting the mission and ministry of their local parish church. Gift Aid reclaimed on donations also reached a new high.”
In addition to money donated, churches contribute to society through volunteers who donate their time and contribute to well-being and economic activity.
Men and women want to serve the CofE and nation as clergy, lay leaders, officers and members. In total, 563 new clergy were ordained in 2010. In the same year a further 515 candidates were accepted to train as future clergy, with a 45% increase in those aged 20-29 (from 74 to 108). Of those, 284 were entering full-time paid ministry. At the end of 2010, there were some 29,000 licensed and authorised ministers, active across the 13,000 parishes and a growing variety of chaplaincies in the CofE - in local communities, hospitals, education, prisons and the armed forces.
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