Skip to main content

Religious Buildings: Disadvantaged

Question for Church Commissioners

UIN 128941, tabled on 14 December 2020

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to places of worship in areas of high deprivation; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

8 January 2021

While the primary responsibility for decisions on resourcing mission and ministry rests with the dioceses, the Church Commissioners have provided an extra resource to dioceses (distributed by The Archbishops’ Council) to support mission and ministry in deprived communities in the form of Lowest Income Communities Funding. Across England, £82.1m has been allocated by the Commissioners for this purpose in 2020-22. Recipient dioceses are required to report on their use of this funding to The Archbishops’ Council each year. The Diocese of Lichfield, which covers Walsall South, will receive over £1.7m of this funding in 2021. In 2019, the diocese allocated some £200,000 of this to support ministry and mission in parishes in Walsall.

The dioceses can also apply for Strategic Development Funding (SDF) for significant projects which support their mission and financial strength, in line with their own strategies. The criteria for this funding seeks to focus on areas of deprivation, and on work with children and young people and within large urban areas. In 2019, £1.7million was awarded to Lichfield Diocese to fund a project to enhance mission and ministry in Telford, which includes some of the diocese’s most deprived areas.

A further £35m Sustainability Funding has also been made available to help diocese whose income has been reduced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding is focused on those dioceses with fewer historic assets and whose populations have lower average incomes. Grants worth £15m were made to 24 dioceses in 2020.

Answered by

Church Commissioners
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.