GS 2255XX - Diocesan Stipends Funds Amendment

June 23, 2022

GS 2255XX

GENERAL SYNOD

DRAFT DIOCESAN STIPENDS FUNDS (AMENDMENT) MEASURE

Explanatory Notes

The draft Diocesan Stipends Funds (Amendment) Measure makes provision to remove

the geographical restriction on the application of moneys standing to the credit of the

income account of a diocesan stipends fund.

Background

1. On 16 November 2021 the General Synod considered the paper Generosity and

Diocesan Finances (GS 2234). That paper sets out a brief history of financial

endowment in the Church of England, which has led to the present situation, which

is a considerable disparity of wealth between dioceses. The following motion was

carried:

“That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council to develop legislative

proposals, to be brought to a future Group of Sessions, to give dioceses

more freedom to be generous with their historic wealth to other dioceses in

the Church of England, and in this way enable a more equitable sharing of

this wealth.”

2. The purpose of the Measure is to give effect to that motion through the option

described in paragraph 21 of GS 2234, by removing the geographical restriction on

the application of moneys standing to the credit of the income account of a diocesan

stipends fund (“DSF”) in section 5(1)(a) of the Diocesan Funds Measure 1953 (“the

1953 Measure”), allowing Dioceses to give money from their DSF income account

to the DSF income account of another Diocese.

3. The Business Committee having determined that it would be appropriate for this

Measure to be deemed to have its first consideration under Standing Order 51A, the

Clerk laid a draft of this Measure before Synod on 23 March 2022, by publishing the

draft Measure and an explanatory note (GS 2055X) on the Synod website, and

sending a copy of them to each member. That note explained that if, no later than

5.30pm on 27 April 2022, at least 25 members gave notice to the Clerk that they wish the draft Measure to be debated, then the Business Committee would lay

notice to that effect before Synod, and arrange for first consideration of the Measure

to take place at a group of sessions. 29 members gave notice by the due date, and

accordingly the Business Committee has laid notice to that effect and arranged for

first consideration of the Measure to take place at the group of sessions in July

2022.

Procedural stages

4. Standing Order 48(1) provides for Measures and Canons to be considered by the

General Synod on the following successive stages:

First Consideration (see SOs 51 and 52)

• Revision Committee (see SOs 54 to 57)

• Revision (see SOs 53 and 58 to 60)

• Final Drafting (see SO 61)

• Final Approval (see SO 64).

5. The draft Measure is being considered by the General Synod at the July 2022

group of sessions on the First Consideration Stage.

6. The next stage will be the Revision Committee Stage. Members who wish to send

proposals for amendment for consideration by the Revision Committee must do so

in writing to revisioncommittee@churchofengland.org not later than 5.30 p.m. on

Friday 9th September 2022.

7. The Measure is expected to return to the Synod for the Revision Stage in February

2023, with the Final Drafting and Final Approval Stages being taken in July 2023.

The Measure

8. The Measure removes the geographical restriction on the application of DSF funds.

It is purely permissive; there will be no obligation to use the power to give to the

DSF of another diocese. In considering whether to use the power, a diocesan board

of finance (“DBF”) will need to have regard to its own charitable objects and

obligations under general charity law.

9. The Measure gives two ways for a DBF to make a payment. The first is a direct gift,

i.e. the giving DBF identifies one or more recipient dioceses, and gives some of its

DSF income to them. But that may be uncomfortable, as it means the giving DBF

has to make the decision about which of several dioceses who are genuinely in

need should receive what may be a relatively small gift. So the second option is for

the giving DBF to give the funds to a Church charity which is willing to act as

administrator of the funds in order to pass onto one or more recipient dioceses. The

most likely candidate to act as administrator is the Archbishops’ Council, as due to its other work at the national level, including the award and distribution of grants to

dioceses from funds made available to it by the Church Commissioners, it is well

placed to identify the most needy recipients. However, other charities may also fulfil

this role. Any charity which does accept this role will need to be sure that to do so is

within its own charitable purposes.

10.The administrating charity will be able to decide, based on criteria that it will be free

to formulate, which diocese(s) should receive the funds. It is expected that the

administrating charity will manage the reporting back of the allocation and end use

of the funds for the giving DBF. The funds would be transferred

first from the giving DBF to the administrator, and then from the administrator to the

DSF income account of the recipient diocese, so that its DBF can use the funds for

any of the purposes set out in section 5(1), with the provisions of sections 5(2)–(4)

applying in the usual way.

Notes on the clauses of the Measure

Clause 1 – Distribution of income to other dioceses

9. Clause 1 is the principal provision of the Measure and inserts a new section 5B into

the 1953 Measure.

10.The new section 5B(1) sets out when the clause applies, namely when there is

money standing to the credit of the income account of the diocesan stipends fund of

a diocese, which the DBF is satisfied does not need to be applied for a purpose

specified in the existing section 5(1) of the 1953 Measure. Those purposes are:

a. Providing or augmenting the stipends or other emoluments of incumbents,

assistant curates licensed under seal and other persons who are declared by

the bishop to be engaged in the cure of souls within the diocese;

b. Meeting expenses incurred in repairing and maintaining parsonage houses;

c. Paying secondary Class 1 contributions under section 6 of the Social

Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 in respect of ministers of the

Church of England who are not employed under a contract of service; and

d. Defraying the expenses incurred by the sequestrators of any benefice in the

diocese in the discharge of their functions.

11.The section is permissive rather than mandatory; such money may be applied in

accordance with the section. The effect is to add to the existing purposes for which

the money can be used as set out in the list in section 5(1) of the 1953 Measure.

12.The new section 5B(2) sets out the two options which a DBF has, either to transfer

the money to the income account of the DSF of another diocese, or to an account

held for the purposes of this section by a charity. For the avoidance of doubt, it is provided that such a charity may be one established before or after the passing of

this Measure.

13.The new section 5B(3) requires the charity to which the money is transferred to

decide which diocese or dioceses to make the transfer to, and then make the

transfer or transfers.

Clause 2 – Short title, commencement and extent

14.Clause 2(1) provides for the short title of the Measure.

15.Clause 2(2) provides for the Measure to come into force on the day on which it is

passed (ie the day on which it receives Royal Assent).

16.Clause 2(3) provides for the extent of the Measure.

Amended text of the Diocesan Stipends Fund Measure 1953

17.For convenience, the annex contains the full text of the Diocesan Stipends Fund

Measure 1953 as it will appear if the changes proposed in this draft Measure are

brought into effect. The new text to be inserted is s. 5B, in bold type.

The Legal Office

Church House

Westminster

June 2022

View Paper