The business of belief | stockbee

6/20/2007

The business of belief

Timesonline has a nice series about the financial side of UK churches. Like many other businesses, the Churches are facing financial trouble due to rising cost. Pension and maintenance of heritage buildings is big cost for Churches.

A £1 billion turnover? A pension problem? In the first of a series on the business of religion, our correspondent looks at the Church of England


Sometimes a life of virtue does not pay. Years of abstemiousness among its members means that the Church of England’s defined-benefit pension scheme is suffering the same problem as all others, but magnified: its members live even longer than the rest of us.

Shaun Farrell, the secretary of the Church’s pensions board, says: “The clergy is actuarially assessed as living two years longer than the rest of the population. It’s the virtuous lives they lead.”

Ageing ministers are not the Church’s only problem. Old buildings are also a drain on finances. With 45 per cent of the UK’s Grade I listed buildings under its care, the Church faces huge annual bills for their upkeep.

The series has been running for few days and it is pretty interesting perspective on business side of religion. The Churches have so many prime properties as assets, but due to nature of their business they cannot really en cash that opportunity.

No comments: