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Church Greed

October 17, 2009

It’s Saturday… a busy day. The “in law’s” and sister-in-law and her partner came to visit today. After a nice long lie in we got up and were busy straight away..tidying up, walking the bitch, cleaning and shopping before they arrived around 13.00. We had a nice leisurely lunch, chatted away and the mother-in-law Mientje then couldn’t stop herself and started cleaning windows in the new house ! So Rich and the father-in-law Theo put up the lights in the garden (that have been sitting in a box for 5 weeks !) and then we went into Utrecht for a bit of retail therapy …on needed things like new quilt covers, basket for towels and some extra glasses and stuff. Then back home and made a killer lasagne in the new combi-steam oven and I must say myself I did good !!!

Now the “in laws’ have left for a 2 hour drive back down to the south of the Netherlands I thought I’d write todays’ entry. While we were in town I happened to see the catholic (spit!) Bishop of Utrecht drive by in his huge car… and it got me to thinking…Churches and money.

Yesterday I got this link from my twitter mate Lawrence. This coupled with seeing the Bishop in “it’s” finery led me to doing some research.

All Churches go on about the good they do, the charitable things they do and how they don’t do it for the money…so I thought I’d look at the Church of England’s accounts. In the UK the Church’s finance are run/organised/mismanaged by the Church Commissioners whose website (here) shows the annual accounts that they have to provide by law. I being the sad bastard ex-accountant (I’m fully recovered now and have a personality and have stopped dressing in gray) decided to peruse these financial statements….

  • First of all the Church of England is sitting on a nice asset pile worth..wait for it £4.36 BILLION
  • Even worse these wonderful commissioner managed to lose £1.30 billion of this value from the year before…yes they lost asset value through the market or mismanagement (or both) amounting to £3.56 MILLION per day….or  £146000 per hour every hour in 2008 !!
  • They paid out pensions to old retired doddery priests of £56 million in 2008 (39% of expenditure)
  • They paid out £42 million to run all the parishes and pay the existing priests in the UK (30% of expenditure)
  • They paid out a stipend (salary) to all of the 44 Bishops in the UK of around £116,000 some £5.1 million (5% of expenditure)
  • They paid out another £23.3 million in expenses for the Bishops on average £530,000 per Bishop !! (16% of expenditure)
  • They ONLY paid out £7.3 million to upkeep the Churches and Cathedrals in the UK ( a measly 5% of expenditure)
  • There were various other running expenses etc totaling £7.3 million for the Commissioners themselves and pension provisions (another 5% of expenditure)
  • In Total the Church of England spent £148.1 million

OK..now a bit of analysis. The Church of England gave NOTHING to any other charity or charitable institution. They may have been Church run charitable stuff that came from the £42 million Parish Support which is only 30% of it’s expenditure. So for every pound the Church “earned” (well they don’t really work do they!!) it gave 30p back to it’s parishes to do charitable works (including all the priests salaries etc) , 40p went to pay retired priests, 21p went to the Bishops and they entourages, 5p went towards the upkeep of their buildings (OK now I’ll admit one thing there are some beautiful churches and cathedrals in the UK that are great for taking photos in !!!) and the rest went to running the assets empire.

Now strangely there was no mention of the money’s received every week in the begging bowl that is sent round every Church, no mention of chartable donations to help medical research, plenty of fat cat consultancy and management fees (off the main expenditures off course), no mention of helping the starving in Africa, no mention of sending mosquito nets to help malaria, no mention of helping recovery from natural disasters, no mention of anti Aids drugs sent to South Africa, no mention of what the parish spending entailed (well 100k for trying to recruit kids into evangelical churches a small fry 0.6% of expenditure ) – so what are we left with ? What does the Church actually do ??

  1. Not much..it just seems to be there managing it’s assets
  2. It doesn’t do many “good works” or doesn’t publicise them in it’s accounts
  3. It pays out a staggering 1/5 of it’s income to keep it’s Bishops in the manner that they are accustomed (you know robes, rings, silver, limousines that type of thing)
  4. It mismanages all of it’s assets and loses 1/5 of their value in 1 year …mmmm well done !
  5. It spends a staggeringly low amount of 5% of it’s expenditure on upkeep of their main visible assets…oh yes forget they plead poverty and beg people to pay for their roof repairs whilst spending a fortune on it’s bishops..
  6. You can only assume that the main reason for the Church is just to keep the status quo and have a small team of people (mis)managing it’s huge investments.
  7. The Church doesn’t care that it’s number are dwindling as they contribute nothing to it’s running (no income mentioned from parishioners)
  8. It spends a mere 0.6% on trying to “recruit” kids into the Church

Hopefully these facts will astound…and maybe relieve a lot of you out there… the figures show that the whole entity is a charade..and had made me even more glad that I am a moral (sometimes rabid 🙂 ) athesit who does his duty to his fellow man by actually donating to charity on a regular basis…unlike the CofE who states that that is it’s whole reason for existence..to do good for people.

More detailed accounts (if you’re interested) can be found here..

Now next I’d love to get my hands on the Vaticans accounts….the numbers always tell the truth ..no matter what the spin and whitewash !

You’re probably all asleep now anyway !!!!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lawrence permalink
    October 17, 2009 20:52

    I love that you’ve given the CoE a kinda sinister slant. It’s like finding out the nice old guy from down the street was in the SS. Very informative post though, kudos for the effort and time that went into researching it!

  2. October 17, 2009 20:59

    Well if you think about it an organisation get’s charitable status and tax exemption for doing something charitable….the church spends less than 30% of it’s income and expenditure on anything that could be classed as charitable ? I think you’ll find that that is against the law…..time for a letter to the Charity Commission 🙂

    • Lawrence permalink
      October 17, 2009 21:05

      Haha I love it! Quintessential Englishman’s response: “I’ll write a letter!” Genius. You should go for it!

  3. October 17, 2009 21:37

    It goes with the superior genes as well 🙂

  4. October 17, 2009 22:33

    Great post. I’d love to get my hands on the Vatican accounts, as well. Props for being an active atheist voice. There aren’t as many as there should be, considering the rank idiocy of theism. Education is needed to end this idiocy, and courageous voices who aren’t afraid to take a stand.

  5. October 18, 2009 14:42

    Thanks for the comments and the compliments theadividual !!!

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