Allchurches Trust

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Allchurches Trust Limited
Allchurches Trust logo.jpg
FounderChurch of England
TypeCharitable Trust
Registration no.263960
Focus"To promote the Christian faith and to contribute to the funds of any charitable institutions and to carry out any charitable purpose".
  • Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ
Area served
UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia
Key people
Sir Philip Mawer (Chair)
SubsidiariesEcclesiastical Insurance, EdenTree Investment
£50million (2014-2016)

Allchurches Trust is a large national charity in the United Kingdom, established in 1972. It is headquartered in Gloucester. It is an independent registered charity. Its objects are to promote the Christian faith and to contribute to the funds of any charitable institutions and to carry out any charitable purpose.[1] Initially, most of its grants were for the repair and maintenance of church buildings. Now it also supports projects that more widely benefit local communities and reflect changes in society.


Allchurches Trust was set up to act as the beneficial owner of the insurance company Ecclesiastical Insurance. It was founded by the Church of England and signatories included the then Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of York Donald Coggan, the Dean of St Paul's Martin Sullivan, the Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England Sir John Guillum Scott and others.[2] Allchurches continues to maintain close affiliation to the Church of England, its main beneficiary, and one of its stated funding policies is to provide Dioceses and Cathedrals with block grants to help in their ongoing running. Its current trustees include The Venerable Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester, and Very Revd Jane Hedges, Dean of Norwich.[3]


The charity is governed by a board of trustees who set its strategic direction and ensure it meets its goals and objectives. The current chair of the trustees is Sir Philip Mawer, former Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and former Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England.


It does not fundraise; it derives its funds solely from the business it owns, Ecclesiastical Insurance and the subsidiary EdenTree Investment, which passes on to Allchurches Trust a significant proportion of profits. In 2015 Allchurches Trust received £23m from Ecclesiastical Insurance enabling Allchurches Trust to give £11.7m in grants to the Church of England dioceses, other Anglican denominations and other charitable projects.

A 2016 Thanksgiving service in Gloucester Cathedral marked the donation within three years of £50million to Allchurches from Ecclesiastical Insurance and its subsidiary. A personal message of thanks from Archbishop Justin Welby was read out by Bishop Nigel Stock, the Bishop at Lambeth and chair of Allchurches Trust at the time. Ecclesiastical Insurance has set itself a new target of providing £100million for Allchurches by 2020.[4][5][6]


In 2017, survivors of church abuse criticised the nexus of corporate ties between Allchurches Trust, Ecclesiastical Insurance, and the Church of England. Ecclesiastical was founded in 1887 by the Church of England to conserve the profits of the insurer for itself. Since the 1970s, its profits have been paid to Allchurches Trust, which makes substantial block grants to dioceses and cathedrals in addition to grants to many parishes.[7] The nexus has been accused of resisting and restricting financial settlements because it is too closely affiliated with the Church itself. Research carried out in Companies House revealed the extent of these grants.[8] It has been estimated that between 2014-2020 the Church of England will receive in the region of £100 million via Allchurches Trust. The search for information on Companies House also revealed that in addition to the senior church figures who have been trustees of Allchurches Trust, numerous bishops and cathedral deans have been directors on the board of Ecclesiastical itself.[9] In July 2017, a BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme commented that the insurer "has had a string of senior members of clergy on its board of directors."

Keith Porteous Wood, chair of the National Secular Society, commented in an article

They sit in a non-executive capacity despite being experts neither on insurance nor, as far as we are aware, on any other corporate area. The question is: why are they there and what effect does their presence have on payouts to abuse victims? EIG (Ecclesiastical) failed in the TV programme to justify the CofE clerics' presence on its board. It claimed it was "normal business practice because the Church of England was one of its major customers". This ruse fails closer examination. It is not normal practice for companies to invite representatives of major customers (perhaps in competition with each other) onto their boards, if for no other reason than that those so invited would become privy to commercial secrets and sensitive intelligence that could then be used to the detriment of the supplier or competitor. Clearly there has to be another reason. Let us not forget the massive grant; the Church of England certainly has a vested interest – the smaller the abuse settlements are, the greater the grant they will receive.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charity Commission. Allchurches Trust Limited, registered charity no. 263960.
  2. ^ "Incorporation". Companies House. p. 6. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  3. ^ "The board of trustees". AllChurches Trust. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  4. ^ "CSR Video Production - Financial Services Sector". Youtube. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Celebrating Ecclesiastical's £50 million donation milestone". Quadra Claims. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  6. ^ "£50m Ecclesiastical donation to charities to double". South West Business. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  7. ^ Tim, Wyatt (28 July 2017). "Abuse survivors tell C of E: Insurer Ecclesiastical must lose say". Church Times. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Sea of Complicity - Reflections of CofE Abuse Survivor". Sea of Complicity. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Church of England 'withdrew emotional support for abused'". BBC News. 21 July 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  10. ^ Porteous Wood, Keith. "Church of England's links with insurer undermines justice for survivors of clergy abuse". National Secular Society. Retrieved 20 January 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • National Churches Trust list of major grant funders [1]
  • Income from Ecclesiastical Insurance Group in 2015 [2]