Church Commissioners

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No. 1 Millbank, built for the Church Commissioners by W. D. Caroe (1903)

The Church Commissioners is a body managing the historic property assets of the Church of England. It was set up in 1948 combining the assets of Queen Anne's Bounty, a fund dating from 1704 for the relief of poor clergy, and of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners formed in 1836.

The Church Building Act 1818 granted money and established the Church Building Commission to build churches in the cities of the Industrial Revolution. These churches became known variously as Commissioners' churches, Waterloo churches or Million Act churches. The Church Building Commission became the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in 1836.

An earlier Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues Commission had been set up under the first brief administration of Sir Robert Peel in 1835 with a wide remit, "to consider the State of the Established Church in England and Wales, with reference to Ecclesiastical Duties and Revenues" (Minutes of the Commission, 9/2/1835); this body redistributed wealth between the dioceses and changed diocesan boundaries, and the permanent Ecclesiastical Commission was formed the following year.

The value of the commissioners' assets was around £5.5 billion as at the end of 2012.[1] By September 2016, it was valued at £7 billion.[2] Most of the income is used to pay clergy pensions.

The commissioners also oversee pastoral reorganisation, the consent of the commissioners being required for establishing or dissolving team and group ministries, uniting, creating, or dissolving benefices and parishes, and the closing of consecrated church buildings and graveyards.

The Church Commissioners are now based at Church House, Westminster, London, having long occupied No. 1 Millbank.[3] However, the Millbank building was sold in 2005 to the House of Lords for accommodation of members and staff; the commissioners completed the move to Church House in 2007.[4] They used to be an exempt charity under English law.[5]

The Secretary (and chief executive) of the Church Commissioners is Andrew Brown.[6]


The 33 commissioners are as follows:[7][8]

The Board of Governors is composed of all of the commissioners apart from the First Lord of the Treasury, the Lord President of the Council, the Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and the Lord Speaker.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Church Commissioners - The Church of England". 
  2. ^ "Sir Andreas Whittam Smith to step down from Church Commissioners". Media Centre. Church of England. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 21 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Details from image database (418227)". Images of England. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Church Commissioners complete sale of Millbank site". The Church of England. 29 March 2005. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "Exempt charities". GOV.UK. 
  6. ^ "About the Church Commissioners: Staff". Church of England. Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Church Commissioners Measure 1947". 
  8. ^ "About the Church Commissioners: Trustees". Church of England. Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 

External links[edit]