Talk:Allchurches Trust

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I would like to correct an error on this page. It states that Allchurches Trust is affiliated to the Church of England. It is not. It is a charity in its own right and is not affiliated to any of the churches or charities it supports. I don't know how to prove this as it is a fact. There was no evidence that the previous incorrect statement was right but it was included. Its charitable objects are stated in its entry at The Charities Commission and there is no mention there of any affiliation with any church or charity. I hope you might consider that a suitable source of proof. Joanna Biddolph (talk) 04:00, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Easiest way to determine whether it is affiliated to Church of England is to identify if it has had CoE bishops, senior clerics, senior lay officers on its board of trustees? Both past and present. I believe it has long had all three in abundance. There seems to be much reference online to Ecclesiastical, insurer group it owns, as being affiliated to the Church of England, so it would appear the trustee 'owner' is too. Morally affiliated certainly owing to direct access to House of Bishops in the past. At the time of the Elliot safeguarding review one of the All Churches trustees was Bishop Nigel Stock, senior aide to Archbishop Welby at Lambeth Palace. As both the involvement of EIG and Lambeth Palace was cited in this case I have added reference to this on the page. Joelionheart (talk) 01:25, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

I've done some research which might help. Looking at this site Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Public Limited Company there has been a procession of very senior Church of England figures on board of Ecclesiastical EIG itself - which Allchurches Trust owns. I'll list them with church positions held during their EIG directorships so it's easier to see link between Church of England and insurer. During two periods - early 1990's and 2000's - there were 3 senior clerics on the board at same time. I gather AllChurches Trust and Ecclesiastical and the Church of England maintains visual appearance of total seperation by using their legal and corporate status as an argument. But the moral situation appears somewhat different. The direct link in terms of spheres of influence, patronage, shared mutual interest, direct access to House of Bishops, etc seems clear. So perhaps it might be true to say: legally seperate but morally affiliated?

Very Reverend John Simpson OBE Dean of Canterbury Jun 1992 – Jun 2000. 8 years

The Rt Rev Donald Snelgrove Bishop of Hull Jun 1992 – Jun 1994 2 years (AllCHuches Trust Oct 1992 – Dec 2005. 13 years)

The Very Reverend Thomas Evans KCVO Dean Of St Pauls Cathedral June 1992 – Aug 1996 4 years (AllChurches Trust Oct 1992 – Aug 1996. 4 years)

The Ven Reginald Brian Harris Archdeacon of Manchester Jul 1993 – Dec 1998. 5 years

The Very Reverend Nicholas Guy Coulton Dean of Newcastle Nov 1997 – Mar 2005. 7 years

The Right Reverend Nicholas Baines Bishop of Croydon Jun 2002 – Jun 2010. 8 years

The Rt Rev Dr Nigel Peyton Archdeacon of Newark and then Bishop of Brechin Nov 2005 – Jun 2012. 6 years

Sir Philip Mawer Secretary General of General Synod of the Church of England Feb 2008 – Feb 2013. 5 years (AllChurches Trust Jun 2010 – current. 6 years)

The Very Reverend Christine Wilson Archdeacon of Chesterfield now Dean of Lincoln Jun 2012 – current. 4 years

Joelionheart (talk) 01:33, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

There is no evidence to prove that Allchurches is affiliated to the Church of England because it is not affiliated to the Church of England. It is independent of the Church of England and all the other Christian churches and charities, and other organisations, to which it gives grants, as is clear from its charitable objects which are listed at The Charity Commission and from its articles of association. Of course, it has had and continues to have on its board of trustees people who are prominent in the Church of England; it is a Christian charity. Not to have trustees who are Christians would seem extremely odd – indeed, it would open to question its ability to fulfil its aims. Similarly, it would be wrong not to have trustees who are prominent in professions and business so they can bring skills that help Allchurches Trust make good judgements about the Christian churches, projects and charities it supports.

This contributor’s argument is selective, highlighting aspects that help his argument while ignoring those that do not. The contributor has omitted the vast amount of professional business experience in a range of sectors – nothing to do with their Christian faith – that the trustees bring to the Allchurches Trust boardroom.

The contributor has muddled Allchurches Trust with Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG) and lists directors of EIG who have nothing to do with Allchurches Trust. Of the nine listed by the contributor, only three have been trustees of Allchurches Trust. Those incorrectly listed are: Very Reverend John Simpson OBE, The Ven Reginald Brian Harris, The Very Reverend Nicholas Guy Coulton, The Right Reverend Nicholas Baines, The Rt Rev Dr Nigel Peyton and The Very Reverend Christine Wilson. Including them in this list gives a wholly inaccurate impression of Allchurches Trust.

The contributor also fails to note that there have been 30 trustees since Allchurches Trust was established in 1972. Of the current eight trustees of Allchurches Trust, five have no formal connection with the Church of England. All eight bring exceptional professional experience that has nothing to do with faith or the Church of England, as is clear from their biographies on the Allchurches website. [1]

The contributor’s assertions are inaccurate and damaging. We continue to ask that the wholly inaccurate statement asserting that Allchurches Trust is affiliated to the Church of England should be deleted. It is not true.

On the Elliott Review and safeguarding controversy paragraph, the contributor has made an incorrect link between Allchurches Trust and the Elliott Review. Allchurches Trust is not implicated in the Elliott Review and is not aware of any public criticism as a result of the Elliott Review. This is another damaging assertion which we would like to delete because of its extreme inaccuracy and lack of relevance on this page.

We would also like to delete references four to eight inclusive as they have nothing to do with Allchurches Trust.

Joanna Biddolph (talk) 21:45, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Reply to problems[edit]

My views on claims by Joanna Biddolph: Point 1. Relations to CofE. - Depends on whether one thinks that "affiliated to the Church of England" is or is not a synonym for "closely allied to the interests of...". Perhaps some more neutral wording can be found. Point 2. Relevance of content about Elliott Review - appears to me that content relates only to Church of England and/or Ecclesiastical Insurance to where it should be moved. Unless it can be shown that it relates to policy or activity of Allchurches Trust itself. --Mervyn (talk) 09:53, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

Responding to Reply to problems[edit]

Thanks, Mervyn, for replying. My comments are: Point 1. The wording we usually use is "Allchurches Trust is independent of all the churches and charities to which it gives grants." We usually amplify that by including a list of the Christian churches that have had grants from Allchurches Trust; they include, among others, the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales, the Church of Ireland, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Society of Friends. Wikipedia considered the wording too close to information on the Allchurches website and replaced it with the original wording which isn't correct. I also included links to the Wikipedia pages for those Christian churches. If it isn't possible to be that specific, would something like the following sentence meet the neutrality point? Perhaps by adding, in the second paragraph after "... charitable purposes.[1] ... As its name suggests, it makes grants to various Christian churches. It also supports projects such as hospices, schools and charities. It is independent of all the churches and charities it supports." On the word "affiliation", we believe the meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary is the one that most people expect: “(of a subsidiary group or a person) officially attached or connected to an organisation”. Allchurches Trust is not a subsidiary group or officially attached or connected to any church. It is an independent charity registered at the Charity Commission. It seeks to promote the Christian faith including through Christian churches which encompass many more denominations than the Church of England. We'd be really grateful if this fact could be made clear. Point 2. Is it for us to delete the paragraph and references or should we wait for Joelionheart to see the comment and make the changes? If the latter, how long should we wait? Joanna Biddolph (talk) 18:27, 25 January 2017 (UTC)

1. Have adjusted wording slightly for now. 2. Have removed content not related to subject. --Mervyn (talk) 10:01, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

Incorporation & Church of England Affiliation[edit]

Have added details of ATL's incorporation as it's historically significant that both Archbishops of the time (Canterbury and York) as well as the Synod's Secretary General signed the founding charter as founding members. Cited Companies House as reference. Have also qualified the line about the ammount received by Ecclesiastical in 2015 - with reference to where the money went. Cited ATL's own report as reference. I think affiliation between the Church of England and AllChurches should be included in this page, whilst at same time observing the undoubted legal seperation. It's quite possible for corporate bodies to be legally seperate but historically, culturally, and morally affiliated. Not sure why the editors are unhappy about this - as it seems to accurately reflect the state of things. Incidentally are any editors of this page employed by or paid by AllChurches Trust or Ecclesiastical at all? If so, should they declare themselves as 'interested parties'? I am not employed by them. But am interested in the corporate affairs of the Church of England, and its links through senior figures to both Allchurches and Ecclesiastical. Joelionheart (talk) 17:55, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

Gloucester Cathedral celebration of £50m target[edit]

Have added the historically significant 2016 Thanksgiving service in Gloucester Cathedral to mark the £50million milestone to Allchurches Trust in under three years. The occasion was marked by a personal message read out from Archbishop Welby. Have given a promotional film made for the occasion as main citation, plus several other web citations. Joelionheart (talk) 12:39, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

2 new links[edit]

Have added Ecclesiastical Insurance and EdenTree Investment to Links. As they are the corporate bodies that Allchurches Trust own, from research on the web, and these are the companies from which Allchurches derives all its income - would seem obvious that they are clearly identified as links. Joelionheart (talk) 15:55, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

EdenTree wiki page[edit]

Have created a new page for EdenTree - subsidiary component of Ecclesiastical - as it's a major part of the corporate group Joelionheart (talk) 06:40, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Cultural ties with CoE[edit]

Is "cultural ties with the Church of England" a neutral enough phrase? I've avoided using "affiliation" which understandably might imply a closer formal and corporate attachment. Also added the current chair - Sir Phillip Mawer - a significant figure in his own right with his own wiki entry. Joelionheart (talk) 09:20, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

Have added a helpful infobox. Now need to learn how to add a logo! Joelionheart (talk) 12:01, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

History section[edit]

New heading added. Does this page need to be upgraded from Start-Class in WikiProject Organizations ? It's beginning to provide more meaningful content, plus improvement in organisation. Joelionheart (talk) 09:15, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Comment on recent changes[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Joanna Biddolph (talkcontribs) 13:12, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

We would like to make changes to the page to make it representative of the facts. It is now overly selective and therefore unbalanced, giving undue emphasis to links with the Church of England for a charity which is independent of it and which gives to other Anglican denominations as well as charities not linked with any faith. It relies too heavily on the past which does not reflect its modern role in modern society and modern life. The information on Sir Philip Mawer is similarly selective and ignores other roles. Sentences have been moved which affects logic and clarity. There are references to, and descriptions, that are not relevant to Allchurches Trust. The following is what we suggest; I am raising the suggestions on this Talk page before making any changes to the page which I believe is what Wikipedia prefers; I am of course happy to make changes after hearing from you if that is easier for you.

First sentence/paragraph: We would like to move back information that has been moved to Joelionheart's new section Purpose; add to the charitable objects so they are complete; add the date it was founded. This would mean it would read: Allchurches Trust is a large national charity in the United Kingdom and was 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. 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.

If combining these two sections is not acceptable, we would like the new section Purpose to come second, not third, and to incorporate the changes to its purpose, for clarity.

History section: We would like to turn points round to remove undue nuance; clarify the link with the original signatories; remove the undue emphasis on ties with the Church of England (they are inevitable for a Christian charity); and move information about Sir Philip Mawer to a new section, see below. This means it would read: Allchurches Trust was set up to act as the beneficial owner of the insurance company Ecclesiastical Insurance [keep the link to the Wikipedia page on Ecclesiastical]. It was founded by individual members of the Church of England in personal capacities. Those first signatories included the then Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey [keep the link to the Wikipedia page on Michael Ramsey], the then Archbishop of York Donald Coggan [keep the link to the Wikipedia page on Donald Coggan], the then Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England Sir John Guillum Scott and others.

New section: Governance: Move information about Sir Philip Mawer from the History section to here; amend it to remove undue bias. This would mean it would read: Allchurches Trust 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 [keep the link to the Wikipedia page about him], former Parliamentary Standards Commissioner [add the link to the Wikipedia page on this], former Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England [keep the link to the Wikipedia page] and former senior civil servant who was Secretary to Lord Scarman's Inquiry [add link to the existing Wikipedia page on Lord Scarman] into the 1981 Brixton disturbances [add link to the existing Wikipedia page on the Brixton riots] which resulted in the Scarman Report [add link to the existing Wikipedia page on the Scarman Report]. And add new references below, linked to this paragraph: independently published biographies on Sir Philip from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3197908.stm and from the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5488601/Sir-Philip-Mawer-profile.html

Income section: Amend to remove undue bias; remove the sentence about how EIG is regulated as this is about EIG, not Allchurches Trust; correct the amount given in grants and the description; add the previous year's grant amount for comparison; add a collective amount to show breadth; remove the last paragraph as this is about Ecclesiastical Insurance, not Allchurches Trust. This would mean it would read: It does not fundraise; it receives its funds from the business it owns, Ecclesiastical Insurance [add a link to the Wikipedia page on Ecclesiastical] which passes on to Allchurches Trust a significant proportion of its profits. In 2015 Allchurches Trust received £23m from Ecclesiastical Insurance [keep the existing reference] enabling Allchurches Trust to give £11.7m in grants to the Church of England dioceses, other Anglican denominations and other charitable projects. The total charitable giving for 2014 was £9.7m. Between 1993 and 2016 Allchurches Trust donated £140.8m to good causes.

See Also section: Delete references that are not relevant, as they are part of Ecclesiastical Insurance not Allchurches Trust: Delete the current second and third references - Eden Tree Investment and Ansvar Insurance.

References: Remove references that relate only to Ecclesiastical Insurance; add the two references mentioned above. Delete reference 2 as it is given elsewhere on the page; Delete references 6, 7 and 8 as they are wholly about Ecclesiastical Insurance. Add: BBC biography on Sir Philip Mawer: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3197908.stm and Telegraph biography on Sir Philip Mawer: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5488601/Sir-Philip-Mawer-profile.html

Summary box on the right: Founder: Delete the reference or, if that is not appropriate, amend it so it reads: Individual members of the Church of England. Subsidiaries: Delete Eden Tree as it is a company with Ecclesiastical Insurance and not relevant here. Change the word "Subsidiaries" to "Subsidiary" for accuracy. Mission: This is taken from an annual report and is out of context here. We would like to delete it or change it to the charitable objects as stated at the Charity Commission "To promote the Christian faith and to contribute to the funds of any charitable institutions and to carry out any charitable purpose".

Contributors' User Pages: We note that Joelionheart does not seem to have a User Page on Wikipedia though he appears to have been commenting on and contributing to pages, including Allchurches Trust, since October 2016. We hope this will be rectified.

As mentioned above, we are happy to make changes, as agreed by you, to the page ourselves if that would be easier for you and/or more appropriate. I look forward to hearing from you.

Joanna Biddolph (talk) 13:11, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Reply to Comment on recent changes[edit]

Joelionheart (talk) 13:10, 28 April 2017 (UTC) Hi there Joanna Biddolph (talk) and thanks for reply. Hopefully mine will make sense.. use of bold is to make it easier to see which points I refer to. Hope that helps..

Not sure I get the thing about inevitability of connection to CoE as a christian charity. ATL hasn’t had ties to other Churches in the distinctive and consistent way it has with Church of England. ATL has grown out of and continues to maintain powerful Church of England affiliation/association/alignment/ties … not sure what word to use as you wish to avoid this for some reason. This association is understandable given that ATL took ownership of an insurer itself part of the Church of England for a century. Both are now legally separate - but that needs qualifying - which is what I’d attempted to do. ATL was set up by both archbishops plus central casting from Church of England. Affiliation is not an image you favour. But I think the article needs to accurately represent the close historical and cultural ties that AllChurches has had and continues to have with Church of England. To pretend that it doesn’t seems a fudge. Especially when annual reports & reviews on ATL’s website make a distinctive feature of the block grants to CoE diocese and cathedrals. [1][2]

Individual members in private capacity? You raise an interesting question. I’ve looked again at the signatories on the charter of Incorporation lodged at Companies House.[3] Both Archbishops sign themselves in Latinate Cantuar and Ebor and add archbishoprical titles - Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York. They identify themselves in formal and legal capacity as the two-most senior figures of the Church. Every other signatory is similarly identified in Church of England capacity: Dean of St Pauls; Archdeacon of Lincoln; First Church Estates Commissioner; Secretary General of General Synod of Church of England. Even the Chaplain to Archbishop of York signed himself in this way. So I don’t think a case can be made for “individuals in personal capacities”. Allchurches Trust was founded institutionally at highest level by the Church of England. We could consult current bishops on this use of latinate and formal titles – I’m in regular contact with a few bishops and I guess you are too. Or we could consult current Church House senior civil servants. But your question is certainly interesting and touches on wider issues … when is a bishop not a bishop? When is a priest not acting in his capacity as a priest? In my view if an archbishop signs something in private capacity - s/he would use a surname and not reference any title. I think most people would agree.

Governance. I agree with new section proposal. Other things can then be included in this as the article continues to develop. Be good to mention other trustees. Obviosuly a list might be a step too far, but mention of notable figures. To Sir Philip Mawer, yes, I agree with mention of former Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, but advocate closing the line at former Secretary General of the General Synod of the Church of England. Any more after that runs the risk of irrelevancy. Further references and links belong on Sir Philip's own page. We’re not including notable achievements of Ramsey or Coggan, which are many, so why make a detour to the Scarman Report and Brixton Riot which are not relevant to ATL?

The links to independently published biographies on Sir Philip Mawer make little sense ... when on the other hand you want to delete a key moment in ATL and EIG combined history – the Gloucester Cathedral celebration marked by a powerful documentary film in which Sir Philip speaks directly about the work of AllChurches Trust.[4] This is the only time on camera (I think) that the chair speaks about ATL - to delete reference to this event seems odd. It's a historic and culturally and liturgically significant event – the company ATL owns reached an impressive milestone of donation to the parent. And pledges another £100milion to that same parent. A thanksguiving service in a cathedral marks the occasion - to which all components of the corporate group are invited - and speak on camera. Isn't that significant? Especially when the only source of income ATL receives is via its subsidiary company? Also historically significant that a letter was read out from Archbishop Welby by Bishop Nigel Stock, an ATL trustee at that time. To delete this begs the question – is it because it indicates the continuing cultural affiliation or ties between Coe and ATL - which seems to be the main sticking point?

With regards to the infobox - I think Founder: Church of England simply and accurately reflects historical fact, whereas Individual members of the Church of England disregards the senior and legal capacity of those signatures as I've stated. A group of unknown clergy signing themselves in a way that does not reflect corporate decision by the Church to form this company? Then yes, it would be true to say “Individual members”. But that is clearly not the case. These were figures helming the Church of England at highest level, and implementing a major corporate decision on its behalf.

Does AllChurches Trust not own EdenTree? There is substantial evidence that it does on the various corporate sites.[5][6] For sake of transparency and accuracy shouldn’t ownership of EdenTree be visible here? It’s a major enterprise with £2.5billion in asset management. But in terms of corporate structure it would be more accurate to use a template with first-tier subsidiary and second-tier subsidiary. Perhaps that’s possible.

Apologies on incorrect mission statement. Have already edited accordingly.

User page? I am still learning about wiki – an inexperienced but bold beginner. This is embarrassing - I don’t know how to create a User Page. I’m hoping to find a seasoned editor to ‘adopt’ me and am keen to become the better editor I need to be. Did not realise I needed something on the User Page. Thanks for heads-up on this. Noticed people have curious boxes on their pages which I don’t understand – is there a template for all these somewhere? Or do editors create their own templates? Random example: I love the translucent magic in the glassware of Michael Harris – do I make a box to denote this?

Let’s keep talking until we reach basis for understanding on the major points of divergence. I’m assuming when you say "we are happy to make changes" you are referring to AllChurches Trust. It's good to see the page develop. And hopefully the article will no longer be Start-Class. What's the next step? How about we tackle each point in turn and make changes accordingly? Joelionheart (talk) 13:10, 28 April 2017 (UTC)


Hi again Joanna Biddolph (talk) - I asked a bishop friend, who confirms what I thought. When a bishop or archbishop uses Latin or English place names to replace surname, then s/he is discharging their duty as a senior officer of a particular diocese or indeed of the Church as a whole, and not acting as private citizen. Not sure how to prove this phonecall. Might be a little unorthodox - but would it be acceptable if I emailed your communications firm and asked my friend (a current bishop) to reply to us both? I have rung another Bishop also in regular contact to ask for her insights as well. I also have contact with Lambeth Palace and Church House and if it's helpful we can ask them also. Or can I suggest that you and Allchurches ask William Nye, current Secretary General of Synod. Let's work at this gradually so we get each point accurate as possible, so this article becomes the best it can be.Joelionheart (talk) 15:12, 28 April 2017 (UTC)

Message for the editor

We understand it is for editors to decide content and look forward to a decision on this discussion. We have looked at other Wikipedia pages to see the level of detail and note that using links to related Wikipedia pages, rather than adding information from those pages, seems to be normal practice, as is being factual and impartial. We are concerned about undue bias that results from being overly selective or from adding information that should rightfully be on other pages and available by a link to those pages. We seek an article that is accurate, fair and balanced. We look forward to hearing from the editor. Joanna Biddolph (talk) 14:22, 29 April 2017 (UTC)


Changes made in reponse to Joanna Biddolph Joanna Biddolph (talk) I'm a fairly new and inexperienced editor - but my undersanding is that wikipedians working collaboratively together to arrive at continuing consensus is how articles develop. So I've made almost all of the changes you've wanted. I hope the current page reflects both of our insights and wishes for the true picture to be reflected in this article. No doubt it will change again as further history and developments arise.

I hope I have established beyond reasonable doubt that the surname of a bishop/archbishop is not used in formal documents if acting in formal capacity. Usual legal protocol is first name and see. Archbishops of Canterbury are legally entitled and expected to sign name as "Cantuar". The right to do this as a legal signature is uniquely permitted to bishops and archbishops. [7][8][9] This is borne out by what Bishop Alan Wilson and Bishop Sarah Mullally tell me. At the point of signing Allchurches Trust into being as members of the newly formed company - both Archbishops would have understood the act as on behalf of the Church. So Allchurches Trust was I think definitely founded by the Church of England. It is my assertion that whilst nominally independent, it remains culturally and in terms of moral affiliation, a Church of England charity. This is borne out by the fact of substantial block grants to CoE dioceses and cathedrals (which make up most of its giving each year). This annual feature of Allchurches structure of giving does not include other denominations, and this is attested to in its annual reports and reviews.[10][11] I think this close continuing tie to the Church of England should be clear for the sake of accuracy in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joelionheart (talkcontribs) 09:31, 2 May 2017 (UTC)


Affiliation to Church of England

Have reintroduced affiliation. It seems clear looking through ATL's filing history that its main stated funding priority is to provide block grants to CofE dioceses and cathedrals. This seems to take up most of its funding annually.[12][13]Joelionheart (talk) 21:08, 17 July 2017 (UTC)