The Church of England's General Synod: Carey suggests 10% tithe from rich Anglicans

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, yesterday appealed to rich Anglicans to give 10 per cent of their incomes to a church struggling to overcome the recession. 'We have every reason to ask for more than 5 per cent, far more: even, some will think, for the biblical tithe of 10 per cent,' he told the Synod in York during a debate on the Church's finances.

Though the Church Commissioners control assets worth pounds 2.4bn, they have been squeezed by the recession. A report in the Financial Times suggested that unwise property speculation had cost pounds 500m, an allegation rejected by Sir Douglas Lovelock, the First Church Estates Commissioner. 'There is not an institution or company . . . whose capital value has not gone down in the last year or two,' he said.

Dr Carey (who is chairman of the commissioners) said the allegations would be investigated. David Webster, a member of the synod's central board of finance, said that 'clearly in the last year, things have gone very badly, and this is the message of the FT article'.

It is unclear what form the investigation will take, since the Church Commissioners are responsible only to Parliament. The commissioners' income is expected to remain flat for the next three years at least, while their expenditure rises inexorably due to pensions and the salaries of senior clergy. In 1995, the expenditure is expected to exceed investment income by pounds 460m.

On the commissioners' own figures, average giving from parishioners need rise only slightly to solve the problem. Sir Douglas told the synod that the current average weekly giving level of pounds 3 need only rise by 10 per cent a year. 'This is no more than the price of a portion of fish and chips,' Sir Douglas added. The real target would be a level of 5 per cent of net pay, which would be on average about pounds 5-a-week.

But Dr Carey, who himself gives 10 per cent of his pounds 43,000 income to charitable causes, disagreed. 'Ask for a little and you will get a little. Put before people the picture of a church pleading for small change to enable it to struggle along and you will get small change. People will not be inspired by requests to bail out an institution, however subtly put. They can be inspired to give wholeheartedly and sacrificially to an outward-looking Church pulsating with a sense of mission.'

John Smallwood, a former deputy chief cashier of the Bank of England, argued that much of the problem came from inefficient fund-raising. In 1990, pounds 92m was raised in collections and pounds 60m from fetes and bazaars, but only pounds 72m directly from the more tax- efficient covenants.

'We don't want to continue fund- raising through bazaars and jumble sales. We have to take it more seriously,' he said. A Christian taking home pounds 50,000-a-year should give pounds 100-a-week to charity; one on pounds 60-a-week might give pounds 1. The synod adopted a resolution calling on church members to give 5 per cent of their income, and for the money to be used more efficiently.

The synod decided last night to meet only twice a year from 1994, instead of the present three. The move will save pounds 70,000 a year.

Letters, page 16

Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff