HC Deb 07 December 1995 vol 268 c393W
Mr. Frank Field

To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, representing the Church Commissioners, what factors underlie the Church Commissioners' operation of a closed fund. [4588]

Mr. Alison

The Church Commissioners have two principal tasks in the operation of their closed investment fund: first to optimise returns over the long term from their investments within appropriate risk management controls; secondly, to set a level of distribution in support of the Church's ministry which is sustainable.

Other factors which underlie the commissioners' operation in pursuit of these aims are their responsibilities to make additional provision for the cure of souls in parishes, a trust inherited from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and to augment the maintenance of the poor clergy, inherited from the Queen Anne's bounty—their liabilities under the Clergy Pensions Measures; their other statutory obligations and their recognition of their partnership with parishes and dioceses who, increasingly, provide from giving for the maintenance of the Church's nationwide ministry. Without that giving, it could not be sustained.