Archbishop of Wales announces £100m investment in church ministry

A major investment in church ministry was announced today (7 September) by the Archbishop of Wales.

The Church in Wales will spend over £100 million from its capital reserves over the next decade to help its churches serve their communities more effectively. Investments will be made in developing new ministries and initiatives, as well as strengthening existing work.

Archbishop Andrew John made the announcement in his presidential address to members of the Church’s Board of Trustees at the start of its two-day meeting today. It was, he said, the “most serious and important” investment the Church has made since 1920.

He paid tribute to the trustees of the Church, the Representative Body, for their “visionary leadership” in agreeing to invest the money. “It was a brave step of faith. It was based on the conviction that the Church had the will and the heart to grow and to do new things. In all dioceses and as a province, this new funding will build capacity and build momentum, which is precisely what we need and I welcome this bold step. »

The Archbishop said consultations are underway with others on what kinds of developments are likely to be most fruitful.

“This is money we can only spend once and careful planning is needed on how it will be allocated and how we will hold each other accountable for its use.”

He added: “If we let this time pass and this opportunity fade away, the consequences will be a Wales that knows less of the love of Christ than at any other time in modern history. But if we engage in the conviction that God is calling us to be bearers of hope in a new way, we will have done something profound, beautiful and lasting. The task is not to try to wear ourselves out, but to invest in the places where our hearts burn with new energy and hope. Such an investment brings enormous gain and is full of potential.

The Archbishop also announced that an additional £37million over the next 10 years would be provided to ensure the church’s core ministry is placed on a solid financial footing, particularly in new dioceses. , of Monmouth and Swansea and Brecon, which lacked historical funds.

Addressing the cost of living crisis, Bishop Andrew announced that the Church in Wales will be campaigning for action over the coming months. He said it was a “scandal” that so many children in the UK live in poverty and families depend on food banks to survive. “The reality for many more people across Wales and beyond, unless decisive action is taken in the coming weeks, is that people will be hungry and cold and in their thousands. This winter will become unbearable and the cost to our livelihoods, our well-being, the effect on household debt, the effect on crime and domestic violence will be significant.

Many churches now run food banks

“It’s outrageous that in the world’s 6th largest economy, we have so many children living in relative poverty and so many more relying on food banks to survive. What was once intended to be an emergency service is now firmly embedded in the fabric of national life where families and many (but low-wage) employees cannot survive without a local food bank. I know the countless people who help in food banks (whom I sincerely thank for their work) agree that this should not be the case. »

The Archbishop called on supermarkets to do more to help shoppers, such as tripling their range of staples to include more fresh food. He also called on the churches to be “practitioners of generosity”. He asked each congregation to donate 10 boxes of basic items for the food bank distribution network during Advent.

“That would generate around 10,000 boxes. If we start before Advent and making it our priority, we can mitigate, for some, the worst effects of winter. Some churches will be able to do a lot more than 10 and that’s wonderful. For others, 10 might be a challenge. The point is that to advocate for change in society, we must model the generosity that we believe is at the heart of the gospel.

The Archbishop’s full address follows.

The Board of Directors meets September 7-8 at the Newport International Convention Center.


Charles K. Eckert