Parishioners stop donations to churches in protest at £100m slavery fund

Jul 5, 2024 by

by Cameron Henderson, Telegraph:

Anger with money viewed as being diverted from core purpose, as churchgoers speak out with their wallets.

Parishioners are withdrawing donations from local churches in protest against the Church of England’s £100 million slavery reparations fund, officials have warned.

Church officers have raised concerns that churchgoers have been put off donating to the Church of England following the establishment of the fund, which was announced in January 2023 to “address past wrongs of slavery”.

Luke Appleton, a churchwarden at Paignton Parish Church in Exeter, said there was “anger” among churchgoers over the Church’s commitment and that some members were writing the church out of their will as a result.

In a question submitted to the General Synod, the Church’s legislative body, Mr Appleton asked whether churches will be compensated for parishioners withdrawing donations as part of a backlash against the fund.

In response, bishops have moved to reassure congregations that none of the money they give to their local parish is being used for the fund.

[…]  Addressing concerns over reparations, Mr Appleton told The Telegraph: “This is the issue I have been contacted about more than any other in the past year by faithful church members.

“The line that comes back again and again is ‘why should I give from my small pension to the church when they have £100 million misspend in this way’

“I suspect there is especially anger where churches are being told that they can’t have a dedicated vicar or money to repair their historic and culturally significant buildings but the central Church is seen to divert such large sums away from its core purpose.”

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