Diocesan Property Review
We have recently concluded a major review of the London Diocesan Fund’s (LDF’s) property function, led by independent consultants and overseen by external experts on the Property Advisory Group. As lots of you will know, it included a far-reaching exercise to gather the views of clergy, staff, and others – huge thanks to all of you who shared your views and insights with us. The review is a thorough and encouraging piece of work, both in terms of what has been achieved so far and the potential for further improvements. It focused on three areas: clergy housing, support for the management and development of parish property, and investment income.
Property Review background
- Clergy housing. Thanks to those of you (300+ across the Diocese) who participated in the survey. An encouraging 76% said you were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the overall standard of housing support you receive. The report, using the survey findings, highlights a number of areas for improvement, the main ones being the need for better two-way communication and making sure that processes are consistently applied.
- Support for the management and development of parish property. A very clear finding is the high level of pent-up demand for support, particularly in parishes short on property experts in the congregation. That has been heard loud and clear, with plans for dedicated new roles, which we hope to appoint in the first half of 2013.
- Investment income. You may be aware that better management of Diocesan assets over the past decade has yielded significant income – equivalent to an additional 35 stipendiary posts. The report concludes that extra resource will be required to maintain this income. The main potential to release capital or generate additional income to reinvest in mission is through the development of a number of appropriate parsonage sites, and we are looking carefully at this.
The report has been considered by the Property Advisory Group, the Archdeacons, the Diocesan Finance Committee, and, finally, the Diocesan Bishop’s Council. Each group has strongly supported the recommendations and the allocation of additional resources to get the work done.
The Property Department are now working on the most effective ways to implement the recommendations.
This will not happen overnight, but over the next six to nine months you will begin to see the changes taking place.
Because the Property review contains some commercially sensitive data we are not publishing the whole thing widely but we welcome your interest in seeing the review documents. If you want to see any or all of the documents, contact Richard Antcliffe (Email: richard.antcliffe [at] london.anglican.org). We recommend the executive summary, as the full report weighs in at a hefty 460 pages. The Archdeacons were fully involved and can share more information with you.