In August 1878 a Royal Commission was established to investigate the various parochial charities. Its conclusion led to the City of London Parochial Charities Act 1883 and provided that the largest 5 parishes should continue to administer their own charitable endowments, but that the charities of the remaining 107 parishes (consisting of about 1400 separate charitable gifts and bequests stretching back over 400 years) should be administered by a new corporate body officially called the Trustees of the London Parochial Charities. For most of its history it was known as the City Parochial Foundation, but since 2010 it has been known as Trust for London.

Pie chart showing almost 60% Central Fund and 40% City Church Fund

The Trust assumed trusteeship of the City Parochial Foundation, which held the ecclesiastical endowments. There are now two funds held by Trust for London. These are the Central Fund and the City Church Fund. Income from these two funds is distributed in a formula laid down by a Scheme (“the Scheme”) of the Charity Commissioners dated 31st December 2004, pursuant to the City of London Parochial Charities Act 1883.

59.8% of all income is passed to the Central Fund, whilst 40.2% is passed to the Church Fund.
The Central Fund has an overarching objective of supporting the ‘poor of London’ and its priorities change from time to time.

Of the 40.2% that goes to the City Church Fund, how this is distributed is further governed by the Scheme. There are pre-payments before distributions from this Fund to cover the salary and housing costs of the Dean of King’s College. The amount that remains in this fund is then divided with two-thirds to the Church Commissioners, and one-third to the Bishop of London, distribution of which is advised by the City Churches Grants Committee (CCGC). The amount given to the Church Commissioners is then distributed by them, at their discretion, to the Dioceses within the Metropolitan Police Area. This gives London approximately a 44% share of the Church Commissioners’ element.
The portion given to the Bishop of London, to be advised by the CCGC, is also subject to certain pre-payments. These are the Schedule VII payments, the administrative expenses, and the insurance of the City Churches. The first two are mandatory, whilst the insurance is optional.

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