To cancel my donation to the local C of E church

(54 Posts)
skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 17:18:30

I make a regular donation to the local C of E church and also go to Messy Church. The church is very nice, the community is friendly and the (female) vicar is great. They use the money on a mixture of contributions to running the diocese, support for food banks and people in need and support for maintaining the fabric if the church.

I am absolutely furious about the decision not to allow women to become Bishops. I think it is absolutely appalling and don't want to support that sort of misogynistic organisation.

Would I be unreasonable to cancel my donation to the church to show my disappointment? If I did, I would give that money to another charity- probably the food bank.

skaen Wed 21-Nov-12 18:33:33

Thank you all. At the moment, I'm leaning towards speaking to the vicar when I see her and asking whether she thinks it would have any benefit in terms of registering my disappointment. If she thinks it would be counter- productive then I'll carry on but will write and sign petitions.

I think I might also write to the bishop and tell him I'm minded to withdraw this support so he can add it to the pile!

lovelyladuree Wed 21-Nov-12 18:42:05

The Church of England is very very rich. They own most of the large shopping malls in the UK. Not many people know that.

MaryBS Wed 21-Nov-12 18:56:45

Not convinced lovelyladuree, whats your source of information? In any case, the church MAY be land rich, but its cash poor. Each parish in our diocese is now expected to be able to fund their vicar (which may be in conjunction with other parishes). All that will happen if people stop giving is that the local church will suffer.

People stop giving to church for all sorts of reasons. Its all very well to say "if enough people stop giving" but I cannot see that sort of protest making any difference.

londongirlatheart Wed 21-Nov-12 20:14:44

Definitely cash poor. Times have changed from the when the church were mega rich. OP - write a letter by all means but don't stop donating as you local parish will suffer and they are no doubt in favour

Sallyingforth Wed 21-Nov-12 20:24:22

They own most of the large shopping malls in the UK. Not many people know that
Well I certainly don't know that. Please give us some examples with a reference to prove it.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:30:04

Sally - I don't know whether its 'most' shopping centres but the Metro Centre is one of theirs.

'The Church Commissioners' commercial property portfolio consists of a diverse range of Retail (including High Street, Shopping Centre and Warehouse Parks), Industrial, and Office properties, located throughout the UK and is currently valued at £321 million.
Notable investments in the portfolio include the MetroCentre, Europe's largest (and recently voted Britain's Best) shopping centre. The Centre is managed by Capital Shopping Centres but the Commissioners receive 10% of the net rents.'

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:34:17

Note that the reference above is from churchofengland.org. As is this 'The Church Commissioners manage assets worth some £4.8 billion at the end of 2009. The fund includes stock market and property investments, including UK urban property, rural and development land, and a stake in global property funds.'

madhairday Wed 21-Nov-12 20:35:28

You can, of course but I am afraid it would merely be penalising your own church and the work it does in your community.

The C of E may be a large organisation but is made up of thousands of discrete worshipping communities, the majority of which work for good in their local communities.

To punish the local church for the actions of a few misinformed, old guard members of the laity seems quite sad to me, particularly as you say your vicar is a woman herself and lovely with it.

I and many of my friends are devastated by this, but don't believe it makes the institution intrinsically misogynistic. If you look at the percentage voting for women bishops you could not argue that this was the case.

It's a sad thing all right sad

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:25

'The Commissioners aim for the best return from their assets to help sustain the nationwide ministry of the Church, without undue risk and in line with their ethical investment policy. Their long term target is a return of at least RPI plus 5% over the long term.'

So if they're making RPI +5% over the long term (it'll be less right now, to be sure) on £4.8 billion....that's cash poor?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 21-Nov-12 21:34:02

If enough people stopped giving the church money it would help some of those who voted against to think again.

It's a church, not a supermarket chain. Conservatives and evangelicals don't think that way, especially evangelicals. They'd see it as an attack by Satan and therefore they must be on the right track.

Downandoutnumbered Wed 21-Nov-12 22:07:50

The Church Commissioners are responsible for paying clergy pensions, some stipends and salaries, all bishops' costs and a fair whack of cathedral salary costs. Their capital is enormous but the income is fully committed. They can't spend the capital because of the charity law restrictions on spending endowment.

OP, I'm also an Anglican and devastated by this vote. I have huge sympathy for your position, but the only people suffering if you withdrew your contributions of time and money would be your own parish. If your vicar is a woman the odds are that she's at least as angry and unhappy as you are.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:36

I don't doubt that, Down - someone asked for data so there it is - The church doesn't own 'most' shopping malls, it has a fair-sized stake in one big one and a substantial amount other investments. Of course they can't spend the capital but its not an insignificant return, 'cash poor' doesn't quite seem to fit. (Other churches manage without those sort of assets not having cathedrals or bishops, I guess)

anyway, OP - I'd say give your money wherever you think it will do good in the world. If this church is doing good, support it but ask if there is some other way you can make your views count. If you think your money would do more good going straight to the food bank, do that...don't give or withhold based on anger.

mammy2 Wed 21-Nov-12 23:53:21

I am so disappointed with this vote that I am stopping going to church (was reasonably good at attending). If enough people vote with their feet maybe it would make a difference.

FairPhyllis Thu 22-Nov-12 02:00:19

What everyone said about one person not making enough of a difference.

What would be interesting would be if parishes withheld their parish share from the diocese over this issue. In 2003, the evangelical churches in Oxford held the diocese to ransom over the appointment of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. If the con-evos can do it over a gay bishop, and were appeased, I don't see why other parishes shouldn't do it over this issue.

DandyDan Thu 22-Nov-12 08:24:27

If parishes withhold money, the individual diocese has to manage its finances on a substantially smaller budget, which usually means cutting clergy numbers - which means fewer priests to go around, priests covering huge distances to do services, more work-related stress and illness; less money for mission projects - ie projects which are specifically in the community, helping the community, building links. eg a mission fund grant has recently supported our local primary school to do an arts/history/RE/science project on stained glass for which the school is delighted. Another one enabled the commissioning and several performances of a play for the local youth drama group.

Everyone concerned should get themselves onto a PCC, and stand for Diocesan and then General Synod. (But writing a letter to your local bishop to indicate your disappointment with the vote would be good too.)

fromparistoberlin Thu 22-Nov-12 08:35:44

its so disappointing

but I tend to agree with bue, you will hurt them when they likely feel the same as you

MaryBS Thu 22-Nov-12 08:59:03

As DandyDan said...

Adversecamber Thu 22-Nov-12 11:29:38

You could always donate to your church in a different way such as buy biscuits for after the service.

Downandoutnumbered says what I want to say but much better than me.

GrendelsMum Thu 22-Nov-12 11:35:07

I agree what others have said - I think that you'd risk punishing a group of people you really support, for the sake of a group of people who wouldn't be affected at all, and who wouldn't even know you'd made the gesture.

I also agree that a letter to the local bishops would be a better way forward - although the bishops voted 'yes', didn't they?

As DandyDan said, we all ought to bite the bullet and stand for PCC and General Synod, outrageously dull as it probably is.

ImAlpharius Thu 22-Nov-12 11:46:41

If pe

ImAlpharius Thu 22-Nov-12 11:49:14

Oops I meant to say if people who support this proposal withdraw money and support it will not make them stop and think and move forward it will give more power and influence to those against the proposal.
As has been said it is the 'people' not Bishops and Clergy that have defeated the vote.

SpringierSpaniel Thu 22-Nov-12 11:51:54

I heard on the Radio that the strongly anti-"women for Bishops" Laity members could see what was coming and apparently took steps to get themselves into a Synod position to be able to vote against it.

Now this may be just one person's jaded conspiracy theory but, if there's any truth in it, surely this is the way to change things i.e. take the same steps as pro "Women for Bishops" and change the unrepresentative bias of the Synod Laity.

Arcticwaffle Thu 22-Nov-12 11:56:10

YANBU,

But then I left the CofE and Christianity altogether back in the late 80s over this whole issue, in a way I found the debate then (same as now, basically) useful as it clarified things for me in terms of trying to reconcile feminism and Christianity (I couldn't, in the end). Now I can't imagine even trying to support an organisation which institutionalises sexism.

Bunpea Thu 22-Nov-12 18:00:00

Yanbu at all. The current situation with the CoE is outrageous. I also don't understand how it can be legal, but then I'm not a lawyer.
Whether your actions will be effective as a protest or communicating your dismay/anger/whatever is another matter, and probably depends on how many others follow suit.

GrendelsMum Thu 22-Nov-12 19:47:03

I don't think that leaving an organisation is the way to effect change - it seems to me that the majority of members of the CoE do want women bishops, but that the anti-women bishop group have deliberately worked to get themselves into the position of power they needed to block it.

What happens if those of us who are pro-women bishops leave the church entirely? That's hardly going to convince the anti-women bishop group that they were wrong - simply that the people who left weren't really Christians in the first place.

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