Andrew Selous MP, representing the Church Commissioners, gave the following written answer to a question from an MP on 18th December 2022:
Mr Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab): To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, whether he expects dioceses to pass the Energy Costs Grant direct to parishes.
Andrew Selous MP (Con): The Church Commissioners were pleased to provide £15m to the Archbishops’ Council for distribution to dioceses for Energy Costs Grants. All dioceses received a share of this Grant in October. The main purpose of the Grant is to help Parochial Church Councils to cover the increased cost of heating and lighting church buildings this winter.
Dioceses are also able to use some of their Grants to supplement the £3m Ministers’ Hardship Fund announced earlier in the year to provide targeted hardship payments for clergy and other employed ministers to cover household bills, in particular energy costs.
The Church Commissioners intend to gather feedback in the New Year to see how much of the Grant dioceses have allocated, by what mechanism they distributed it, and what proportion was used to supplement the Ministry Hardship Fund.
In addition to support for parishes and clergy, the Church of England has opened its doors locally to support or provide Warm Spaces. These may be in churches, village halls or other suitable community spaces such as libraries or cafes. More information about the Warm Welcome Campaign and where to locate your nearest warm space can be found here: https://www.warmwelcome.uk/