Church of England fund ranks as top world performer

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The Church of England’s investment fund has seen “stellar” returns in 2016 as it ranks among the world’s best performing funds of this type.

The Church Commissioners annual report states the fund’s return on investments more than doubled to 17.1 per cent in 2016 from 8.2 per cent in the previous year.

The new performance figures mean the £7.9bn fund has returned 9.6 per cent a year for the past 30 years on average.

In the results, published today, the Church Commissioners say the main performance driver has been the weaker pound following the Brexit vote, as well as strong returns from its investments.

Secretary and chief executive Andrew Brown said the fund has contributed £230.7m to the Church of England last year.

He says: “While this is only around 15 per cent of the Church’s overall income – most funding comes from the extraordinary generosity of parishioners – we are delighted to be able to play our part.”

Almost 30 per cent of the fund is invested in real estate. It also invests in “a wide variety of specialised opportunities”, including multi-asset strategies, cash, fixed interest securities, currencies, index-linked securities, money market instruments and deposits.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says: “In a year which saw considerable political turbulence, the Church Commissioners continued to provide effective stewardship of investments matched by ethical and responsible investment.”