For the first time in many years, the Diocese of Truro’s Mission and Ministry Fund (MMF) contributions are on track to meet the budget.

The Diocese of Truro had recorded the lowest MMF receipts in the Church of England for a number of years but following the introduction of deanery plans, collection rates in 2023 rose to just over 90%. This latest news is a welcome sign that the diocesan-wide programme of change is having a positive effect.

Thank you

Bishop Hugh Nelson said: “I know this kind of change only happens because of the generosity of the people in our church communities and the concentrated and sacrificial work of treasurers and church wardens. I know also that getting to this point has included making difficult decisions, and I am enormously grateful to everyone who has played their part. None of this would have been possible if we had not done the demanding work of reshaping and balancing the budget, and I am deeply grateful to everyone in the parishes for the critical part they have played in getting the MMF payment levels to this point.”

When the diocese set out ‘On the Way’, it was facing two key challenges; first a long term fall in the size of its worshipping communities, in particular in its connection with children and young people; and second a £2 million deficit. While reserves could cover the deficit it continued to grow meaning the diocese could not then use its reserves to invest in growth.

The task set through On the Way was to address both of those challenges. That meant re-shaping the budget, with deaneries and parishes setting manageable levels of MMF and then meeting them. That would give confidence to spend the reserves that the diocese has been blessed with on the ministry and mission priorities that the people in deaneries had discerned.

Sophie Eddy, Diocesan Director of Finance and Assets, said: “The news of these new MMF contribution levels means we are on track with this important work. To go from 73.64% in 2019 to now be on target to meet the budget in 2024 is amazing and I think we all recognise the amount of work it has taken.”

The work of the deaneries in agreeing to meet the MMF target meant a 10-year financial plan for the diocese could be created. This plan invests in the priorities that deaneries have discerned together. That has meant that for the first time in 30 years the diocese can commit to holding the current number of stipendiary clergy steady. It is also able to invest more than £13 million in deanery plans for mission and ministry, £3 million in connecting with children and young people, £2 million on church buildings and £3 million on Creation Care. This is as well as directing in excess of £900,000 each year for the foreseeable future to serve the most deprived communities.

Hard work, determination, and a real commitment to work together

Simon Cade, Diocesan Secretary, said: “The people of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are generous and faithful. Sustaining the ministry of the Church in these challenging times takes hard work, determination, and a real commitment to work together. The Church is here for the people we serve, we are open for God’s business.”