The following extracts are taken from 'The Parish Magazine', edited by J E Clarke and published by Wells Gardener, London.

This edition was published in 1877


The Church is supported by her own resources, given to her voluntarily in buildings, in land, and in money,by Churchmen and Churchwomen through ages past, and in times present. The property held by the Church is as legally and as justly her own as that which is held by noblemen and others, and which has descended to them from there far-off ancestors.

A great part of the property held by the Church has been in  her possession for hundreds of years, and its origin can be traced back to the earliest period of the history of our country.

Very many of our ancient parish churches date back from five to eight hundred years, and the architecture which prevailed in England before the Norman Conquest is to be seen in not  a few of those venerable and sacred edifices.

Here generation after generation of our forefathers that have bee baptized, married and attended Divine service, and finally have been committed to the dust.

Many of the old parish churches were founded by private individuals, in much the same way that rich manufacturers build churches in our large cities in the present day. When these churches were built it became necessary to make some provision for the support of the clergy who were to minister them, and accordingly the landowners (who were the founders of the churches), laid a kind of rent-charges, or tithe as it was called, upon their land, for support of the parson of the parish evermore..

A tithe is a portion of the produce of the land, not that land itself; at the present time varies in amount according to the price of wheat. Until some years ago tithes were paid in kind- in wheat, turnips, sheep, or pigs, or whatever the land in question might produce. This was a good plan in ancient days, was not suited to our modern customs, and so the Tithe Commutation Act was passed, which provided that the tithe payment should be mad in money being regulated by the price of corn.

The propert of the Church, from which the clergy are paid, comes then, to a great extent, from tithes. There is also money produced by the rental of Church lands, money obtainable from the surplus of the Episcopal Sees, and this is managed and administered by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

There is also a fund known as 'Queen Anne's Bounty', which is not, as some imagine, a State grant, but merely a revenue which was appropriated by Henry VIII to his own uses, and which was very properly restored to the Church by Queen Anne.


Back to contents