That’s the value of the property portfolio of Church of England plc – the Church Commissioners.
I’m on an electoral roll… Am I a stakeholder? Can I pursuade the board to do certain things with the cash? I hate to ask, but WWJD?
Fine time to pay tribute to Tony Banks MP – a true Trickster voice in parliament – who quipped in ‘Church Questions’ in the House of Commons in 1996s, when it was revealed they’d lost hundreds of millions in poor investments:
“May I suggest that one way of maximising [Church Commissioner] income would be to build congregations? Perhaps the best idea would be to privatise the Church of England, to get in a regulator– OfGod, or something like that–and a few consultants, and then start marketing a Lord who is suitable to the 21st century.”
OfGod. Nice. Think they might have something to say about redistributing that 4.5 billion.