The Diocesan Property Board is the committee that has responsibility for property matters, previously overseen by the Parsonage Board and the Churches and Pastoral Committee. The Property Board reports to the Diocesan Board of Finance. The Property Board comprises clergy and lay membership and meets four times a year.
Chair: Mr. Sandy Blair
Virtually all the Parsonages (or clerical residences) in The Church In Wales are owned by the Representative Body of The Church In Wales. Management of the Parsonage stock is delegated to a Board and its Inspector in each Diocese. The first responsibility of the Property Board is to ensure that the clergy (stipends, House for Duty, and others) in the Diocese have adequate accommodation for their family and for their duties within the parishes. The Property Board is responsible for ensuring the necessary repair, maintenance, and when appropriate, improvement of these properties to ensure the housing stock remains in a good state of repair.
Repair costs to Parsonages are funded from a budget (Parsonage Repair Fund) set aside by the Diocesan Board of Finance based on a recommended figure per parsonage set by the Representative Body. Improvement works are funded from capital derived from the sale of parsonages or parsonage grounds (Parsonage Improvement Fund). The Board is primarily responsible for ensuring these budgets are properly administered, planned and spent. The Constitution of The Church In Wales sets out the provisions for Parsonages in Chapter VII. This includes the rights and responsibilities of occupiers; see the page entitled “Living in a Parsonage House, Guidance for Clergy”.
Parsonages become vacant for a variety of reasons and if not required for further clergy occupation, for a suitable period of time, may be let on the open market.
The Property Board has access to a total of 91 houses, of which 77 are required for clergy use and 14 are available for letting. At the end of June 2016, of the clergy houses 9 are currently vacant awaiting appointments, and of the rentals houses only 2 are vacant, awaiting tenants or decisions for use.
Church Grants and other matters
The Diocese has access to a variety of funds for the repair of church buildings. Parishes are supported in the repair of their buildings and encouraged to apply for grant assistance in appropriate situations. The relevant Archdeacon must support the application, which is assessed against set criteria.
The formation of Ministry Areas might require, in some instances, the development of Ministry Area administrative centres and other community initiatives. Monies held in both the Parsonage Repair Fund and the Improvement Fund may be made available to supplement funding of such projects (subject to certain restrictions and with Parsonage needs taking priority).
The creation of Ministry Areas occasionally requires the provision of alternative accommodation to the usual parsonage. The rental income from parsonages can be allocated, within prescribed limits and with Parsonage needs taking priority, to support this alternative accommodation.
In all the above cases a group of Diocesan officers will assess and recommend, or otherwise,
applications for funding, within a framework approved by the Diocesan Property Board.