Hereford Diocese appoints new agent to manage glebe land

Hereford Diocese has appointed Carter Jonas, the national property consultancy, to manage its glebe land, with immediate effect. The portfolio comprises of 156 small parcels of glebe land, totalling 1,309 agricultural acres located across Herefordshire and south Shropshire.

The new agents will assume responsibility for managing the agricultural glebe assets, including advice on the potential sale and purchase of property and land, the promotion of sites to support neighbourhood and county development plans, any sale of or potential purchase of small sections of land, alongside the letting and management of agricultural land. The property consultancy will uphold and consult on the HDBF’s ethical investment policy, which is designed to increase the long-term value of glebe assets while simultaneously generating a consistent annual income to support the work of the church in the Diocese.

It is a stipulation of the HDBF that, when glebe land is sold, all proceeds are reinvested and the income from which helps pay for clergy. Carter Jonas will use its land management and investment consultancy expertise to support the Board’s strategy of pursuing long-term stable growth, ensuring the Board’s assets serve the Diocese as required.

Annual income from church owned land (glebe) represents 1.8% of the money required to support the Diocese’s annual activity, with the majority of money coming from the generosity of churchgoers who give directly and oversee many fundraising activities.

Stephen Challenger, Property Secretary, Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance Executive Committee, comments;

“The management of the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance’s assets and holdings are of great importance to the future of our parishes and communities, and our estates strategy has a very real impact on the Diocese and our stakeholders. We welcome Carter Jonas to the Diocese and look forward to them helping us all prepare for the future.

“The current economic circumstances pose fresh challenges for the long term and place a certain pressure on the performance of our assets. We look forward to working with Carter Jonas as we start to make sensible changes in our approach to land management for the overall benefit of the Diocese."

Harry Torrance, Partner, Carter Jonas, comments;

“The Hereford Diocese is a significant land owner, with assets across Herefordshire and South Shropshire – well-aligned with our expertise. It is a privilege to be entrusted with such a significant rural estate. “We look forward to navigating the challenges of the market and consulting on a sound estate strategy to support the Diocese. We will be drawing on our deep knowledge of property issues that are often unique to this part of the country and will in any case be unique to the glebe land.

“In addition, the emergence of a UK Agricultural Policy is creating complex hurdles for land owners and rural estates, but now is the time for all parties to consider the implications for their future. Many of our clients are reviewing their sources of income and diversification options – and pressing us to help them negotiate those challenges. We look forward to supporting the Diocese in an evolving market, and to safeguard its prosperity against future uncertainty.”