ecclesiastical commissioners were established in 1836 as a permanent body to supervise the financial management of the Church of England. In 1948 they were merged with the administrators of Queen Anne's Bounty and are now known as the church commissioners. They have responsibility for the considerable property of the church, which includes 140,000 acres of agricultural land, and have been under some criticism in recent years for imprudent investments. A large body of nearly 100, many of them honorary members, the commission disbursed £153 million in 1994, of which nearly half went on pensions, and a third on stipends.
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