One advantage of being a large church with many members and congregations is that you can pool certain resources to leverage your scale of operations. Such is the case for many large denominations that pool financial resources when making investments. Many churches have endowment of funds that they invest and that earns a return each year. Those return can then be used as additional income for the church.
The Church of England made news this week because its investment fund had huge returns during the 2016 year, incredibly earning more than 17%. The £7.9 billion fund is managed by a church commission, and it's 2016 earnings more than doubled the earnings from 2015. The investments are in global equities, private equity, residential property, and timberland, and the high return allowed the investment fund to contribute over £230 billion towards church operations and activities, a robust 15% of the church's income that year.
Of course, discussion of money of this scale often raises other questions and even controversy. As a reward for a job well done, the Church of England gave out very large yearly bonuses to a small number of fund managers. Critics claimed that these large bonuses are hypocritical and not in line with what should be church priorities, while Church leaders claim that good fund managers should be rewarded to prevent them from leaving. What do you think?