Några sedlar och mynt på en svart duk.
Foto: Sven-Erik Falk /Ikon

Economy and finance

The Church of Sweden has considerable assets and these assets provide a foundation for the work it does as well as its administration. Financial assets such as, e.g. equities and bonds provide returns. Other assets such as church and parish buildings as well as cemeteries all incur costs. All of our assets shall be managed in both a responsible and sustainable manner with regarding to both people and the environment.

About our Sustainable Investments

Sustainable investment can take many forms. The goal of the Church of Sweden’s national level is to be a responsible owner in as a diverse manner as possible. This means that we plan for the long-term and are active owners who make good use of the opportunities presented to influence both the business and financial sectors in an effort to promote sustainability now and in the future.

På kyrkogården, längs en gammal mur växer stora knotiga träd. Längre bort syns ett vindkraftverk.

Sustainable Investments 2022

Performance in 2022 including bank and management fees amounted to SEK -1,095 million (SEK 1,960 million the previous year). Returns for the overall portfolio amounted to -9.5% (19.8%) This is 4.6 percentage points lower than our benchmark index. The market value of the assets invested as of 31 December 2022 amounted to SEK 10,324 million (previous year SEK 11,519 million).

Financing of the church’s activities

The work that the church conducts is primarily financed through a membership fee paid by all church members. Each parish individually determines the level of this fee. The total revenue from this fee in 2020 amounted to SEK 14.7 billion. In general, the church fee accounts for approximately 60 per cent of the church’s operational revenue.

The overall cost for the work conducted by the church came to SEK 23,5 billion in 2019. Most costs arise at the parish level since this is where the majority of activities are carried out. Local variations in how the church fee is put to use are great.

Asset management for the national level of the Church of Sweden

At the conclusion of 2020, equity on the national level amounted to SEK 9.9 billion, and it is this equity that provides a buffer against future needs.

Asset management is performed within a defined financial policy, which states that capital shall be managed in an ethically consistent way in accordance with the fundamental values of the Church of Sweden.

This means that in its asset management, the Church attempts to identify companies which contribute to sustainable global development and also generate a satisfactory financial return. Some companies are excluded (for example, weaponry and tobacco manufacturers), as their business concepts conflict with the values of the Church.

Special assessments are also made in respect of companies connected with alcohol, pornography, gaming and fossil energy sources. 

Download the financial policy here. 

Other assets

In addition to the asset management at national level of about SEK 9,9 billion, assets are managed separately at diocese and parish level. The Church of Sweden also has non-profit-making holdings and foundations which have their own management.