OSCR Response to Trustees on Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund

In recent months, issues were raised with the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) regarding the Aged & Infirm Clergy Fund (AICF) of the Archdiocese.

The Trustees have repeatedly confirmed their willingness to cooperate in addressing any such concerns and have done so.

As a result, OSCR has now formally confirmed that the Trustees have acted appropriately and have commended the Trustees for their work in seeking to "dispel various misunderstandings" about the AICF.

In the course of its letter of 11 May 2023, closing the case, OSCR stated: "We recognise that the charity trustees have gone to significant effort to communicate both the need for the AICF and to dispel various misunderstandings about the fund itself and the charity’s finances in general."

They added: "It is our view that the charity trustees have acted in line with the charity trustee duties as set out in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005."

The AICF was established in 1933 to ensure adequate financial provision was made for retired and infirm clergy. Following extensive review, involving external professional advice, the Trustees concluded it was necessary to supplement those arrangements.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese said: "The Trustees are pleased to receive the assurance and endorsement of the Regulator. The Archdiocese has specific obligations to retired clergy and the Trustees recognised that, regrettably, the historical funding arrangements were insufficient to meet those obligations.

“The Trustees have exercised necessary and prudent financial management to address that deficiency. They have acted equitably, transparently and in line with Scots charity law and the Code of Canon Law.

“They have, moreover, gone to exceptional lengths to listen to concerns and to respond to questions in detail. We are pleased that these efforts have been acknowledged by OSCR."

The Archdiocese held meetings for each deanery in March 2023 to update them on the AICF fund. You can read the Q&A pack here.