The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

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DF - Diocesan Finance

Dates: 1817-2002

Number of records in this collection: 481


A collection of volumes and files of papers that reflect the financial administration of the Midland and Central Districts and of the Diocese and Archdiocese of Birmingham. Under Bishops Milner and Walsh there was no systematic financial regulation or accountability. When Ullathorne became Vicar Apostolic of the Central District in 1848 he found its finances in a chaotic state. It was years, and thanks in large part to the financial acumen of Edgar Edmund Estcourt, before any real progress was made in sorting the muddle and balancing the books. In time, a series of episcopally-controlled funds was established, with each Mission expected to be self-supporting, although the poorest were helped by grants from the Poor Missions Fund. This model has remained fundamentally unaltered until the present day. The establishment of the Birmingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust in 1931 did simplify the financial structure, and all property was vested in the single diocesan charity. The present collection represents the 'redundant' records of the Diocesan Treasurer's Department, which administers all the financial affairs of the diocese and of the parishes in relation to the Diocesan Trust. It continues to hold current and semi-current records, some of which are of an historic and archival nature, including all title deeds and financial records relating to individual parishes.

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