Church aims to save parishes £10 million

27 January 2012

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27 January 2012 | Adam Leach

The Church of England intends to cut parish spending on IT, stationery and energy by £10 million through a national online buying portal. - officially launched on 30 January - offers 13,000 parishes across England and Wales access to framework agreements with suppliers in energy, IT software, office products, photocopying and fire safety.

With a combined annual spend of around £200 million, the Church hopes the agreements negotiated by the two national heads of procurement – who are paid employees of the Church – and agreed with suppliers, will generate annual savings of around £10 million.

As well as savings, the site is intended to ease the administrative burden on individual parishes, where volunteers often carry out procurement.

Stephen Marriott, Guildford diocesan secretary and chair of the Church of England National Procurement Group, said: "This new service is designed to save time and money… I'm confident that it will be of potential benefit to every parish, particularly when many are finding the current financial climate challenging."

While the framework agreements available through the site were negotiated by the national heads of procurement, any purchasing agreements to buy products or services will be between the individual parish and the supplier. However, if circumstances require it, the national heads will be on hand to step in to assist.

In addition to the categories of goods and services available through the site, training and resources on purchasing will be available to buy, such as ‘cost control training’ and ‘20 ways to save your parish money’, and there will also be a selection of free buying guides available to support parishes when purchasing on their own.

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