The Church of England has sold a significant proportion of its investments, after fearing that the government will not be able to offset an oncoming economic slowdown.

The Church of England’s investment fund, which has seen an average annual return of 9.7 percent over the past 30 years, will sell £250 million worth of assets.

Church commissioner Sir Andreas Whittam Smith looked to the future in a report, saying: “Unfortunately, it may be harder in the future to achieve such a satisfactory performance. My message to the wider church is: don’t count on it.

“The nervousness of investors is explained by the feeling that governments have lost the power to reverse any slowdown in economic activity. In earlier times they would reduce interest rates, but now that rates hover around zero, that remedy is unavailable. And it’s hard to believe that negative interest rates can provide the necessary boost, or that governments would let the supply of money expand.”

However, the Church has maintained its multi-million investment in Google, despite criticism over the company’s tax avoidance. The company reached a controversial £130 million settlement with HMRC earlier this year to end a long-running dispute over back taxes.

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