Glebe is essentially church land, which was used to pay for the parish priest.
Glebe land was historically given to the Rector, which enhanced the Rector’s income from tithes. The amount of such land varied from parish to parish, occasionally forming a complete glebe farm. A holder of a benefice could retain the glebe for his own use, usually for agricultural exploitation, or he could “farm” it (i.e. lease it) to others and retain the rent as the income. Information about the glebe would be recorded at ecclesiastical visitations in a glebe “terrier”.
Glebe associated with the Church of England ceased to belong to individual incumbents as from 1 April 1978, by virtue of the Endowments and Glebe Measure 1976. It became vested on that date, “without any conveyance or other assurance,” in the Diocesan
Board of Finance of the diocese to which the benefice owning the glebe belonged, even if the glebe was in another diocese.
The Diocese of Gloucester has a substantial Glebe property portfolio comprising over 100 parcels of land throughout Gloucestershire. This portfolio is administered by the Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance Glebe Committee through the Diocesan Property Manager, who is a Chartered Surveyor, and with the assistance of external professional advisers. All profits from the management of the Glebe land are used to fund clergy throughout the diocese and to reduce the contributions required from all the parishes equally.