Magazine article Anglican Journal

General Synod Balances Budget

Magazine article Anglican Journal

General Synod Balances Budget

Article excerpt

A balanced 2012 budget of $12.698 million was approved by CoGS for the national church. In addition, a balanced budget was forecast for 2013 with "no further staffing cuts" before 2016.

That's the good news. The bad news is that declining revenues, coupled with cost-push inflation, could mean that General Synod will once again face a deficit budget in 2014. This deficit could balloon to si million by 2016, according to a report submitted to CoGS by the church's Financial Management Committee (FMC).

In 2011, a balanced budget was achieved through major restructuring that included staff layoffs and the elimination of some programs. "If we're not able to stabilize revenues," warned General Synod treasurer Michele George, "we're back to the drawing board."

Of major concern is tile decline in proportional gifts from dioceses. These constitute 67 per cent of budgeted revenue and are currently falling at an annual rate of three per cent, said FMC chair Rob Dickson. There is no indication that this decrease--which began in the 19903 as church attendance declined across Canada--will be reversed. Without new revenues, said Dickson, re-examination of the national program will be necessary by 2014.

FMC noted in its report that a balanced budget in 2012 would not have been possible without support from the Ministry Investment Fund (MIF). The MT was established in 2008 to limit the use of unrestricted bequests to bridge deficits. In 2011, the MIF was funded by So per cent of such bequests. The MT allocates up to $250,000 a year "to provide funds for initiatives that ensure the ongoing mission and ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada." The MEI' is expected to have a balance of $3.6 million by Dec. 31, 2011. A balance of $2 million must be maintained.

The 2012 budget forecasts revenue of $12.698 million, expenditures of $12.766 million and a surplus of $4,512. It also provides additional funding of up to $173,000 from the MIF, plus a contingency reserve of $300,000 and $268,640 for the Together in Mission (TIM) initiative. TIM is a nationwide fundraising initiative that involves a partnership between General Synod and dioceses and has a goal of raising $25 million over five years.

In its report, FMC said that General Synod's management team is "committed to maintaining budget equilibrium" and is aware that "future financial stability" depends on steady revenue growth. "In this context, the work of the Resources for Mission department [formerly the department of philanthropy]. …

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