Magazine article The Christian Century

World Council Faces Major Spending Cuts

Magazine article The Christian Century

World Council Faces Major Spending Cuts

Article excerpt

Confronting predictions of greatly reduced income, the World Council of Churches is making plans to reduce its spending drastically. "We are in a crisis. Let's be frank and straightforward," said Catholicos Aram I, moderator of the WCC's central committee, as the large governing body concluded its recent meeting in Geneva.

A task group will review staff, programs, activities and infrastructure costs and present proposals by the end of October. Staffing costs "must be considerably reduced since this is the principal expenditure," said the finance committee report. The WCC has about 180 staff at its Geneva headquarters.

Seeking to save both jobs and programs, another report from the WCC's program committee suggested such cost-saving measures as using "seconded" staff from member churches for some tasks, contracting out for some services and using less expensive workers, such as interns, retired staff members and "voluntary missionaries." Other measures that could be explored were shorter and less frequent meetings, smaller committees, the contribution of frequent-flyer miles and the possibility of private funding of WCC events.

The central committee agreed to cut the WCC's projected expenditure for 2003 from an initial figure of 47 million Swiss francs (about $32 million U. …

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