The national office of the Anglican Church of Canada reported a deficit for the fourth straight year in 2006, but the shortfall, at about $486,000, was less than half the $1.1 million loss recorded in 2005.
Revenue shortfall primarily came from the operations of the Anglican Book Centre, said treasurer Peter Blachford in an interview. The Toronto bookstore reported revenue of $2.46 million and expenses of $2.96 million in 2006, compared to revenue of $2.89 million and expenses of $3.11 million in 2005.
The church’s flagship fundraiser, the Anglican Appeal, fell short of its target.
The bookstore’s fortunes changed earlier this year, as Lutheran publisher Augsburg Fortress agreed to manage the outlet – and the financial risk – and pay rent to General Synod. “In 2008, that line will be revenue, period,” said Mr. Blachford.
In the annual financial report presented to the General Synod meeting, income from dioceses – the major portion of revenue for the national office, also called General Synod – was down slightly at $8.71 million, compared to $8.73 million. Total revenue declined to $13.71 million from $14.0 million.
The Anglican Appeal, meanwhile, was down to $426,000 from $500,000. The financial management and development committee is analyzing the reasons for the Anglican Appeal’s decline.
In previous years, the Appeal released unaudited figures early in the calendar year. This year, though, the church’s audit committee elected to follow “best-sector practices” and not release figures until they were audited. Mr. Blachford announced last spring that he would not release 2006 figures until General Synod in June.
General Synod received a larger contribution ($514,000, compared with $142,000) from bequests and investment income rose to $97,000 from $77,000 due to a change in investment managers.
Expenses were down, as a result of cost-cutting by various departments at the national office, to $14.20 million from $15.10 million.
Overall, the 2007 financial picture is “tracking extremely well, ahead of where I would have budgeted,” said Mr. Blachford. However, he added, that he is concerned about diocesan contributions in 2008. Conversations with some diocesan treasurers indicate that some dioceses, which he declined to name, may be considering reducing their grants to General Synod.