Despite tough economic times, bishops say they need to meet

Published December 1, 2008

Bishop Robert Bennett (diocese of Huron) and Bishop Ben Arreak (suffragan bishop, diocese of the Arctic) pore over documents during the house of bishops’ meeting Oct. 27 to 31 at Niagara Falls, Ont.

Niagara Falls, Ont.
The house of bishops has expressed concern about cutting one of its meetings in the triennium because of General Synod’s budgetary constraints, and said it would look for “creative ways” to find funds to finance such a meeting.

“The issue is not finally resolved. The only thing I could say is that there’s a great concern within the house at this particular time in the life of the church that if we couldn’t meet, that would be very difficult for us,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, in an interview. “What I was hearing from bishops is that, as tough as it is, we need to meet, we need to have time to pray together and to talk together, and we need time to wrestle things out with one another.”
As part of its efforts to prune a huge budget deficit projected for 2009, the financial management and development committee of General Synod has suggested that all church committees cut at least one of their meetings for the triennium. (See related story, page 1.)

“What may emerge for bishops is, because they are so committed to the house, and to being a community of bishops, we will look at creative ways in terms of financing our meeting. That may mean that bishops can make their own contribution to enable us to have a meeting,” said Archbishop Hiltz.

Last year, the cost of hosting the bishops’ meeting was $47, 500; an additional $41,700 was spent when the bishops’ spouses joined them in a “house and spouse” meeting.


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