Extreme makeover

Published December 1, 2010

Henriette Thompson Photo: SFR

Restructuring at the Anglican Church of Canada head offices in Toronto has resulted in the closure of the Partnerships department as of November 1.

In addition, there will no longer be a full-time librarian on staff at General Synod library, beginning in 2012. Yet to be determined is how best to maintain services, including online databases.

In all, 14 positions were affected by the restructuring of Church House. Ten positions were eliminated. In some cases, staff were offered different or new positions; six staff received layoff notices. The next year will be used as a transitional year to evaluate the restructuring, said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, in a meeting with staff.

The Partnerships department, from which four staff positions were eliminated, focused on three program areas-Partners in Mission, EcoJustice and the Anglican Healing Fund. The primate says this work will now be done in partnership with other churches and overseen by staff in two newly created positions: Henriette Thompson, formerly director of Partnerships, will assume a new role as co-ordinator of ecumenical, interfaith and government relations. Andrea Mann becomes the new co-ordinator of global relations within the Anglican Communion.

However, the work of the Partnerships department in other key areas will end. This includes the International Internship Program for Theological Students, the Volunteers In Mission program and grants to international partners. Companion dioceses programs will likely continue.Indigenous Ministries and the Anglican Healing Fund will remain unchanged.

“We think we’ve achieved a structure that reflects a capacity to live within our means and that’s a huge achievement,” said Archbishop Hiltz.

The cuts are the result of a 2009 decision to eliminate deficit budgeting by 2012. Deficits have been reduced each year since. The amount left to be cut from the 2011 operating budget was expected to be in the vicinity of $1.1 million, but information on the actual amount was not available at press time. The draft budget is subject to approval by the Financial Management Committee and the Council of General Synod (CoGS), which meets Nov. 18-21.

Archbishop Hiltz noted that 80 to 84 per cent of General Synod revenue depends on contributions from dioceses. These contributions have been declining at a rate of about three per cent per year since 1992. Over the last three years, 23 staff members have been laid off. Ω


  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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