The diocese of Saskatchewan, which covers the northern half of the province, is facing a financial crunch. The diocesan executive committee has decided to eliminate all parish grants for 2006 and require parishes to live within their means. Two staff positions will also be cut. Unless the financial situation improves, the half-time position of suffragan bishop will likely be cut when Bishop Charles Arthurson, who will be 68 in July, retires.
Some parishes in the southern part of the diocese have failed to reimburse synod office for stipends paid to clergy and have not paid their apportionments to the diocese. This resulted in a shortfall in the diocesan budget of more than $100,000 at the end of 2004, although close to one-quarter of that amount had been remitted to the synod office by the end of January. The diocese has drawn down money from its reserves, which have been depleted by its requirement to contribute to the residential schools settlement fund.
In the northern part of the diocese, many parishes are coping with decreases in giving and have defaulted on the cost of building and liability insurance, which has risen steeply. The diocese is planning a program to improve stewardship in the parishes.