General Synod balances budget

Published January 1, 2012

A balanced 2012 budget of $12.698 million was approved by CoGS for the national church. In addition, a balanced budget was forecast for 2013 with “no further staffing cuts” before 2016.That’s the good news. The bad news is that declining revenues, coupled with cost-push inflation, could mean that General Synod will once again face a deficit budget in 2014. This deficit could balloon to $1 million by 2016, according to a report submitted to CoGS by the church’s Financial Management Committee (FMC). In 2011, a balanced budget was achieved through major restructuring that included staff layoffs and the elimination of some programs. “If we’re not able to stabilize revenues,” warned General Synod treasurer Michele George, “we’re back to the drawing board.” Of major concern is the decline in proportional gifts from dioceses. These constitute 67 per cent of budgeted revenue and are currently falling at an annual rate of three per cent, said FMC chair Rob Dickson. There is no indication that this decrease-which began in the 1990s as church attendance declined across Canada-will be reversed. Without new revenues, said Dickson, re-examination of the national program will be necessary by 2014. FMC noted in its report that a balanced budget in 2012 would not have been possible without support from the Ministry Investment Fund (MIF). The MIF was established in 2008 to limit the use of unrestricted bequests to bridge deficits. In 2011, the MIF was funded by 80 per cent of such bequests. The MIF allocates up to $250,000 a year “to provide funds for initiatives that ensure the ongoing mission and ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada.” The MIF is expected to have a balance of $3.6 million by Dec. 31, 2011. A balance of $2 million must be maintained.The 2012 budget forecasts revenue of $12.698 million, expenditures of $12.766 million and a surplus of $4,512. It also provides additional funding of up to $173,000 from the MIF, plus a contingency reserve of $300,000 and $268,640 for the Together in Mission (TIM) initiative. TIM is a nationwide fundraising initiative that involves a partnership between General Synod and dioceses and has a goal of raising $25 million over five years. In its report, FMC said that General Synod’s management team is “committed to maintaining budget equilibrium” and is aware that “future financial stability” depends on steady revenue growth. “In this context, the work of the Resources for Mission department [formerly the department of philanthropy], in partnership with dioceses, is critical,” said the report. Under the 2012 budget, the Council of the North received a grant of $2.263 million, down from last year’s $2.416 million. This amount reflects the council’s proposal that its grants be reduced by five per cent per year over the next five years. The council is a grouping of financially assisted dioceses that promote the mission and ministry of the church in Canada’s north. Sources of revenue:
Diocesan Proportional Gifts $8,411,108
Anglican Journal $2,093,000
Resources for Mission $1,049,031
Other Revenue (including cost recoveries, rental income,
cost sharing and projected grant revenues)
$897, 071
Investment Income $150,000
ABC Publishing $97,560

The operating budget includes:
Anglican Journal $2.467 million
General Secretary’s Office $1.414 million
Resources for Mission $1.287 million
Relationships (Ecumenical and Interfaith,
Anglican Global Relations)
Financial Services $727,191
Indigenous Ministries: $439,648
Faith, Worship and Ministry $417, 212
Primate’s Office $411,655
Property Management $355,200
Service and Support $273,833
General Synod Reserve $250,000
Web Services $232,067
Central Services and Administration $227,300
Sacred Circle $225,000
Depreciation $220,000
Anglican Video $219,985
Archives $215,786
Information Technology $139,153
House of Bishops $121,900
Lambeth Reserve $2,000


  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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