General Synod treasurer Peter Blachford resigns

By on December 11, 2008

Peter Blachford, General Synod treasurer and director of the financial management and development department since 2004, has resigned, effective Dec. 31.In a memo sent to staff Dec. 11, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said that he and Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, general secretary, accepted Mr. Blachford’s resignation.Archbishop Hiltz said that Mr. Blachford cited personal reasons for his decision to resign.”There’s really not a lot to say. Peter has cited personal reasons for bringing his contract to a close. We simply need to respect and honour that,” said Archbishop Hiltz in an interview with the Anglican Journal.Mr. Blachford said that he intends to return to consultancy work and deal with a recurring health issue.When asked whether Mr. Blachford’s resignation had anything to do with the church’s financial situation, Archbishop Hiltz told the Journal, “No. I would hope that people would not put the two pieces together. Peter’s been very much part of the budget process and has worked alongside others to help manage the financial restraint that we’re in.” He added, “I hope people wouldn’t speculate. What I would hope is that people would respect his reasons.”Members of the national office’s staff association had earlier sent a letter to management team asking what steps were being taken to address the church’s financial governance issues.In November, General Synod announced the layoffs of seven staff as part of a plan to cut the 2009 budget by $1.3 million, reduce the shortfall to $800,000 and try to put an end to what had been a pattern in the last five years of incurring deficits. Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, the general secretary, emphasized that the layoffs were “due to structural changes we are forced to make as a result of financial constraints we are facing” and that “none were due to performance issues.”Last fall, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) approved the 2009 budget which projected a deficit of $745,639, with revenues anticipated at $8.6 million and expenditures at $9.4 million.But the approval was not made without the vocal opposition of some CoGS members who noted that the information presented to them was short on details.CoGS also approved a motion recommending to General Synod 2010, the church’s governing body, “that there be no deficit budgets for the work of General Synod after the year 2012.”Archbishop Hiltz said that as the search for the new treasurer takes place, Archdeacon Pollesel, in consultation with the controller, Michael Herrera, would handle the financial matters.

Author

  • 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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