General Synod Treasurer to leave Oct. 1

Archbishop Fred Hiltz (center) said Michele George has helped enable the church “to set its sights on sustainable balanced budgets.” Photo: Marites N. Sison
Published August 8, 2012

Declining revenues remain an “ongoing challenge” for General Synod, says Treasurer Michele George, who has announced her resignation, effective Oct. 1, 2012.

George, 61, cites health reasons and “wanting to spend more time with my family” as reasons for leaving after three-and-a-half years.

The decision was “very, very difficult,” says George, a chartered accountant and veteran of the healthcare and not-for-profit sectors. “Watching this church go from ‘We can’t deal with any more change to actually beginning to embrace it…to dream in a different way, has been quite extraordinary,” she told the Journal.

George was hired in 2009, during a period of transition for the national office that included department downsizing and staff layoffs. George says she remains hopeful that changes to the national church’s infrastructure will result in a more sustainable future.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, paid tribute to George’s work, saying, “… she has enabled our church to set its sights on sustainable balanced budgets.” The church has “benefited from her expertise and experience in financial management…,” said Hiltz in a memo to staff.

Meanwhile, the Resources for Mission (RFM) department is focusing on bringing in revenue through bequests and a diocesan fundraising partnership called “Together in Mission.” While about 66% of the church’s revenue comes from dioceses, the steady downward trend in church membership has resulted in a decline in revenue of about 3 per cent per year.

Diocesan proportional giving–set at 26 per cent but currently averaging 21 per cent for each of the 30 dioceses–is expected to remain the core of the church’s budget. Right now the church is trying to do more than survive, says George. “We’re trying to look for a way to sustain the church into the future and that requires vision, communication, commitment and engagement. It’s a tough time because it’s a time for change,” she says, adding that, “It’s also an exciting time because change opens up possibilities. It closes some doors but opens other ones.”


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