Despite efforts to balance its budget, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada continues to face financial difficulties.
At the September synod of the ecclesiastical province of Canada—made up of seven dioceses in Atlantic Canada and Quebec—Archbishop Fred Hiltz said the forecast for 2012 is that the national office will have a budget shortfall of $900,000. “The General Synod is struggling financially and we have been on this trajectory for a long time,” said Hiltz, who is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
While expenses have been “tracking close to budget,” revenues came in “lower than anticipated,” said Michele George, treasurer for General Synod, in an interview. This includes anticipated revenue from the Resources for Mission department, which handles the church’s annual appeals, among other fundraising activities. “I think our expectations were too high for Resources for Mission and it’s going to take longer for some of that revenue to materialize,” said George, who resigned Oct. 1.
Advertising revenue for the Anglican Journal was also lower than expected as was revenue from diocesan giving.
Management at General Synod has been working to re-focus its activities on mission while balancing the budget through cost-cutting. The latter has included a 25 per cent reduction in national staff over the past three years.
Hiltz said that by 2016, the national church structure “will look very different,” as mandated by Vision 2019, the 10-year strategic plan for the church, which was approved by the 2010 General Synod.
On Jan. 8-10, 2013, church representatives from across Canada will meet in Toronto to look at the future of church and its structure. The consultation will be facilitated by Janet Marshall, a congregational development officer of the diocese of Montreal.
—with files from Marites N. Sison