New direction set for stewardship

Published April 1, 2007

The process of fundraising at the national office is expected to change as the Letting Down the Nets stewardship initiative becomes a new office of financial development. In its report to the Council of General Synod (CoGS), the financial management and development committee noted that a recent consultant’s report recommended the creation of an office that would co-ordinate and enhance financial development activities at the national church office.

Several CoGS members praised the idea, but Clarence Randell of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, said he was troubled by the fact that there had been no financial report to CoGS from the committee or the church’s finance department. “Can we get some update on the current status?” he asked.

Treasurer Peter Blachford said that preliminary figures show that the national church recorded an overall deficit of $356,000 in 2006, of which $304,000 were losses at the Anglican Book Centre. He did not give further figures. Last fall, the treasurer’s report projected a break-even 2006 financial result “barring … a further decline in (bookstore) sales or other external factors.” It also projected revenue of $9.87 million compared to $10.15 million in 2005.

Although the resolutions did not spell out what would happen to the Letting Down the Nets office, General Secretary Michael Pollesel said in an interview that it “is finished in its present incarnation.”

The initiative, which was approved at the 2004 General Synod, was meant to raise new funds for national church work. Over the past three years, it counseled six dioceses on stewardship work, but could not find a significant number of major donors to fund its work.    

CoGS directed that the development office be established by January, 2009 and that the spring 2008 CoGS receive a report on a funding proposal for the new office’s staffing needs and costs.


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