Expenses at General Synod, the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada, need to be cut by $415,000 or additional revenues need to be found to achieve a balanced budget for 2005.
“We are in a very serious situation due to a number of factors,” the national church’s department directors said in a report to staff. “These include the Anglican Appeal, which although exceeding the 2003 contribution level, fell short of projected revenue in 2004, losses by ABC (Anglican Book Centre, a retail store at the church’s Toronto office) and shortfalls in contributions by some dioceses.”
All departments have been asked to find ways of pruning their expenses or increasing revenues, said General Synod treasurer Peter Blachford. He has not ruled out staff layoffs and two accounting staff due for retirement this summer might not be replaced to save money. Mr. Blachford also announced recently the hiring of Canon Geoffrey Jackson as the senior development officer for the Anglican Church of Canada, a one-year contract position. Mr. Jackson, executive officer for the Kingston-based diocese of Ontario, is responsible for the implementation of the church’s Letting Down the Nets stewardship and gift planning initiative over the next year.
Management team, the directors of the national church departments, was scheduled to meet April 21 to discuss the cuts and to identify potential revenue sources. Their recommendations were to be submitted to the financial management and development committee for its meeting April 23. The committee sends its recommendations to the Council of General Synod.
Management team will also present a plan that not only re-balances the budget for 2005 but also “sketches out a program of financial recovery for beyond 2005.” The team decided to slash the 2005 budget following a report that showed a deficit of more than $500,000 for 2004.
As reported in the April issue of the Anglican Journal, the 2005 budget forecasts revenues of $10.57 million and expenditures of $10.72 million.
Unaudited year-end figures for 2004 showed a drop of $130,000 in diocesan contributions, a $150,000 shortfall from Anglican Appeal and a loss of $225,000 from ABC, mostly due to a building move last year.
Mr. Blachford said assumptions made for the 2005 budget might no longer be realistic. This year’s budget, for instance, aggressively projected donations of $850,000 for Anglican Appeal. The appeal took in $760,000 in 2004.
Last November, the finance department had projected a shortfall of $200,000; it also projected 2004 expenditures to be over-budget by $264,000 due to additional costs associated with the move from 600 Jarvis St. to 80 Hayden St., both in Toronto.