Often when a financial crisis strikes the church it is deep breathe time: suck it up, absorb the pain, and wait for the better day to come. Last year's earnings went south, this year's are going north. But not so with the Diocese of Sydney. It must be a great shock to its Synod to find that last year's austerity measures are not enough. SMH reports,
"The Anglican Church in Sydney is in diabolical trouble. Already battered by the global financial crisis, the diocese is planning further savage spending cuts.
The archbishop, Peter Jensen, told the annual synod on Monday: "The financial issues are grave."
One of the biggest and richest dioceses in Australia, Sydney leveraged its huge investment portfolio in the boom and sold when the market hit rock bottom. After losing more than $100 million, it was forced to halve its expenditure. "There was considerable pain," the archbishop told the annual gathering of clergy and laity in Sydney. But it wasn't enough.
"In round terms, it seems possible that the amount of money available … to support diocesan works in the next few years is going to be reduced from the $7.5 million of 2010 to something like $4 million. Our major rethink of last year was only the beginning." "