Thursday, October 14, 2010


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." "


Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
As grave as the Diocese of Sydney's financial issues are, most other Australian dioceses would love to swap places. What other diocese outside the UK has investment returns funding its bishops and a significant level of ministry at the diocesan level?
Certainly, this is a crisis for Sydney, which perhaps will limit the scale of the ministry activities they can fund, or put a heavier load on parishes to support the diocesan budget. We pray God will give them great wisdom and prudence, so that their extensive ministries are not curtailed. But what is grave for Sydney is par for the course for other Australian dioceses.

Peter Carrell said...

Agreed, Andrew! 200 million underperforming dollars are still 200 million dollars. Now if only they had entrusted that money to NZ's best performing Diocesan Trust Board ... the name of which I could only divulge for a significant finder's fee :)