Do we Kiwis lack the blessings of thorough, no details left undone investigative journalism?
Here is an NZ Herald article on the state of finances of some of our larger non-mainstream/historic denominations.
At the end of the article we read this sentence:
"The Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia has declared assets of $1.7m and an annual income of $1,997,265."
Now, if you believe that is a true description of all Anglican assets in these islands then I have a bridge, a floating jetty and a $9 coin to sell you. I assume it is something like the assets of our General Synod Standing Committee (i.e. the wherewithal to house and fund our very lean "national" church office).
It would only take a bit of Googling around, a phone call or two to pretty much any clergyperson or churchwarden for the Herald to realise there was a lot more to investigate - our separate dioceses and their trust funds, including the funds held in trust for the parishes, to say nothing of estimated asset value of church buildings. All of which would add up to a pretty sum, dwarfing the other sums mentioned in the article. (And, shhhhhh, don't say anything about the biggest "Anglican" trust of them all ...). Incidentally, we spend what we earn on mission and ministry, and very helpful it is too.
In personal news, I am just back from a trip to Sydney which took in a conference organised by the Sydney College of Divinity on Justice, Mercy and Social Well-being. Some brilliant papers and some not so brilliant ones (e.g. my own, but a useful exercise in critical response to a paper based on a chapter in a book I am writing on mercy).
It was fascinating being an Anglican in a conference of this kind as some key voices were from Greek and Coptic Orthodox churches, voices not normally present in theological conferences on this side of the ditch (in my experience). It was a pleasure to get to know Fr Antonios Kaldas a little and I am adding his blog to the blogroll here on ADU. (He gives an engaging video presentation here on some interesting questions).
And by the end of this week I need to be ready for the next Anglican Studies course here in Christchurch ... there may or may not be much posting this week :)
The Presbyterian numbers are equally silly. They obviously in our case just picked up the head office return, and none of the parishes. Someone should have made a phone call there too.
The Presbyterian churches own collation of parish statistics show that they have total receipts of $52 million (not the $6 million quoted for head office) and net assets of $600 million (not the $21 million in the article.)
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