Annual Accounts

The annual accounts are being considered by Synod Members. David Palmer proposes the accounts. There will be a lot more later on Pensions.

The St Serf’s trust is to be wound up and its finances dispersed to several charities which help older people.

Finances – David Palmer notes that income has been slightly higher than expected. Expenditure is £117K below budget. There is a surplus that is higher than expected – over £200K.

Expenditure by boards was underspent due to grants not being spent and boards reigning in their expenditure.

Lower than expected take up of ministry funds and some surplus because some curacies have ended sooner than expected.

Accounts are reasonably healthy but still needs careful management. Standing Committee will be focusing on Whole Church Mission and Ministry Policy.

Budgets – Boards and Committees have considered their budgets and made submissions to Standing Committee. Boards have been asked to critically review budget proposals. Legacies are capitalized and not used to fund current operating funds. General Synod is heavily dependent on investment income. Falls in stock market have been significant. £200 K a year lost. Note also the increase in pension contributions needed.

Small surplus budgeted for in coming year.

Diocesan Synod

Last Saturday was the diocesan synod here in Glasgow and Galloway. I came back from it pretty depressed and with powerpoint fatigue.

Why depressed? Well, I’m starting to feel uncomfortable about hearing conversations about mission being held as though it is inevitable that congregations will shrink, clergy will die off and become rarer and there will be no money to pay for anything in the future. I just don’t believe that is the future that God wants for us. Apart from anything else, this diocese is in relatively good financial health, having been wise virgins these last few years. We have also just begun yet another mission programme, which seems to have gone down well with those who were there. [See here and here]. Is all really doom and gloom?

I’m also weary of hearing presentations on stewardship and then being asked to approve falling provincial budgets. It almost feels as though those who prepare those budgets (for whom I have a great deal of admiration for their diligence and skill) don’t believe that any of the efforts of the various stewardship processes are going to make a blind bit of difference. If that is true, we should not be wasting our time setting up stewardship processes and if it isn’t, we should be challenging the budgets.

Or have I got that wrong somehow? I kind of hope that I have.