Synod to consider significant questions before setting next year’s budget
Members of Truro Diocesan Synod have been asked to give thought and prayer to some fundamental questions about how we finance our operations, before attending November’s meeting at which next year’s budget will be presented.
It is hoped that synod representatives will discuss and pray with parish colleagues over the answers to some of the questions.
At the heart of the debate is whether or not a deficit budget – which relies upon using financial reserves – should be set in any circumstances and, if so, the conditions in which that is acceptable. Key to this is the model of ministry we believe is right for the future.
At the September meeting of the synod, members spent a considerable amount of time discussing these questions.
Diocesan Secretary Esther Pollard said: “It was incredibly useful to hear back from the groups at synod, and I have been grateful to receive some further follow up on these issues since the synod meeting. I would be pleased to hear from anybody who would like to feed into this process, as it helps us to gain a better idea of what people on the parishes think as we are setting a budget for the coming year.”
The paper the groups were asked to consider is available in the synod papers here.
The six questions members have been asked to consider are:
- Given that levels of giving are only ever a symptom of spiritual health (or otherwise) what are the root causes we need to be addressing? What actions can we take to change this?
- Do we accept a budget with an operating deficit this next year and, if we do, on what conditions on a longer term plan might that acceptance be conditional?
- Despite our best efforts in 2014 with the achievement of a 21% increase in collection call on the MMF, why are we at the same financial point now as we were almost five years ago?
- Is stipendiary (ie paid) ministry at the parish level the best way to meet our aims?
- Should we require all parish groups to be self-sufficient in both lay and ordained ministries all on a voluntary basis?
- What alternative models of ministry might we consider? The Church of England is especially committed to a ministry in every place and for every person; we are not a membership organisation.
Mrs Pollard added: “If people would like to send me any of their thoughts to feed into this process, I would be really pleased to hear from them. They could email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Truro Diocesan Synod next sits on November 16. A copy of the notice of the meeting can be found here.