Church faces £500,000 shortfall

CHURCH goers in Suffolk were today being told that the diocese faces a £500,000 shortfall in funds.Acting Chairman of the Board of Finance, Archdeacon Geoffrey Arrand told parish delegates: “To the end of September the diocese had received £723,000 less than had been agreed.

CHURCH goers in Suffolk were today being told that the diocese faces a £500,000 shortfall in funds.

Acting Chairman of the Board of Finance, Archdeacon Geoffrey Arrand told parish delegates: “To the end of September the diocese had received £723,000 less than had been agreed.

“Even with a major effort over the coming weeks it is clear to me that we are going to be around half a million pounds short in donations actually received from parishes.”

Last year delegates voted in favour of a financial plan, which committed the parishes to contributing £6.1 million. The Archdeacon reminded delegates: “Providing for the work of the church is not a legal obligation, but it is an obligation.”

Audited accounts for 2006 showed that the Suffolk's parishes raised a total of nearly £13m.

Mr Arrand was telling the Synod: “The answers are in our hands and in our wallets.”

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More than 70 per cent of the total budget is spent on clergy posts, so the Archdeacon warned delegates that these were at most risk: “We must be clear that if there were to be cuts then we are talking about clergy in parishes. It might well be your Vicar who will not be replaced.”

Looking to the new financial year, Archdeacon Arrand outlined the Church's budget for 2008.

Archdeacon Arrand added: “We have to look to ourselves. We have to deliver up the money or accept that significant change will follow.”

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