15 April 2009
A review group, set up by the Archbishops' Council in November and chaired by Andrew Britton, the chair of its Finance Committee, has published a consultation document as a first step in establishing spending priorities for the Council for 2010-15.
The group was asked to consider what the Council's spending priorities should be over the lifetime of the next General Synod that will be elected next year. The Council is responsible for spending in five major areas: initial training for the ordained ministry; national support through the departments at Church House, Westminster; grants to other bodies; mission agencies pensions; and support for clergy housing in retirement.
In its consultation document, the group attempts to estimate how much extra money would have to be requested from dioceses over the period if present policies and commitments were to continue unaltered. It also identifies possible areas in which expenditure might be reduced should this prove necessary.
The document will be discussed at the Inter-Diocesan Finance Forum, at the Archbishops' Council and at the House of Bishops. Views on the document can be submitted by 22 May. The review group intends to submit a final report for the Archbishops' Council to consider in June.
Other members of the group have been the Ven Richard Atkinson (Archdeacon of Leicester and until recently a Church Commissioner), Katherine MacPherson (a member of the Archbishops' Council), Sandra Newton (Chair of Sheffield Diocesan Board of Finance) and the Rt Revd David Urquhart (Bishop of Birmingham).
The report is available here.