From THE TIMES:
Clergy in the Church of England are being asked to cut their cloth to suit the economic times and to prepare for mergers and staff cuts that could drastically reduce pastoral care and worship. A report on finances has found that a quarter of all 44 dioceses are running deficits and plundering reserves to pay stipends and pensions. A similar proportion has liquid reserves to last them one month or less.
High staffing levels of clegy and laity are highlighted. The Church of England spends £1 billion a year in salaries and pensions for clergy as well as the upkeep of its buildings, an amount roughly matched by donations from parishes. But rising pension costs mean that every year churchgoers are asked to increase donations. The report, commissioned to help churches to improve “efficiency and effectiveness”, suggests that finances are so finely balanced in some areas that parishoners will have to dig even deeper or face cuts in provision. “Cuts are not inevitable, but are an option that needs to be thought through,” said Paul Gibson, of the accountant Mazars, and the report’s author.
COMMENT: Cuts are not inevitable? Ha!
The cuts have been going on, disguised disingenuously with any excuse that comes to hand, for the past ten years or more. You want proof? Well, here I am.