Diocese of Sydney’s financial woes continue

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Diocese of Sydney, led by Peter Jensen, Secretary of Gafcon, continues to reel from financial overreaching.

The Anglican Church’s Sydney diocese faces another year of belt tightening and cuts to community services after its investment arm warned of a ”substantial reduction” in its annual payout. Two years after it lost $160 million because of a high-risk gearing strategy, the investment arm of the country’s largest Anglican diocese has blamed a 71 per cent fall in earnings – to $3.2 million for the year to December – on a ”subdued performance” by the Australian sharemarket. …

The Glebe Administration Board, which manages the Sydney diocese’s endowment fund … has paid $5.25 million to the synod this year for funding of the ”central activities of the Church”, including support of parishes and organisations such as Youthworks and Moore College. It is a significant reduction from a payment of almost $11 million in 2009. But in a sign of more pain ahead, the board has recommended to the church’s standing committee that the total distribution for next year be reduced to just $3.6 million – about 75 per cent of the synod’s total available funds next year of $4.9 million.

The board believed the payouts in recent years were too high to allow it to meet its primary aim of maintaining the ”real value” of the endowment fund’s property. ”Regardless of market conditions, if you have got an endowment of $110 million, it is just not sustainable to be distributing amounts of $10 million a year before costs – you are going to go backwards very quickly,” Mr Payne said.

Previous Episcopal Cafe posts on Sydney finances here.

Past Posts