Lambeth Conference funding shortfall causes probed

Last year’s Lambeth Conference had some problems, at least financially speaking. A just completed audit of the funds raised and spent to hold the conference has uncovered some serious concerns about decisions made.

While the Lambeth Conference Funding Review Group acknowledged it found no evidence of financial malpractice or dishonesty, its 17-page report cites poor communication and lack of corporate memory as contributing factors to the conference’s shortfall of £388,000 ($564,000).

Although significantly less than the conference’s projected £1.2 million ($1.74 million) deficit, it appears the shortfall could have been avoided were it not for “confusion over one particular expenditure commitment of £411,000 ($597,000)” that the review says “more than wiped out [a] £300,000 ($435,000) budget contingency” set aside by the Lambeth Conference Company.

The shortfall was due in large part to the smaller number of attendees than were expected according to the report.


In its report, the review group said it found that “reporting lines, responsibilities and authority were sometimes unclear, despite the improved governance arrangement for the 2008 conference with the creation of the conference company, and despite the fact that key staff met regularly” with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Anglican Communion secretary general the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon.

Kearon described the review as being “very fair and objective,” adding that it “identifies what the problems were and indeed what had caused the problems.”

The full article by Matthew Davis for Episcopal News Service is here.

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