National Cathedral adjusts to economic downturn

Washington National Cathedral plans to slash its budget dramatically and lay off 30 percent of its staff to close a widening budget gap, leaders said yesterday.

Just six months after its last round of cuts, the century-old institution plans to shut down a historic building on its grounds, cut back on choir performances, shrink its lecture and class schedule, outsource its retail operation and rely on volunteers to take over other functions, the Rev. Samuel Lloyd III, dean of the Episcopal cathedral, said in an interview yesterday.

So reports the Washington Post. More:

The cathedral is self-supporting and does not receive funds from either the Episcopal Diocese of Washington or the national Episcopal Church. Nor does it receive government funding — a fact that many visitors and potential donors do not understand, Lloyd said.

In the economic downturn says Kathleen Cox, the cathedral’s chief operating officer says the cathedral is turning conservative in its budgeting:

The cathedral’s endowment, valued last spring at $66 million, has declined about 25 percent since then, Cox said. Cathedral leaders have opted to draw $1 million from it instead of the usual $3.5 million. Anticipating the effects of the economy on all nonprofits, the cathedral is budgeting for a drop in donations and program revenue, even though it is ahead of projections right now.

Addendum: ENS has a thorough report.

Past Posts