Forecasting anything amid the uncertainty of a pandemic can be a difficult task. In January, diocesan council passed a $1.8 million budget for 2021 with a $131,162 deficit.
Many parishes’ traditional sources of revenue such as hall rentals were lost in 2020. Officials say revenue from individuals has held up well, a reflection that churchgoers, when faced with a crisis or a market meltdown, generally maintain their donations. And 75 per cent of revenue to the diocese comes from the parishes. On the plus side, the federal wage subsidy has had a levelling influence. The diocese also set up a $200,000 emergency fund in April 2020, offering grants of $10,000.
The diocese also has a financial apportionment that it passes on to the national church.
For a quick fiscal snapshot, here are some budget variances ($15,000 or greater) compared to the 5-year synod plan 2021 projections.
Assessment income: $55,000 lower
Asset management projects $20,000 lower
Transforming Futures: $500,000 lower
Donations and bequests: $15,000 lower
Rental income: $52,000 higher (new lease with St Paul Housing)
National assessment: $155,000 lower
Bishop’s office: $24,000 higher (moving expenses/consecration – onetime costs)
Cathedral support: $25,000 higher (new item since 2020)
Asset management: $71,000 lower
Admin staff costs: $54,000 higher