Skip to comments.2008 Lambeth Conference Faces $3 Million Shortfall
Posted on 12/30/2005 9:52:25 AM PST by sionnsar
With less than three years remaining before the opening session, the 2008 Lambeth Conference is facing a potential cash shortfall of more than $3 million. Funding for the once every 10-year gathering of bishops from around the Anglican Communion is administered by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC).
The ACC administers two funds to finance the Lambeth Conference. The audited financial statements for the year ending Dec. 31, 2004 report the value of the Lambeth Conference Designated fund at £679,727 ($1.2 million). The Lambeth Conference Restricted fund was valued at £582,627 ($1 million). Both funds experienced significant increases in their net asset value over the year due to prudent financial management.
However annual contributions to the funds by the ACC were halted in 2003 by the ACC secretary general, the Rev. Canon John L. Peterson, whose term of office concluded in December 2004. Up through 2003 the ACC set aside funds to cover the cost of the conference but in that year deposited only $119,100 of a budgeted $238,201. No funds were contributed in 2004 or 2005.
At ACC-13 in Nottingham last June, the ACC finance director, told the delegates the organization did not anticipate making any further contributions prior to the 2008 start of the conference. The Rt. Rev. John Paterson, ACC chairman, told the meeting The Lambeth Design Group is reasonably confident that the money we have put aside will be okay, but noted they would be much more comfortable if we could make the contribution as in the past.
However the trustees report in the 2004 audited statements said additional funds will need to be raised. As the next event planned for 2008 approaches, the trustees must urgently consider how this conference is to be funded, the report stated.
The 1998 conference drew approximately 750 bishops from across the Communion and cost approximately $3.5 million. The July 16-Aug. 3, 2008 conference will be four days shorter than in 1998, but inflation and an increase in the number of bishops invited may raise the final cost for the 2008 conference to more than $4.3 million.
While $2.2 million of the $4.3 million estimated cost exists on paper, the notes to the financial statements indicate a portion of those funds consist of a note receivable from the ACC used to pay for renovations to its new offices at St Andrews House in North London. The auditors report notes the borrowing by the Property Fund from the funds designated for the Lambeth Conference in 2008 has been reduced to [$372,552] from [$960,444] by the end of 2004.
In addition to repaying the loan to the Lambeth Conference Fund, the ACC faces repayment of an interest free loan of $863,049 to the Diocese of Hong Kong due in 2007.
After the Church of England, the Episcopal Church is the largest contributor to the ACC. Three Churches: the Church of England, the Episcopal Church, and the Anglican Church of Canada, contributed 72 percent of the ACCs budget in 2004. Both the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church have been asked to withdraw their official delegations from the ACC until 2008.
The Episcopal Church was asked to provide 30 percent, or $672,143, of the ACCs $2.3 million in contributions from the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion in 2005. Additional ACC contributions from the Episcopal Church include grants from Trinity Wall Street of $120,826 per year, support for the Anglican UN Observer through donated office space at the Episcopal Church Center and contributions from individuals.
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