Members of Bishop and Chapter met this past Monday with one purpose – to approve a budget for 2016. In reviewing the unofficial 2015 statements treasurer Martha Jo Hoyt noted that offerings were $26,000 less than budgeted, but that was partially offset by ordinary expenses for the year which were below budget. Because of a substantial increase in regular and Christmas offerings in December, and some transfer of funds internally, she expects we will end the year with either a small deficit or a small surplus.
The results of the congregational budget questionnaire, which was answered by 120 individuals, were discussed and referred to throughout the meeting. It was concluded, at the end of this meeting, that year-over-year budgeting is difficult without a Christ-centred strategic action plan for our congregation. Members agreed to further discuss this at a future meeting.
Following is a summary of the most important decisions related to the 2016 budget:
- Based on the stated intentions of those replying to the congregational survey, the budget for regular offerings was set at $495,000 – $30,000 or 6.4% more than in 2015
- The budget for the Parish Nurse will remain at $15,000. The Health Ministry Team had made a recommendation that the position become “permanent, part-time with benefits.” Before such a recommendation can be considered, a new funding model, one that is financially sustainable over the long-term, must be developed.
- $2800 is budgeted as a minimum Cathedral contribution to the Greater Chapter/Archdeaconry plan for a shared ministry in support of refugees. Special offerings, fund-raising events and volunteer opportunities will allow us, as individuals, to do more.
- Using the grant from the Diocese, two important problems in the hall will be addressed: the front steps and the foundation below will be repaired to stop water from leaking into the electrical room (a serious safety risk), and the wheelchair lift will either be repaired or replaced. Other much-needed renovations will be prioritized for future action.
- A new $7500 Young Families and Youth budget will be established, and in the coming year there will be active exploration of ideas and options as to how it could be spent in order to both facilitate ministry among those now with us, attract young families to our faith community and do more with youth.
- A new volunteer committee will be appointed to conduct annual reviews of our financial transactions and operational accounting methodology. This modified ‘audit’ is in keeping with a diocesan requirement, but it has not been done in recent years, usually for budgetary reasons.
The Chapter’s Property Committee will actively continue to pursue ‘green’ and environmentally friendly cost-saving measures in the Cathedral and Memorial Hall to save on our large heating bills.
- The Dean and the Chapter are agreed that we can all benefit from better communication, more information and Biblical teaching as part of a stewardship approach to the decisions we make, as individuals and as a congregation, regarding the many resources that God has provided us.
The 2015 financial statements and the 2016 budget will both be presented at the annual meeting on February 21 (February 28 – snow date). All members of the congregation are invited and encouraged to attend. The Chapter extends special thanks to the 120 individuals who provided helpful information and comments via the congregational survey.
Monday, 15 February 2016, 7:00 p.m.