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European C of E churches told to stump up

Sat 21 Oct 2017
By Alex Williams

Church of England congregations in continental Europe are facing a drop in disposable income, under a new shake-up of finances and staffing.

The Diocese of Europe warned a reliance on reserve funds in the current budget "could not continue indefinitely" as it approved plans for greater contributions to help meet costs.

Diocese of Europe

 

Ten per cent of each church's annual income will go towards meeting diocese-wide costs via the Common Fund by 2020, double the current five per cent figure.

Similar to Diocesan Share payments made by Church of England congregations in the UK, the Common Fund raises money for services which benefit the diocese as a whole, such as safeguarding.

Following a two-day meeting of the Bishop's Council in London this week, leaders also gave the green light to plans to tackle the "pressure" facing its seven Archdeacons, many of whom also lead churches of their own.

It came after the Archdeacon of North-West Europe, Ven Dr Paul Vrolijk and the Archdeacon of France Ven Meurig Williams gave accounts during the summit of the strain they have been under.

Under the new financial plan agreed on Friday, the number of full-time Archdeacons in the diocese will increase from one to three during the course of the next three years.

The document also allows for an increase in staffing and support for safeguarding, and new arrangements for the diocese communications department from the end of the year.

The Diocese of Europe has a presence in dozens of European countries, as well as Morocco, the Caucasus and central Asia.

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