Diocesan Director of Finance Kathryn Rose gave an update on the financial outturn for 2021 and the current situation in 2022.
in part to exceptional funding from the national church in connection
with the pandemic recovery process, and a transfer from the Pastoral
Account, the net deficit in 2021 was £1 million rather than the £1.4
million in the budget.
There had been higher-than-expected net
gains in the value of investments, but Kathryn warned that these were
gains only on paper, and that the valuations are always subject to
Free Will Offer receipts to the diocesan Common Fund
were close to the figure in the 2021 budget, which had assumed that
parish pledges would remain at the 2020 levels in order not to increase
stresses during the earlier stages of the Covid pandemic. Fresh pledges
for 2022 appeared to be 9% lower than the 2020 baseline of £7.9 million,
with many parishes citing continuing disruption and uncertainty due to
the pandemic, but in some cases aspiring to make higher contributions if
circumstances through the year allow.
A 2.5% increase in stipends
and salaries from April 2022 agreed by the Diocesan Board of Finance
would cost an additional £115,000; this however would be more than
recouped this year due to a drop in payments required to correct the
historic deficit in the Church of England’s pension funds.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Director of Education Andrew Smith introduced a complex scheme to
reform the structure of the York Diocesan Board of Education to enable
it to continue to play its part in the life of our Church of England
Schools and Academies, and to engage effectively with government and
statutory bodies and with other educational organisations in a
The scheme has the effect of vesting
the legal responsibilities of the York Diocesan Board of Education
(YDBE) in The York Diocesan Board of Finance (YDBF), which is itself a
statutory body as well as a limited company; the YDBE’s responsibilities
will be delegated to a newly-constituted Diocesan Board of Education
Andrew spelled out the safeguards for both
the future DBE Committee and the DBF; when invited to support the formal
motion, moved by the Archbishop, Synod voted 99% in favour with 1%
Green Ambassador for the
Diocese of York the Revd Jan Nobel introduced a report on carbon
emissions in the Diocese of York in 2020 (in the context of General
Synod’s commitment to make the Church of England ‘Net Zero’ by 2030).
by a motion in the July 2021 York Diocesan Synod, the Diocesan
Environmental Steering Committee (DESC) had compiled a report on
estimated emissions from diocesan schools (using known 2020 energy
consumption figures), housing (using existing Energy Performance
Certificates for each house), and from churches (extrapolating from the
20% of churches who submitted ‘Energy Footprint Tool’ data with their
2020 parish returns).
The headline figure suggested that these
elements of the Diocese of York, with added elements for York Minster,
Wydale Hall, the Diocesan Office and for travel, produce approximately
£10,000 tonnes of CO2 or its equivalent (‘CO2e’) in other ‘greenhouse
gases’ per annum at present rates.
Jan offered observations
including that 71% of this came from churches and houses; and that
heating houses and churches accounts for over 60% of diocesan CO2e
emissions. A small number of large churches—possibly those used more
often as well as having a higher capacity—contribute a higher proportion
of the total emissions that a large number of smaller (and possibly
less-frequently used or heated) churches. The average carbon footprint
of a UK citizen is 10 tonnes CO2e, so our annual diocesan emissions are
equal to the annual emissions of 1,000 people. The average weekly
attendance in the Diocese of York is approximately 23,000 worshippers,
so our congregation’s carbon footprint is probably a huge 230,000
“We have not choice about change, but we can choose to be agents or passengers of change,” said Jan.
commended the ‘Eco Church’ and ‘Eco Diocese’ awards run by
environmental charity A Rocha as a constructive route towards
recognising the progress already made by many churches and by our own
diocesan structures in taking better care of God’s earth.
Jan’s closing thoughts were that:
- our Fossil Fuel heating systems are contributing to the Climate Emergency
- more funds need to be released for Net Zero adaptations.
- Small churches are generally not the problem!
should encourage churches to complete their Energy Footprint Tool (EFT)
as part of their annual parish returns, and to engage with Eco Church
as a way of checking and celebrating their own achievements.
View Jan’s presentation slides at bit.ly/synodco2rpt220409.
GENERAL SYNOD REPORT
Synod member for the Diocese of York the Revd Liz Hassall reported on a
varied three-day meeting of the Church of England’s national
representative body in February.
She summarised the business of the sessions as:
- a call for a strategic response at every level to the need for racial justice
- a reminder of the need for good safeguarding
- progress in moving towards net zero carbon
- a call for the government to protect the victims of human trafficking
- further moves towards simplifying national church structures
Liz’s full report may be downloaded from bit.ly/gensynfeb2022.
closing the Synod Archbishop Stephen expressed the prayers and good
wishes of all for Education Director Andrew Smith and School Development
Adviser Philippa Boulding, who marry on Easter Monday.
Saturday 2nd July 2022