Friday, October 16, 2009

Schadenfreude

May God forgive me for my feelings.

Anglican Church slashes staff, programs

 AUSTRALIA'S richest Anglican diocese will slash staff and ministries after revealing it lost $160 million on the sharemarket - $60 million more than reported at the height of the global sharemarket downturn.

The cutbacks will be deepest at St Andrew's House, Archbishop Peter Jensen's power centre, with central funds for ministries and programs to spread the Gospel slashed by half over the next three years.

In its report to the synod, the board expresses regret for mistakes made, not only for its highly geared portfolio which exposed it to the market freefall, but for realising debts just as the market rebounded. ''We thought we would be able to ride out the fluctuations in the market and hold the bulk of our market positions.
''We did not, however, envisage the severity of the falls that occurred concurrently in the various markets due to the global financial crisis. Our diversification strategy did not provide the protection we had expected.''
As a result, distributions from the diocesan endowment fund - the main source of funding allocated by head office to support ministry and organisations outside the diocese - halved to $5.3 million.

This is in a country which is the only western country not to have fallen into technical recession and has been the first western country to begin raising interest rates as we have managed to avoid the worst of the GFC.

Perhaps it will keep ++Jensen at home and stop him interfering in the affairs of the World Anglican Communion. We can but hope.

There is a television program interviewing Jensen next Sunday night. I do not know if I can watch it,   There would be a risk to my TV screen.

4 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I wonder if they´ll cutback on those expensive airbrushing ¨heavenly¨ techniques on the Diocese of Sydney website, pristine, oh my dear pristine fantasy...it´s not easy to conduct a purified mission by the flawless and merciless while eliminated those who run the touchup/coverup machines...looks like the sows ear isn´t a silk purse but really part of a pig.

(I too beg forgiveness for my run-away moment of "Schadenfreude")

Fran said...

Oh my Lord - what a tragedy! It is heartbreaking to hear this. I can't imagine that it was merely some mistakes made innocently. God forgive me that judgment!

Brian said...

My response is not schadenfreude but grief at the loss of resources to the work of the church and anger at sheer incompetence.

Even with conservative management, the value of the property trust in my own diocese declined from $37.7m to $31.6m in calendar 2008 -- a whopping drop of over 19%, some of which must have been avoidable. My own investments went UP during the same period.

How reliable is the Financial Review's report that the Sydney funds dropped by 60%?

Brian R said...

Apparently the Financial Review and other reports are based on the Diocese's own press releases.
For any other diocese I would also share your grief. However I regret even the tiny amount that must flow from my church giving to the diocese. I will not donate to any Sydney diocesan organisation as their whole philosophy is contrary to mine. I have sought out Anglican charities based on the national or worldwide church for my small giving.
You were very lucky to see your funds rise in 2008. My superannuation fund was one of the best performers in the nation but lost ground in 2008, thankfully now being reversed.