New-look Annual Report

by Michael Ford last modified 26 Jun, 2019 12:07 PM

There is a new look to our Annual Report and, as our Head of Finance Liz Ashmead explained to Diocesan Synod, an effort to make sure we keep everyone in the loop when it comes to financial matters.

And as Liz told Synod Members, this is important as the Diocese isn’t matching its income to its expenditure.

Speaking at our Summer Evening Synod Meeting, Liz said that the purpose of the Annual Directors and Trustees' Report was to "outline the progress of the Board against its objectives for the year in question and to outline any future perspective also highlighting any principal risks and uncertainties."

She added: "This year is a slightly different and we hope a more attractive presentation commencing with a letter from the Chairman and adding some pictorial comment."

Liz told Synod that underpinning all the objectives outlined in the report is the vision affirmed by Bishop John Gladwin in his recent report of 'Renewing Hope; Pray Serve Grow'. The more detailed objectives are to deepen discipleship; nurture vocations; sustain ministry; and engage with children and young people.

And she said that the Annual Report showed that the Diocese had performed well against these objectives:

"Rural Hope is beginning to make an impact with most key officers in post by the end of the year.

"The Rural Training Pathway at Sarum College, Germinate Leadership Programme and Thrive Learning communities form the building blocks of this programme. The 4 Rural Field Officers are busy working with local ministry teams to develop worshipping initiatives."

She reaffirmed that the Diocese is here to serve the parishes – "this is one of the basic tenets of the strategy and of the Review Process" - and she cited as examples:

"216 schemes were submitted to the DAC for consideration and 169 List B approvals were made."

Meanwhile she said that "the Diocese’s Property Department managed 235 houses as well as dealing with rentals of properties that have become vacant."

"The Comms Team helped with the flow of information across the Diocese - the Advent Calendar was a particular highlight - and Diocesan links overseas continue to provide much needed support to the Sudan."

She said the Diocesan Board of Education (DBE) is responsible for ensuring the development of "confident, effective, church schools and academies that are deeply Christian."

She told Synod that the total annual budget of the DBE for the year ending 31st March 2019 is £1.3m, of which the Diocesan board of Finance contributes 25% - £323k.

Finally, she said we couldn’t forget that in 2018 Salisbury became the first Eco Diocese.

But there were problems ahead that needed to be faced:

"Funds decreased by £1.66m in 2018 as opposed to increasing funds in 2017 by £2.48m."

This, she said, was in the main part due to better performance in 2017 and significant increase in investments in 2017 and a big drop in 2018.

"The Diocese is running at an operational deficit. This is unsustainable."

"While our share contribution remains high, for which we are very grateful. we do not receive 100% of the request. Therefore there is always a deficit against the share request as well as variances in the actual figures against budget."

In terms of expenditure, Liz pointed out that capital repairs and ingoing works to clergy houses was one of the significant expenditures not matched by income. While the rental of clergy houses, clergy recruitment and wellbeing was again not covered by income.

A detailed summary of the Diocese's income and expenditure can be seen here in this handout provided to Synod. Liz's presentation can be downloaded as a script or viewed on YouTube. Her slides are here.

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