'Night of Celts' at St. David's

St. David of Wales, Vancouver, hosted a Night of the Celts before Advent. The fundraising raised $1,380 to benefit Aboriginal Mother's Centre, a Downtown East Side group that supports aboriginal mothers and abused women.

Performers included The BC Regiment's Irish Pipes and Drums, Ballyhooley, Eire Born Irish Dancers, the Cambrian Singers, aboriginal drummers and singers, and singer Shawn Hlookoff.

The concert ended with calls to make the concert an annual affair, and with the traditional Irish blessing, "until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hands."

-St. David's Church Messenger, St. David's, Vancouver

Stipend up 1 percent

The minimum clergy stipend was raised recently by Diocesan Council by one per cent, in line with last year's increase in the consumer price index as calculated by Statistics Canada.

The minimum stipend ranges from $26,500 for a beginning full-time cleric (an increase of $300) to $36,200 for one with over 15 years of service ($400 more).

The transportation allowance, which grew significantly last year due to higher gasoline prices, remained level ($7,650).

Housing and utility allowances vary by parish, depending upon local costs. Clergy are required to live within 30 minutes travel time of their church. Many parishes pay clergy above the minimum, at their own discretion.

Diocesan budget on track

The diocesan budget is on track for a slight surplus in 2006, according to Diocesan Comptroller Mark Beley.

Savings in administrative expenses, travel, communications, and other areas put the dioceses some 3% ahead of budget at the end of October. The total operating budget is $1.76 million.

However, it is expected that year-end expenses will reduce the surplus to about half that amount.