Diocesan revenues and expenditures are in line with expectations, but dropping contributions to Stewards in Action may require a special financial Synod late this year.

Diocesan Council last month approved a 2005 budget of approximately $2.6 million dollars and heard that the plan to adjust regular diocesan operations in line with reduced revenues was on track - but outreach expenditures financed by voluntary contributions to Stewards in Action are losing revenue.

Budgets for the past three years have used money for ordinary expenditures from the Diocesan Growth Fund, originally set up to fund diocesan growth.

Use of money from the Diocesan Growth Fund has helped make up for an annual loss of about $300,000 which came about when eight parishes refused to pay their diocesan assessments. These parishes object to seven other parishes in the diocese being given permission to hold blessings of same sex unions.

Treasurer Jim Stewart and Comptroller Marni Campbell present the 2005 budget to Diocesan Council at St. Augustine's, Vancouver

Treasurer Jim Stewart of St. Dunstan's, Abbotsford, told the council that less money than anticipated will be needed next year from the Diocesan Growth Fund to pay for diocesan expenses.

In 2004 some $88,000 came from the Diocesan Growth Fund. Next year the budget will take $50,000 from the fund - $12,000 less than originally anticipated.

Stewart said the plan to stop using the Diocesan Growth Fund by 2007 for ordinary expenditures is still on target.

However, he said, a special financial Synod may be required in November of this year due to lower than anticipated contributions to Stewards in Action, if the diocese wants to continue or build SIA's outreach ministry.

Last year's budget expected donations of $475,000 to SIA, but only $430,000 came in.

Donations to SIA normally go to pay for the following year's expenditures, and the shortfall of $45,000 can be made up in 2005 by dipping into reserves SIA has set aside. However the reserves are quickly being depleted.

A task force headed by the Rev. John Stephens of St. Philip's and Kathy Derksen of St. Andrew's Langley are looking into the operation and management of Stewards in Action and is scheduled to make a presentation to Diocesan Synod in May.