Responding to anxiety and seeking a safety net

20 March – Number 3

Dear colleagues,

  • We share with the wider community a vivid sense of the impact on every part of life because of the Coronavirus
  • Diocesan Staff, NACC Board members and the Diocesan Council have commenced a financial review
  • The Diocese is seeking to establish a safety-net for diocesan and parish staff
  • Vacant diocesan roles will not be filled
  • Clergy are sympathetically encouraging electronic giving by parishioners

There is an overwhelming anxiety in the community about the financial impact of the coronavirus. Interest rates have dropped, investment capital has dropped, and many sources of income have dried up.

I am seeking to find the mind of Christ expressed in Matthew chapter 6, verses 25 – 33 where Jesus encouraged people not to be anxious about their daily needs. I am praying that I might have confidence to “strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness trusting that the things we need will be given to us as well.

A number of clergy have taken the time to remind their parishioners about the ability to give to the ministry of the parish electronically. If you don’t have access to these details, you can contact our CFO, Glen Cousins. Any invitation needs sympathetically to recognise that parishioners are feeling economic uncertainty as well.

Key members of the diocesan team have begun some analysis of the financial situation facing every part of the Diocese. We will look carefully at government initiatives to support the community. We are not filling vacant diocesan roles at this time.

Our simple message at the moment would be to encourage parishes to honour their financial commitments to the Diocese and others as fully and as best as they can. Don’t store up funds locally. Each parish doing its bit and doing its best will enable us to support each other. The Diocese is seeking to establish a safety-net for dicoesan and parish staff. We are all in this together! Parishes should cut back expenditure that is non-urgent or not-related to people.

People wishing to offer support to other parishes can contribute directly to a Parish Support Trust, The Account name is Stipend Support, the account number: 00041245 and the BSB is 705 077

I have spoken to a number of people in business this week. They have expressed worry about cash handling, social distancing, surface cleaning, vulnerable employee and customer groups. Anglicans have been commended by government for our strong and clear leadership.

We will seek to reinstate as many parish activities as we can as soon as we can. However, we are being advised by government that the way are as community could last for many months and the recovery will take considerable time. We have some difficult days ahead of us.

I undertake to keep you informed about financial planning as we can and when we can. We will need patience as the landscape is volatile and the options are fluid.

Peace,

+Peter