BY Peter Diamond | April 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Bishop’s praise after donations helps diocese reduce budget deficit

The bishop of Argyll and the Isles has issued a thank you to parishioners throughout the diocese for helping to contribute to an overall surplus in the first quarter of financial activity.

In November 2018 the ‘dire’ situation of Argyll and the Isles Diocese was revealed when Bishop Brian McGee gave ‘full transparency’ of the ‘perilous situation’ regarding an overall deficit.

Five months on the bishop, who was appointed by Pope Francis in 2015, has continued to offer clergy and Faithful clarity on the issue and thanked them for ‘slightly bettering’ the budget target through donations.

 

No deficit in months

Bishop McGee said: “I sincerely thank you for generously responding to our recent diocesan financial appeal.

“I am delighted to inform you that in the first quarter of our new financial year we have slightly bettered our budget target.

“This means that there has been no deficit for the past three months.”

In November several documents were released to parishes outlining a deficit of nearly £90,000 on an overall cost of £296,188 to run the diocese.

 

Stability

The latest document revealed a surplus of £4,944.03 for the quarter.

However, Bishop McGee insisted the situation will be ‘monitored closely.’

He said: “Stability is very important for the future of the diocese and your extra donations via the parish offertory collection and a consistent commitment by the diocese to the budget will ensure this.

“We are also concerned that parishes do not suffer due to increased diocesan levy.

“Duncan MacLeod, our diocesan treasurer, is closely monitoring the situation.”

 

Gift aid

Parishes across the diocese can help in continuing to eliminate the deficit according to Bishop McGee.

“As we come to the start of the new tax year please consider enrolling in your parish gift aid scheme, if you haven’t already done so and you do pay tax,” he said.

“This will be of a great benefit to your parish as they can claim 25 per cent of your Sunday collection contributions from HMRC.”

Within the document, a footnote was included explaining why diocese administration costs increased.

It reads: “Diocesan administration increased mainly due to Diocesan support of several parishes which were without priests during the period and some one-off costs.”

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