The global economic crisis hit car manufactures, slammed the housing market and now, not even God can escape its economic wrath.
The Anglican Diocese of B.C. is in “crisis” and planning “drastic action,” to make up for dwindling revenues, declining attendance and increased deficit within its parishes totalling about $1 million.
The economy and declining attendance is likely to blame.
The diocese includes 64 churches on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, 26 in the Capital Region.
While there are more than 9,000 members on the islands, on average less than half that number attend weekly worship, down from about 5,000 regular attendees last year.
“The influx of people from other places who seek out Anglican chuches has diminished because it is part of the realities of the culture in which we live, that there’s at least one generation – maybe two generations of people – who really don’t care one way or another about religion,” said the Right Reverend James Cowan, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of B.C.
Several restructuring initiatives have already taken place. Operations on Thetis Island’s Camp Columbia have been suspended, and St. Alban’s church on Ryan Street in the Oaklands community closed its doors with a final service at the end of July.
Jeanette Muzio, member of the congregational development team will be meeting with diocese members to come up with a list of recommendations for further action.
These could include mergers, church closures and job reassignment in combined parishes.
By Lisa Weighton – Victoria News – Published: October 07, 2009 – VCNews.com