From the Worldwide Faith News archives

WCC to Cut Staff to Meet Financial Shortfall

Date 04 May 1996 16:04:43


96130      WCC to Cut Staff to Meet Financial Shortfall 
                 by Ecumenical News International 
GENEVA--The World Council of Churches, one of the world's biggest church 
organizations, will have to cut its staff to meet a projected shortfall in 
income for 1997. 
     The WCC, which is based in Geneva and which has 330 member churches 
worldwide, has been told by its central committee that it has to achieve a 
balanced budget for 1997.  The organization's 1996 budget is 103 million 
Swiss Francs (U.S.$85.83 million), but its projected income for 1997 is 
only 94 million Swiss Francs (U.S.$78.33 million). 
     A spokesperson for the WCC told ENI that the budget cuts -- in the 
order of 10 percent -- would require, among other savings, the loss of the 
equivalent of "several staff positions.  The cuts will first be sought 
through attrition -- early retirements and leaving vacant positions empty. 
The WCC currently has 276 staff. 
     A budget review has to be completed by the end of July in order to be 
sent to members of the central committee in advance of their meeting in 
September.  The WCC's finance subcommittee has already imposed limits on 
expenditures for 1996 in the face of a projected shortfall of 9 million 
Swiss Francs (U.S.$7.5 million), which will have to be met from reserves. 
     WCC officials say the organization intends to maintain its current 
program priorities in the run-up to its next assembly, to take place in 
Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1998, and to "maintain the viability of the WCC within 
the present constitutional and structural framework." 
     The WCC's assistant general secretary for finance and administration, 
Michael Davies, warned last year that the WCC's work faced "grave problems 
from 1996 onwards if income continues to come in at significantly lower 
than budget rates." 
     He then said: "If member churches are no longer willing to maintain 
[the WCC's] traditional work, then we have to ask whether we go on doing 
it, and if so, what changes are needed." 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
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