From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND FACES MONEY CRISIS
05 May 1996 12:54:52
95108 CHURCH OF SCOTLAND FACES MONEY CRISIS
by Robert Nowell
Religion News Service
LONDON--The Church of Scotland -- the Presbyterian church that historically
has been the religious home of most Scots -- is facing a financial crisis
so severe that in two or three years it may not be able to pay all its
The warning comes in the report of the church's Board of Ministry to
the General Assembly, the church's highest governing body, which meets in
Edinburgh May 20-26.
"The time is fast approaching" when the Board's Committee on the
Maintenance of the Ministry "may no longer be able to meet the demands made
upon it for stipend," the report states.
The stipend for 1995 has been fixed at $23,454 plus a manse, or
The majority of the Church of Scotland's 1,300 congregational units
are self-supporting, but some 300 require subsidies from more affluent
churches. These represent slightly more than 400 congregations, since two
or three small congregations are often linked to form a single unit, or
charge, under one minister.
One option in dealing with the money crisis might be to refuse to
appoint a minister to a vacant charge until a sufficient subsidy becomes
available. But, the report said, "This could lead to a catastrophic
situation which the committee believes must be avoided at all costs."
Another option could be for presbyteries -- the local groupings of
charges -- to have the level of subsidy rationed.
"The only other alternative is to drastically reduce the number of
charges with full-time ordained ministers and use new patterns of ministry,
perhaps as yet unheard of, to meet the ministry needs of all the people of
Scotland," the report concluded.
When the General Assembly meets in May, it will be asked to set up a
committee to report to next year's Assembly with "definite proposals."
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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