From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Title: WCC brings difficult financial situation under control

From "WCC Media" <>
Date Thu, 28 Aug 2003 11:57:56 +0200

World Council of Churches
Press Release 03-29.06e
For Immediate Use
28 August 2003


WCC brings difficult financial situation under control 

By focusing on its core programmes and carefully controlling its expenditure,
the World Council of Churches (WCC) is overcoming the difficulties it has
faced over the past two years, and is now in a healthier financial position. 

Forecasts are "modestly encouraging", according to WCC general secretary Rev.
Dr Konrad Raiser's report to the Central Committee meeting in Geneva, 26
August - 2 September.  "However," Raiser warned, "We have not yet reached the
point of financial equilibrium, and the decline of contributions income has
not been halted."   

Indications are that the measures taken by its finance committee have set the
Council's financial management on the right course.    

Adjustments have been made in three areas - a reduction of activities,
achieved without destabilising the WCC's core programmes, a reduction and
reorganisation of personnel, and reduction of operational costs. 

In 2002, the WCC faced a deficit of 6.6 million CHF, which involved a planned
use of funds totalling 5.5 million CHF set aside for specific core
programmes, and which reduced reserves by 1.1 million CHF. In the preceding
year, the deficit was 11 million CHF, including a reduction in reserves of 5
million CHF, which sounded alarm bells.   

In 2001, the WCC arranged bank loans totalling 4 million CHF, guaranteed by
its investments.  These loans were repaid in 2002.  

However, in 2002 and with Central Committee approval, the WCC also opened a
line of credit guaranteed by the mortgage of the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva.
Planned as a precautionary measure, the credit line, although still
available, was never used, according to WCC Finance Team coordinator, Elaine
Dykes of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.  

The expenditure budget for 2003 is 46.2 million CHF. Results to July 2003
showed a small positive balance, reflecting the success of the measures taken
the previous year, and generating expectations of an operational surplus at
the year's end, with the aim of adding 1 million CHF to reserves.  

Although total WCC income has decreased in the last two years, church
membership income rose slightly in comparison with 2001. In 2001, 53% of the
churches made contributions to the WCC; last year the percentage increased to

The WCC is launching a campaign to increase its income from affiliated
churches. At the same time, it will continue efforts to maintain the level of
contributions from agencies and other sources.	

By 2005, the finance committee hopes that all WCC member churches will be
contributing to the Council, bringing total contributions income from 6
million CHF to 10 million CHF. Contributions now represent 15% of the WCC's

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Office, tel: +41
(0)22 791 64 21 /61 53


The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of churches, now 341, in
more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian
traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works
cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the assembly, which
meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in
1948 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary
Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.

World Council of Churches
Media Relations Office
Tel: (41 22) 791 6153 / 791 6421
Fax: (41 22) 798 1346

PO Box 2100
1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home