Just what will the Covenant cost?

What will the Covenant cost? Who will pay? How will it be accounted?

And apologies for the long radio silence - I hope to put up a few more pieces on the Covenant from time to time, but no promises

At no point in all the discussion of the Covenant has any budget been made public.

Of course the actual cost will depend on a whole lot of things that are completely uncertain at this point. But assumptions can be made (and probably have been made somewhere in the ACO) which will generate an indicative budget.

Central costs will rise simply because the Covenant envisages the Anglican Communion becoming more centralised. Experience suggests this will be a one-way ratchet as few matters once brought to the centre are then returned to a lower level, and the world is increasingly interconnected.

Central costs will be spread across every member Church because that is the largest source of funding for Anglicanism’s central bodies (c. 66%, 2008).

In addition each member Church will be expected to spend more internally on arrangements to liaise between it and the centre.

At the moment a disproportionate amount of revenue comes from TEC and Trinity Church Wall Street. If the provisions of the Covenant mean TEC is excluded from, or marginalised in, the Communion it is predictable that their funds will will also steadily vanish.

The most recent published accounts for the ACO (2008) show income of £1.86m and expenditure of £1.76m. Around £1.3m goes on staffing, offices and other direct costs. One person was paid in excess of £60,000. Contributions in kind (largely from North America) are noted but not valued. There are other separate charitable funds which support global Anglicanism not included in these accounts. These too receive significant income from North America.

In the end almost all the costs are be borne directly by the lay people whose giving sustains the church. Alongside the silence on costs there is no apparent mechanism for accounting for expenditure to the donors.

Possible additional costs implied by the Covenant proposals, and who would pay:

‘Normal’ times (annual background costs)

  • ‘mechanisms, agencies or institutions’ (§4.2.6) ~ perhaps: one officer, office, support staff (1 person?), travel within the Province, publicity budget – but each Church will decide its own level of provision,
    Each member Church directly
  • Equalisation fund (to enable poorer provinces to participate fully)
    Richer Churches – building up a reserve?
  • International travel (while email etc. makes much communication virtually free, it won’t be enough).
    Each member Church plus equalisation fund
  • International conferences
    Each member Church plus equalisation fund
  • Mediation - Set-up, training / familiarisation and maintaining a panel of approved mediators
    Each member Church paying into central fund
  • Central costs - Increased senior and support staff to address increased workload; increased travel.
    Each member Church paying into central fund
  • Legal costs - Opinions on specific issues; insurance against legal proceedings
    Each member Church paying into central fund
  • Capital funds - As responsibilities and costs grow a larger reserve fund will be needed to carry the ACO across the uncertainties of donation income and to ensure the stability of service and to cover liabilities.
    Each member Church paying into central fund

Additional costs of, say, intervention in a dispute between two members.

  • Mediation (people, travel, accommodation, meetings)
    Central fund
    Each participating Church? (Possibly indirectly to avoid biassing mediation)
  • Central costs - Advisory group; Additional travel, meetings, support staff time, reports
    Central fund
  • Legal costs
    Central fund and / or participating Churches

Additional costs of a complex major international dispute.

Speculation here becomes even less reliable. Complex multi-directional mediation would be a significant cost if thought practicable.

It is likely that those caught up in such a dispute would be reluctant to increase their giving to central funds at a point when central costs will rise; it is possible that contributions would shrink.

It is most probable that a large-scale dispute would have novel features which will demand innovative responses that are impossible to cost in advance – except that they will be expensive.

My summary:
It's going to cost more. How much more depends on a lot of things but that doesn't matter because, if we all sign up we'll have to pay anyway. So don't mention money.


A promising start in Lake Malawi, new elections in North Malawi and an odd couple in Uganda, Bishops Bernard Malango and Chad Gandiya

That's former Archbishop Bernard Malango, close friend of Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of Harare, Zimbabwe, third from right, partly obscured with grey hair, glasses and striped stole - you can't hide from us! Photograph taken with Ugandan bishops at this year's Martyrs Memorial event.

From ANGLICAN-INFORMATION: A promising start in Lake Malawi, new elections in North Malawi and an odd couple in Uganda, Bishops Bernard Malango and Chad Gandiya

Diocese of Lake Malawi:
The new bishop, former Archdeacon Francis Kaulanda, is off to a promising start with declared intention of proceeding carefully and cautiously to re-establish good order and oversight. He is determined not to find himself held hostage by hostile press reports generated by disgruntled factions. In this respect he is wisely keeping a studied distance from Provincial affairs.

Bishop Kaulanda’s financial target has now increased to the sum of twenty-five million Malawi Kwacha, (£111,000 $165,000 €134,000). This is a daunting objective that will require the good will of donors whose activities and support have been prejudiced by the behaviour of Provincial bishops over the past few years. Good news is of a report of a forthcoming donors meeting in London, UK in August to reassess the situation in the diocese.

Diocese of North Malawi:
Following the abortive attempt by acting Dean of the Province, Bishop Albert Chama of Northern Zambia to impose the Rev’d Leslie Mtekateka as bishop. Mtekateka’s ‘election’ was nullified due to confirmed reports of gross personal misconduct.

New elections will finally take place this weekend on Saturday 26th June. These elections will be held in the Malawian capital city of Lilongwe in the Diocese of Lake Malawi following Albert Chama’s habitual practice of holding elections outside the vacant diocese in order to reduce any objections or dissent.

Chama’s favoured candidate is Fr. Evan Kachiwanda of the Diocese of Upper Shire and currently a tutor of Leonard Kamunga Theological College. Fr. Magangani, an internal candidate priest, from North Malawi will oppose Kachiwanda.

Once this election is complete and the new bishop consecrated and enthroned all vacant sees will have been filled in the Province of Central Africa. Elections for the position of Archbishop will then take place and reports of clandestine background jockeying for position amongst the bishops means that acting Dean Chama’s position is not guaranteed as the next Archbishop.

A visit to Uganda:
Bishop Chad Gandiya the beleaguered Bishop of Harare, whose ministry has been blighted by the activities of the infamous and renegade ‘Archbishop’ Nolbert Kunonga, was the guest speaker at the annual Ugandan Martyrs Memorial celebrations held on 3rd June at Namugongo village in the Wakiso District of central Uganda.

As is usual vast crowds attended this national event at which Chad Gandiya bewailed the “assertiveness of the gay movement”. This was presumably in an attempt to silence Nolbert Kunonga’s carping criticism that the Central African Province is ‘pro-gay’. The gay issue, previously rarely mentioned in Africa, has been stirred up in recent years by visiting American conservative preachers to Uganda and growing divisions in the Anglican Communion.

According to the Kampala Monitor Bishop Gandiya went on to say: “We are living in a world which is turned upside down. Some people talk about wicked things as if they are good. We need people to stand up for the truth and reject homosexuality…the confusion of right with wrong [has] destroyed the morals of the young population.”

Former Archbishop Bernard Malango fĂȘted by unsuspecting Ugandans:
Ironically, Bernard Malango, a former arch-critic of Bishop Gandiya and one time Archbishop of Central Africa, accompanied Gandiya on his trip to Uganda and was fĂȘted as a distinguished guest at a dinner held in his honour.

We can only assume that the Ugandan hosts were unaware of Bernard Malango’s close and continuing friendship with ‘Archbishop’ Nolbert Kunonga. This was exemplified when he protected Kunonga in 2005 from prosecution despite strong evidence of Kunonga’s guilt in dozens of charges including complicity in incitement to murder. Their friendship and regular contact continues to this day.

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