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"Stay together, pray together and pay together!" Central committee adopts finance report

04 September 2006

The continued financial stabilization of the Council was confirmed today as central committee approved its regular financial report and adopted a new budget for the WCC's reorganized programmatic activity.

"I am pleased to confirm that the overall financial situation is positive," said Dean Anders Gadegaard, the Danish moderator of the finance committee. In recent years, the WCC had experienced a period of financial instability.

However, echoing the earlier comment of Bishop Rolf Koppe (EKD), he urged member churches to take their financial responsibilities more seriously, saying that ecumenical commitment means "staying together, praying together and paying together!"

WCC's income budget for 2006 is 39 million Swiss Francs. The 2007 budget was approved, and the committee endorsed proposals to further replenish general reserves, thereby improving the financial stability of the organization.

As part of its regular agenda, the central committee adopted the audited financial report 2005, and confirmed KPMG as the official auditor of the WCC for the coming four years. The committee welcomed plans to strengthen the WCC's internal planning, monitoring and evaluation capacity in the revised structure.

Nevertheless, underlying income trends are declining. WCC's income and fundraising strategy were reviewed, and recommendations for strengthening the regular contribution of membership fees were made, with the goal of ensuring an annual income of seven million Swiss Francs. The finance committee urged the WCC to work together with member churches when undertaking fundraising campaigns.

The committee supported plans to finance much-needed modernization and renovation of the WCC's headquarters, the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, as well as some parts of the Ecumenical Institute.