The Board of Trustees report to the General Assembly conveyed an increase in congregational remittances and other donations over the 2018 period with an overall positive net movement in funds. The Board was pleased that expenditure had not exceeded income "helping to bring the Church onto
a stronger and steadier financial footing from which to support growth."
The Board wished to express its "gratitude to those who gave generously to the work of the Church and commends congregations that have worked hard to meet the remittance requirements."
Last year the Board identified future challenges to resourcing activities in light of changes in the make-up and activities of congregations. They became increasingly aware "that before embarking on any wholesale change to, or examination of, the existing funding model – which could be unsettling and complex – and undertaking a Church wide consultation, it would need to help members, congregations, Presbyteries and Boards to better understand the Church existing finances and activities."
Addressing these issues, the Board said it plans to, "work closely with the Mission Board and other parties to publish helpful and relevant financial information for the wider Church over the course of the next year."
As part of the Review of Communications Arrangements, the Communications Oversight Group (COG) commissioned a nationwide survey to garner views and opinions to assess the current status of communications within the Church.
"This survey has provided valuable information regarding the current status of communications and the areas where improvements can be made."
"It is important to note that, in recent years, there has been a lot of excellent work across the Church in terms of communications. Many people have made immensely valuable contributions to this area and have often had to work with very few resources. Without the hard work, dedication and willingness of these people, the challenges we face in terms of communication would be greater."
"However, it is also important to acknowledge that in all areas of communication, there are currently many weaknesses and challenges."
The report outlined some practical steps the COG will take to address current challenges. One of these, an "overarching information strategy for the central church", will be formulated although the report did acknowledge the "breadth and complexity of our communication needs and challenges mean that a quick solution is not realistic."
Responding to the Board of Trustees report, the General Assembly acknowledged "with humility and thanksgiving the provision made by the Lord for the work of the Church." They also thanked those who gave in a "regular, responsible and liberal manner in support of that work" and recorded their "appreciation for legacies received during the year."
Click here for the full report.