DIOCESE OF CLOGHER PUBLISHES ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FOR 2015
The Roman Catholic Diocese and Parishes of Clogher in November 2017 published, for the first time, financial information on its parishes and diocesan administration. The release of the financial report for 2015, which has been filed with the Charities Regulator, provides an overview of the funds held by parishes and the diocese and includes the financial activities of the combined parishes and the diocesan administration (curia) for the year. The publication of this information by the diocese is a demonstration of its commitment to compliance with charities legislation, as well as to transparency and accountability.
The financial report makes it clear that all expenditure is in furtherance of the charitable objects of the trust, and these objects are clearly outlined in the accounts. Significant costs are those associated with servicing and maintaining church buildings. Altogether, these came to €1.6m with a further €0.89m being spent on various renovation projects during the year. Church buildings are, for the most part, listed buildings which continually require specialised maintenance and refurbishment.
The report also shows that the diocese has conserved funds to meet future costs, both anticipated and unforeseen. These funds are comprised of designated funds which belong to the 37 parishes of the diocese as well as diocesan agencies, organisations and institutions. The remaining diocesan funds are almost all restricted funds, held for specific purposes such as Education, Vocations, the maintenance of the Diocesan Cathedral and the care of the sick and retired priests.
The total income of the diocese and its parishes for the year was €14.3m. A total of €11.7m was spent on the charitable objectives and activities of the parishes and diocesan agencies and organisations. Taking into account a growth of €0.6m in investments, this left an excess of income over expenditure across the diocese of €3.2m, which is held by the 37 parishes and the diocesan curia.
In a letter read at all Masses in the diocese on the weekend of 11/12 November 2017, the Diocesan Administrator, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness thanked all those who generously and regularly support their parishes, the diocese and their priests. He also thanked all priests and administrative staff in parishes and diocesan organisations for their work in achieving compliance with the recently-enacted charities legislation, noting that support for the work of the Church is vital in every local community:
A great strength of our Church is its presence and ministry in each local community. Over recent years, both Irish society and the Church have witnessed much change and upheaval and this change is going to continue to challenge us into the future. That is why your ongoing and continuing support is vital. Vital too will be input of lay people in each and every parish. In this regard, I especially thank the many volunteers across our diocese who work for the Church so willingly and in so many ways, day after day. Both now and in the years ahead, your role and your contributions, financial and otherwise, will be key to our continuing work across the whole diocese.