A bishop in Scotland has high hopes for his diocese as a new fundraising initiative was recently launched at his cathedral.
Bishop John Keenan is encouraging the faithful of the Diocese of
Paisley to become ‘Friends’ of certain diocesan projects in a bid to
combat a £3 million (€3.5 million) deficit.
Bishop Keenan explained in a
letter read out at all Masses in St Mirin’s Cathedral that the cause
for the deficit is not surprising.
“It is the same deadly combination of
rising costs and falling income that you know all too well from your
own home finances.”
The bishop emphasised that a change in culture is needed. In his
letter, he tells the lay faithful that he would rather put his trust in
his own people than in professional fundraisers.
If his desire for a
deficit-free diocese is to be realised, then annual savings worth
£300,000 must be found.
He added that the “bulk of our efforts to
eradicate the deficit will come from fundraising.”
He has appointed Fr Oliver Freney, administrator of St Mirin’s
Cathedral, as the new diocesan Director of Fundraising and has
challenged him to raise £100,000 annually. He said that the ‘Friends
Project’ will be the “heart and soul of his fundraising campaign.”
Fr Freney was joined by several young people from the diocese for the
launch at St Mirin’s.
His fellow priests will be launching it in their
parishes over the coming weeks.
He said after the launch: “If every
member of our diocese signed up to give just £5 a year, we would be in
He added that he encourages parishioners to “think about our
situation and give thoughtfully and generously.”
The diocesan treasurer attended the launch. Fr Stephen Bailey
explained that the faithful could opt to become ‘Friends’ of particular
projects like ‘vocations’, ‘education’ and ‘youth’.
He added that
Bishop Keenan wants to let people know how their money is being spent.
Bishop Keenan recently led the diocesan community through a synod,
during which the important role of the lay faithful within the Church