Assembly of Delegates recommends national planning for church finances

The Financial Analysis Commission of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches presented recommendations to the Assembly of Delegates in Bern for the Swiss-wide planning of church finances.

The Financial Analysis Commission of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) was tasked with the evaluation of interchurch functions in Swiss Protestantism to seek out potential synergy effects. Commission President Andreas Zeller (Bern-Jura-Solothurn) presented an interim report on this activity to the FSPC Assembly of Delegates today.

The Commission has presented different recommendations for the national planning of church finances to the Assembly of Delegates. A slight fall in financial figures is expected for the next several years due to economics, a drop in membership, and tax reductions at the political level. This development will take a very different course in each of the 26 FSPC member churches, depending on whether churches can benefit from obligatory church taxes or not.

The Commission’s recommendations included the creation of a new layer of church policy to make financial decisions that involve the national level and the level of the country’s linguistic regions. These tasks make up just under 3.5% of all the funds of the Swiss Protestant churches. As Andreas Zeller reported, “the funds are thus primarily in the parishes”. Other recommended measures included the realization of a common accounting system, the development of new financing potential such as sponsoring and donations, and the strengthening of the churches’ common identity through a common communications concept.

The 70 delegates at the Assembly of Delegates asked the council to submit requests to the Assembly of Delegates in 2012 to implement the recommendations.