Appendix 1: Facts, Figures & Finances
The Episcopal Church in Vermont – Parishes
The Episcopal Church of Vermont includes 6,126 parishioners in 45 congregations, located in 45 of Vermont’s 251 cities and towns. These parishes are geographically well-distributed throughout the state. Outside of the most-populated area, around Burlington, the Episcopal churches are typically located 10 to 25 miles apart. Most congregations include members drawn from several towns. Many Episcopalians drive 20 to 30 minutes to attend Sunday worship, in some instances driving past one church to go to another one that they prefer.
A substantial proportion of the church’s members, and average Sunday attendance, is concentrated in a small number of the 45 parishes. More than half of Vermont’s Episcopalians are found in only 10 of the 45 congregations. Conversely, there are a large number of small congregations which, collectively, include fewer than half of the state’s Episcopalians but which make up almost two-thirds of the parishes. The median-sized parish has 33 worshipers on an average Sunday.
The following table shows the distribution of parishes by average Sunday attendance, using statistics reported in the 2017 Parochial Reports.
The Episcopal Church in Vermont – Clergy
As of June 2018, the clergy in 10 parishes were serving on full-time appointments. The clergy serving the other 35 parishes were on part-time appointments or were served by Local Ministry Support Teams, including locally ordained clergy who serve on a non-stipendiary basis. With the exception of one appointment at three-quarter time, all of the part-time clergy appointments in Vermont are half-time or less.
As of June 2018, 15 of the 45 parishes in Vermont were in some form of clergy transition. Some of these parishes were being served by interim clergy; others were relying on supply clergy, either long-term or on a weekly basis.
In addition to active clergy on parish appointments, there are over 77 retired priests living in Vermont, many of whom serve as part-time rectors, regular or occasional supply priests, or serve in other leadership capacities.
The clergy ranks in Vermont include 12 vocational deacons. The consensus of the priests, deacons, and laypeople in the diocese is that additional candidates should be raised to the diaconate during the next episcopate.
The Episcopal Church in Vermont – Finances
The 2018 budget for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, as approved by the November 2017 convention, is $1,003,610. Parish assessments provide 79% of diocesan revenue. Assessments range from 11 to 16% of the parishes’ operating income, with larger parishes assessed at the higher percentages.
Just as Sunday attendance is concentrated in a relatively small number of the 45 parishes, so too is operating income. Half of the operating income, and the parochial assessments for the diocesan budget, is provided from just nine of the 45 parishes.
Investment income provides 18% of the diocesan operating budget for 2018. The largest single expense item in the budget (14% of the total) is the diocesan assessment for support of the wider Episcopal Church budget, $145,000 for 2018. The Vermont diocese has consistently paid its assessments in full and on time.
The largest category of expenses in the budget is salaries and benefits – 62% of the total budget. In addition to the Bishop, the diocesan Ministry Support Team includes four full-time lay positions (Canon to the Ordinary, Communications Minister, Financial Administrator, and Bishop’s Assistant) and three part-time lay office assistant positions, totaling approximately 1.3 FTE.
Administrative, office, and information technology expenses make up 10% of the 2018 budget, while support for Rock Point Commons makes up 8% of the budget. Rock Point Commons has its own budget, separate from the Diocesan Budget, although the Diocesan Budget contributes $80,000 to the Rock Point Commons Budget.
Graphic representations of revenues and expenses for 2018 are provided in the accompanying pie charts. Full financial information on the diocese is available in the report of the 2017 Diocesan Convention, which may be accessed online at https://www.diovermont.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2017-Convention-Journal.pdf
In addition to the Diocesan Budget, which serves as more of an administrative budget, there are significant sources of funding used to support programs and other ministries of congregations and diocesan entities.
The yearly income available for distribution by the Grants and Loans Committee is between $150,000 and $165,000. This includes income from the Irish Funds, the McClure Discovery Funds, and the Butterfield Grant Fund, as well as the Alleluia Fund, which has gone over the $40,000 goal the last couple of years. In 2017, the first year of the new Grants and Loans Committee, nearly $90,000 in grants went to 20 congregations and diocesan entities. Over the years, every congregation in the diocese has benefited from one or more grants from the McClure Discovery Funds or the Irish Funds. With the addition of the Butterfield Grant Fund and the Alleluia Fund, there is substantial opportunity for congregations and diocesan entities to get funding for local and global mission oriented projects and ministries.
There are discretionary funds available to the bishop, including an annual grant from the Virginia Hunt Trust, which must be applied for every year. The bishop has sole discretion over the use of these funds, in response to opportunities and needs that support and enhance the mission and ministry of The Episcopal Church in Vermont.
The Bishop Butterfield Loan Fund has a current value of just over one million dollars, of which $343,000 is the outstanding balance on loans to 13 congregations or diocesan entities, leaving $660,000 currently available for additional loans. In 2017, the Diocesan Council voted to place $500,000 of the Bishop Butterfield Loan Fund in a separate Butterfield Grant Fund, the income from which is part of what is available to the Grants and Loans Committee for grants. That $500,000 is invested in the Unit Fund and could be recalled for Loans if needed. The total value of the Butterfield Funds (Loan and Grant) is $1.5 million dollars. The Diocesan Unit Trust holds $26 million dollars of diocesan and parish investments.
The valuation of the property of The Episcopal Church in Vermont (buildings and contents for insurance purposes) is $145 million dollars (which does not include valuation of the land on which all this property sits).