The Anglican Church of Tasmania has adopted a plan to raise the additional $15 million needed to meet the increased estimate of its financial commitments under the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation for historic sexual abuse.
On Friday 21 May, the Synod of the Anglican Church of Tasmania passed a resolution to use money from several funds that support ongoing ministry in Tasmania to fund the increased estimate of liability.
“Redirecting these funds to the Redress Scheme will have an impact on our ability to do ministry across Tasmania, but we have made this choice because we are deeply committed to justice for survivors of abuse,” says the Rt Revd Dr Richard Condie, Bishop of Tasmania. “We are not currently exploring the possibility of selling more church properties.
“In 2018, we made the difficult decision to close and sell a number of our churches across Tasmania. The money we raised through these sales has contributed a significant amount of money to our shared commitment to the Redress Scheme, to bring justice to survivors of abuse.
“We understand that this decision was difficult for many people, especially those in small towns, and part of our commitment has been to use some of the money raised to reinvest in rural Tasmania. To that end, we have been able to support the appointment of Ministers across rural Tasmania, in Wynyard, New Norfolk, Latrobe, Smithton and the Midlands,” says Bishop Condie.
Under this new plan, the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania will redirect capital currently used to support chaplaincy in prisons, local parish ministry and ministry to young people to meet our increased financial commitments under the National Redress Scheme and civil litigation.
“We expect that using up to $15 million of our invested capital will reduce the income available to support children’s and youth ministry, parish ministry and chaplaincy across Tasmania. This will have an impact on our ability to continue delivering these important ministries, but we are making this decision now so that we can develop strategies to minimise the impact,” says Bishop Condie.
“I want to encourage any person who suffered abuse in the Anglican Church in the past to come forward. We take all claims very seriously and applaud the courage of those who share their story.”
The Anglican Church of Tasmania has instituted many changes over the last eighteen years in order to protect children and prevent abuse. The safety of children and vulnerable people in our church communities is paramount. The church has been working hard to screen, educate and develop church leaders and volunteers who are working with vulnerable people. We have improved our response to and support for survivors of sexual abuse. We have no tolerance for abuse of any kind.
To report abuse call 1800 017 286 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
For media enquiries please contact:
Tess Delbridge, Media Manager, Anglican Diocese of Tasmania
0407 545 956
Published: 21 May 2021