LIMITED donations by parishioners coupled with substantial expenses has meant that Middlesbrough diocese has been forced to postpone or neglect many pastoral projects, the diocese's bishop has said.
Bishop Augustine Harris, in a pastoral letter, has revealed that a number of parishes in his diocese which have no permanent church or "badly need" a larger, replacement church have not been developed because of stifling costs, mainly in schools and lay staff.
"Many essential apostolic works are limited or nonexistent because there is no money to promote them," said Bishop Harris.
In an appeal to churchgoers, the bishop has called for more covenant pledges to the north eastern English diocese. He suggested that if every parishioner gave their earnings from one hour's work, they would triple the income of the diocese.
Whilst acknowledging that some parishioners have limited resources and large family commitments, Bishop Harris believed "there are many who are in a position to be more supportive."
The bishop's letter follows a Catholic Herald survey in July which revealed that at least a third of dioceses in England and Wales have a financial deficit or large property commitments.
Although, not actually in debt, Middlesbrough diocese has been forced to spend heavily in a major schools reorganisation and has provided four new churches including a cathedral.
Proposals to develop Middlesbrough's youth service, marriage preparation and guidance, a justice and peace service, disabled and child care services are among projects the diocese has put on hold due to a lack of funds.