From Bart Harrington in Liverpool As rapidly rising interest rates cause shudders of apprehension for future ability to meet debt repayment charges for current building projects among diocesan revenue officials, Mr. Gerry Alston, Liverpool archdiocesan revenue and covenant adviser, has pointed out One way in which money may be saved.
In a special memorandum to parish priests and parish covenant organisers, he says: "We should treat 'Barber's Bounty' as manna from heaven and utilise it to avoid some measure of borrowing at the present exorbitant rates."
ASSISIANT PRIESTS: Fr. John Rigby. St. Bede's College, Manchester, to St. Edmund. Little Hutton; Fr. Bernard Pilling, Our Lady of Grace, Prestwich, to St. Mary, Mulberry Street, and Diocesan Youth Officer; Fr. Michael O'Leary, Withington Hospital, to Catholic Missionary Society, London: Fr. Austin Ruffin. St. John's Cathedral. Salford, to he chaplain, Withington Hospital. Manchester: Fr. William f)avitt. St. Thomas More, Alkrington, to All Souls, Weaste: Fr. Michael Quinlan, St. Mary. Mulberry Street, to be chaplain, St. Joseph's Hospital, Whalley Range; Fr. Alfred Hughes, Little Brothers of Jesus. to St. Thomas of Canterbury. Higher Broughton: Fr. Patrick Crowley. St. Catherine, Didsbury. to Lip Holland College. Wigan; Fr. Anthony Gallagher. St. Michael's College. Linderley. to Our Lady of Grace, Prestwich: Fr. John Ahern, Si. Joseph. Blackburn, to South America.
Arundel and Brighton
-ASSISTANT • PlUEST: Fr, Robert Garrard to Sacred Heart, Caterham.
Fr. L. Bodies% parish nriest of East Molesey since 1959, has retired, The bounty is the subsidy to charities with covenant schemes which will he given to the charities over the next four years to offset the drop of onethird in the tax refunds from existing covenanters arising from the 1973 Budget changes. It will be recalled that Liverpool archdiocese, with £8 million debts, would have faced disaster had revenue not been increased by nearly £400,000 a year jointly from the Christian Responsibility Campaign of two years ago and an increase in covenanters.
Mr. Alston now gives a warning that further revenue increases may be minimal. "I never try to raise money merely to increase revenue," he says. "My efforts have been part of a co-ordinated plan to rid the archdiocese of our financial difficulties, in the mot effective manner, and reduce our enormous debts, which, sadly to relate, are actually increasing at a truly frightening rate.
"It is the height of stupidity to slave to get a very substantial increase in revenue without ensuring that it achieves its primary and vital objective, We have the resources to do this; we have the know-how. We only need the will."
The archdioces needs to recoup 1105,000 a year to compensate for the drop in tax refunds from existing covenants. "Operation 73" has been set in motion with the twin objectives of recouping the onethird drop in tax refunds from exisitng covenanters and of securing a covenant from every taxpayer who supports his parish. One of the beneficial results of the new tax regulations is that there is no possibility of increased tax payments by any covenanter. Covenants are now completely free. Hence much more of offertory collections may be covenanted. "At present only half of offertories are covenanted. This is the scope," said Mr. Alston last week. Already 80 parishes had recouped more than their estimated drop and a total of over £88,000 was assured towards the drop of £105,000. "There are many parishes which have not completed, or begun, this important exercise. But it is important that parishes which have not shown the slightest sign of carrying out this plan (and those who have made feeble attempts at it) should remember that for every pound
unclaimed from the
Government, to which we are entitled, then the laity have got to make this money good out of their own pockets.
"In this respect I cannot do better than quote the words of Archbisop Beck: 'It is ludicrous not to claim this money.'
"These are my personal observations. But in the interests of the Church I believe that I have a duty to state them publicly. I hope that my service and knowledge of this aspect of the archdiocese should make me competent to do so."