What the Church Needs
The Church is one body made of many parts. Thus, the funding of different aspects of the archdiocese is separated into different pools of funds, handled by different fundraisers.
The Catholic Church in Singapore consists of 31 parishes and over 100 archdiocesan organisations involved in areas such as pastoral care, faith formation, social work, education, family, youth, migrants, and so on.
Donations to Catholic charities (Caritas Singapore, CHARIS and their affiliates) and to the religious congregations are used solely for those purposes, and do not go towards funding the archdiocese or the parishes.
Funding for the parishes and archdiocese have traditionally come from the weekly offertories and other collections made during Masses.
Most of the money collected is retained for each parish’s own needs, such as running their own programmes, operational costs, and maintaining their buildings. Until recently, only a fixed 15% of the first weekend’s collections in parishes went to the archdiocese. (Beginning 2016, the 15% fixed contribution was revised to a tiered system of between four to 28% depending on the income of each parish).
However, this is still far from adequate to meet the archdiocese’s financial needs. “In 2015, the operating deficit of the archdiocese after the 15 per cent share of the parishes’ collections was $2 million – and that is not counting the several capital needs of the Church,” reveals Msgr Philip Heng, Vicar General of Administration and Finance.
What the Archdiocese Has Today
Like all organisations, the archdiocese has operating and capital expenditure. In 2015, the archdiocese accumulated an operating deficit of slightly over $2 million.
This deficit was eventually covered by the Catholic Foundation and one-off additional contributions by the parishes.
Operating expenditure is expected to increase further in the future as the 10-year pastoral plan rolls out. In addition, the archdiocese has significant capital needs as several new building projects are being launched, and this is straining its declining reserves.
The archdiocese’s main operating expenditure is in funding over a hundred archdiocesan organisations and departments, as well as the upkeep and welfare of its priests.
The major sources of operating income and expenditure of the archdiocese (based on 2015 accounts) is shown below: