The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has released its budget for 2021, after a budget failed to pass at last year’s convention. Overall, the budget reflects a nearly 7 percent drop in pledges from the parishes, resulting in serious challenges for the fat cats at Mayo House.
Of note are the details of parish pledges. Once again, Grace has only committed to $30,000, which still leaves it running a deficit budget. This reflects the collapsing fortunes of the parish resulting from its wasteful past spending, including its extravagant compensation package for perjuring priest Bob Malm; the outrageous $100,000 bonus the church paid him in 2014; the shambolic nature of planning for capital expenditures in the parish; the lack of preventive maintenance; lack of financial literacy; the effects of Bob Malm’s perjury and other misconduct; ongoing conflict and misconduct in the parish; Bob Malm’s departure; and of course the pandemic.
To make matters worse, Grace Church has zero clue how to address these issues, and has made no meaningful effort to do so. As a result, the church is in free fall, and I see no sign that Anne Turner’s arrival is going to turn things around.
Clearly, Grace Church faces an increasingly dire future.