The diocese wants to save 15 million euros by 2030. The most recent balance sheet is minus 800,000 euros, with total expenses of 114 million euros, not a huge amount, but a problem in the long term – the diocese of Graz-Secau has more red (10.8.2022) on it. , The cost pressure is great. Because even though the number of churchgoers has increased slightly after two years of coronavirus, and with it the income from Sunday gatherings, the Diocese of Graz-Secau says they are still far from pre-coronavirus levels . Now you want to save one and a half million euros every year.
Churches will not be sold, but can be shared
About 2,000 buildings – churches, parish offices and more – are to be reduced. “This raises the question of whether we can maintain this number of buildings in the long term or whether there will be demand. Here we always try to find a solution with the affected parish community, with the population, when such a situation occurs. When a building in its present form is no longer necessary. As far as churches are concerned, selling churches is certainly not an issue. But there is a view or two where other Christian faith communities in Styria may also have a It’s also important in terms of the universality the house has to offer.”
Not refilling with personnel
If possible the workforce should be reduced to about 1,500, says Andreas Ehart, economic director of the Diocese of Graz-Secau. According to Ehard, this will be attempted through natural departure, retirement and non-filling of vacancies. If that doesn’t work, you need to consider whether you need to turn down one or the other service or offer.
Church Contribution: Growth Not Excluded
You also do not want to deny that the contribution of the church can increase. “The Church’s contribution should always be increased at least enough to adequately compensate for inflation. Here we have generally always been below the inflation rate. We will also try to keep that up. But this Won’t work without structural changes.” In general, however, this is a sensitive issue, as one facing believers right now is demanding a reduction in the contribution of the Church.
Saving pressure is likely to increase. The number of believers is falling and the next balance sheet inflation and various increases in costs for the diocese will have the full effect.