Statement by the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey – The Stewardship Trust

25 Feb 2005


25 FEBRUARY 2005



The Stewardship Trust was set up in 1996 by the Irish Bishops to meet the
following financial responsibilities:

* The establishment and running of the Bishops’ Child Protection Office;
* The updating of the standards required by the Church for Church personnel
dealing with children – recently completed by Maureen Lynott and a committee
of experts;
* The Royal College of Surgeons’ report into the effects on clerical child
abuse in society, the first such report of its kind ever commissioned; the
research was published November 2003 as Time to listen;
* To cover the costs of counselling victims of abuse;
* To meet the costs of claims arising from child sexual abuse;

The Dromore contribution to the Stewardship Trust, calculated on the basis
of the Catholic population, is £56,000.

The diocese of Dromore covers these costs from a diocesan levy (12%). The
diocesan levy provides funding for a wide range of diocesan and national
expenses. It is the only source used for our contribution to the Stewardship

In Dromore most parishes have a parish finance council, comprising lay parishioners,
including people with professional skills and experience in dealing with finance
and property issues. It is their task to assist clergy in the administration
of parish finances and to ensure good practice in this area.

It is diocesan practice to hold an annual finance meeting at which a statement
of diocesan accounts for that year is presented and a budget for the coming year.
Lay members of parish finance councils are invited to this meeting, as well as
clergy. In fact, it is held in the evening to facilitate this.

At the 2004 meeting held in the Parish Centre, Banbridge, a statement of
diocesan accounts and a budget was distributed to all present.

The nature and purposes of the Stewardship Trust was explained to those present.
It was announced that the diocesan levy was sufficient to cover diocesan expenses.
No extra money was levied on parishes to cover the contribution to the Stewardship

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm Communications Officer (087 233 7797)