Message from the Bishop
Again I write because the senior reporter at The Press has been back asking questions about the CPT accounts etc. Here is what we have sent in reply. I think it best you hear directly from me what we are saying rather than just in The Press or on Stuff online.
Tomorrow Lent begins and I do pray we find more time for God and less time for controversy while on the journey towards Easter.
May you keep a holy Lent,
Here is the Q and A:
A: “Prior to 2015 land and buildings were listed on individual parish accounts. On legal and accounting advice they were then moved to CPT’s own balance sheet as the legal owner. However, listing them as such would be misleading as CPT holds them on trusts for parish mission and ministry. To recognise that CPT holds assets only in its capacity as a trustee (of a large number of trusts of around 500) special purpose financial statements are used to show this. No new trusts have been created and financial information continues to be disclosed.”
Q3: Charities expert and academic Michael Gousmett thinks the assets have been removed from the CPT accounts to hide them from the public. He said charities often move assets to a separate trust to appear “poorer” in order to help with fundraising. Is this why the assets have been removed from CPT accounts? Could you respond to his claims?
A: “Mr Gousmett’s comments do not apply at all to CPT. CPT has been working with its professional advisers to ensure its accounts are as transparent as possible. To say we are hiding funds is wrong.”
Q4: Charity records show that 11 trustees have retired from the CPT since 2010. Four retired in 2012. Why have so many people retired from CPT in recent years? Has it impacted on the running of the CPT?
A: “These trustee roles are entirely voluntary and unpaid. There is a requirement of two retirements from CPT every year so this as would be expected. In addition, some were retirements of long serving members, some became necessary due to the pressure of work created by the Canterbury earthquakes. One trustee moved away. The changes have not impacted the running of CPT; it is not unusual to have a board refresh over a seven year period.