The Anglican Diocese of Dunedin is "two years out from a crisis" and must restructure to become sustainable, its Bishop, the Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright, says.
He informed ministry units and clergy about the situation by letter late last month, before posting it on his blog on Friday.
"For many years, the diocese has been in decline on any parameter that could be named ... attendances, numbers of families served and the real level of giving have all been steadily dropping over the years to the point where several of our parishes are on the very edge of ceasing to exist altogether," he said in the letter.
The economic crisis had resulted in a drop in investment income which may have sustained the diocese, and despite paring the diocesan budget back "as hard as we dared ... we have not been able to balance the annual budget".
The Anglican diocese had become "so starved of resources" it could not do what parishes required of it and was, in its present form, "at the point of collapse". Read more