The $36.6 million debt ensuing from the closure and sale of Acacia College has been cleared.
The main loan from Uniting Financial Services (UFS) was repaid in May. The early repayment has saved the Church up to $1.4 million in interest payments which would have had to be paid if the loan went its full term, to 31 December 2014.
Special circumstances were declared at the 2013 Synod meeting (Resolution 18.104.22.168) to enable the sale of Church property to raise net $56 million in funds. This figure comprised the Acacia College debt of $36.6 million, risk management reserves $7.3 million, liquidity for ministries $10 million and commitments made to Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congresses Victoria and Tasmania of $2 million.
Uniting our future will continue to distribute funds following settlement of sold properties accordingly.
“The funds raised from Uniting our future are paying off significant church debt and replenishing reserves,” Rob Costa, chairperson of the Project Control Group explained.
“However this process has not been without considerable angst felt across the breadth of the Church. Work continues with presbyteries, the synod and people from across the Church to provide support and care to congregations and agencies directly impacted by these changes.”
A Property Board report on the Uniting our future program will be presented to the September 2014 Synod meeting.