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Compass Rose Society launches $10 million Anglican Communion endowment

Posted on: November 9, 2017 9:35 AM
Members of the Compass Rose Society board at the Anglican Communion Office in London for their annual meeting.
Photo Credit: ACNS

In 1997, the Compass Rose Society was founded by a global group of Anglicans to support the work of the Anglican Communion. In the two decades since then, the Society’s 400-plus members have donated more than $10 million USD (approximately £7.6 million GBP) to support the work of the Anglican Consultative Council and the international ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The society is now looking to cement its support for the future by creating a $10 million endowment.

Plans for the fund were revealed at the society’s 2015 AGM by the Compass Rose Society president Andrew Doyle, the Bishop of Texas. He told members that “The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council, and secretary general do not lack opportunities to meet the challenges of reconciliation, mission and the need for ever deepening spiritual growth presented by the global church.

“The question remains, who will stand in the breach between the needs of the Anglican Communion and the resources to undertake its ministry? The Compass Rose Society is looking for partners to join us and meet this need squarely with the financial donations required to undergird the vision of Communion to which I firmly believe God has invited us.”

Two years on, the Compass Rose Society has now launched its endowment fund.

Membership of the Society requires an initial gift of $10,000 and an annual commitment of $2,500 – $3,000. Members often donate additional funds to support particular Communion projects. The money is often raised by the creation of local chapters, with members pooling their contributions. The money raised by member is used to fund the Society’s goal of providing an annual gift of $400,000 to the Anglican Consultative Council.

The Compass Rose Society’s new endowment will generate income to support the Society’s annual commitment to the ACC. “As the Endowment Fund grows, new memberships and annual member contributions will then be used for mission initiatives throughout the Anglican Communion,” members were told at their AGM in London this week.

“As a former secretary general [of the Anglican Communion], I know first-hand how important such an endowment is,” the Revd Canon John Peterson of Washington National Cathedral, said. “This endowment will allow the Anglican Communion to initiate new unbudgeted programs between ACC meetings or respond to humanitarian crises.”

The endowment will be held by a trust fund established as an English charity, with the Anglican Communion Office as sole beneficiary. The Compass Rose Society’s board of directors and its finance committee will oversee the endowment, and the trust will be supervised by five trustees. It will be managed by the company Churches, Charities and Local Authorities Investment Management Limited (CCLA), an ethical fund manager who manages the funds held by the Church of England’s Central Board of Finance and a number of other charities and local government bodies, including the Anglican Consultative Council.

More than half of the funds raised by the Compass Rose Society has been used to support the Anglican Communion’s communication activities. Some $6 million has been used to support the communications department of the Anglican Consultative Council, in addition to specific projects including this Anglican Communion News Service website, Anglican World magazine, the Anglican Communion’s website, the Anglican Women’s Network, the Anglican Family Network, the Anglican Network of Interfaith Concerns, and the Anglican Francophone Network.

They have also supported projects by individual dioceses throughout the Communion, including the Diocese of Jerusalem’s hospitals in Gaza and Nablus and its Princess Basma Center for children with disabilities, (Jerusalem and the Middle East), the Diocese of Ghana’s eye clinic in Cape Coast (West Africa), The Diocese of the Highveld’s Aids relief (Southern Africa), the Diocese of Kaduna’s health clinic in the Kateri bush (Nigeria) and the Dioceses of Rio de Janeiro and the Amazon’s work in Cidade de Deus – the City of God (Brazil).

Welcoming the move, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “I greatly appreciate the commitment that the Compass Rose Society has made to the global ministry of my office and the Anglican Communion. The Society has supported several of my predecessor’s initiatives, including the Anglican Observer to the United Nations, the Bible in the Life of the Church, and theological textbooks for seminary libraries and, during my tenure, the Continuing Indaba project.

“The Society’s Endowment Fund will both offer support to ongoing Communion programmes and will allow the Communion to respond more generously to our future global initiatives. I urge all members to remember the Compass Rose Society Endowment Fund in their estate planning endeavours as well as in their annual charitable giving.”

The secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, also welcomed the creation of the fund, describing it as “a great gift for our global family that will enable the Communion to support its different ministries for decades (and hopefully centuries) to come.”

At the Society’s AGM in London this week, Dr Idowu-Fearon thanked the members for their continued support.

  • More information about the Compass Rose Society, including membership, can be found on their website.