Like other Anglican Church of Canada dioceses, the Diocese of Niagara is in financial difficulty. Not only are numbers dwindling in its parishes, but whole parishes are departing for ANiC (5 so far), the diocese has to pay close to $400,000 in legal fees for suing departed parishes and now, finally, has to come up with back payments (around $54,000) for its invasion of ANiC parish buildings during the last 2 years.
It isn’t surprising, then, that Bishop Michael Bird is scrounging for cash: he has asked parishes that have not managed to pay their diocesan assessment to take out a line of credit loan – so that the diocese doesn’t have to – to pay their assessment. Since, contrary to common sense, ethical fairness and Christian compassion, Bird has always claimed ownership of the ANiC parishes buildings, he cannot be expecting parishes to use their buildings as security for the lines of credit. In the lawsuits against ANiC, Bird has attempted to lay claim to wardens’ personal assets, so he probably expects corporations to use their personal assets to secure the loans.
Anglican wardens in the Diocese of Niagara are scrambling to transfer all personal property to close relatives and there has been a run on replacement front-door locks.