THE Rector of Trinity, Wall Street, New York, the Revd Dr James Cooper, responded to criticisms last week of the management of the church’s finances.
In a letter published on the church’s website on Monday of last week, Dr Cooper referred to an article published in a New York newspaper. He wrote: “The article described me as ‘planning an opulent overhaul’ of Trinity’s office space. This is not true. It also presented annual budget numbers in such a way as to suggest a disparity between the parish’s budget and what it spends on ministry. This also is not accurate.”
Dr Cooper said that the building on Trinity Place which “houses Trinity’s program ministries . . . is facing significant maintenance and code-compliance upgrades in the coming years. The discussion about the most responsible plan for meeting these needs has gone on for more than a decade, since before I began my tenure in 2004. These conversations are about weighing investing in costly repairs to an ageing building or developing a new structure that will best serve Trinity and its Lower Manhattan community in years to come.”
Responding to accusations in the article about the management of Trinity’s finances, Dr Cooper said that the church’s “substantial commercial real estate portfolio” incurred “significant capital, maintenance, and operating expenditures”. The church also paid “substantial commercial real-estate taxes”, he said. “Income from Trinity’s real-estate holdings funds ALL the programs of the parish and the maintenance of Trinity’s two historic landmark churches and churchyards, which receive three million visitors annually.”