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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:18 PM

 

The NYC church with 2 billion in assets thanks to Queen Ann

There has never been any doubt that Trinity Church is wealthy. But the extent of its wealth has long been a mystery; guessed at by many, known by few.

<snip>

The Episcopal parish, known as Trinity Wall Street, traces its holdings to a gift of 215 acres of prime Manhattan farmland donated in 1705 by Queen Anne of England. Since then, the church has parlayed that gift into a rich portfolio of office buildings, stock investments and, soon, mixed-use residential development.

The parish’s good fortune has become an issue in the historic congregation, which has been racked by infighting in recent years over whether the church should be spending more money to help the poor and spread the faith, in New York and around the world. Differences over the parish’s mission and direction last year led nearly half the 22-member vestry — an august collection of corporate executives and philanthropists — to resign or be pushed out, after at least seven of them asked, unsuccessfully, that the rector himself step down.

<snip>

It reported $158 million in real estate revenue for 2011, the majority of which went toward maintaining and supporting its real estate operations, the financial statement indicates. Of the $38 million left for the church’s operating budget, some $4 million was spent on communications, $3 million on philanthropic grant spending and $2.5 million on the church’s music program, church officials said. Nearly $6 million went to maintain Trinity’s historic properties, including the main church building, which was built in 1846; St. Paul’s Chapel; and several cemeteries, where luminaries including Alexander Hamilton and Edward I. Koch are buried. The remainder went into the church’s equity investment portfolio.

<snip>

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/nyregion/trinity-church-in-manhattan-is-split-on-how-to-spend-its-wealth.html?pagewanted=all

12 replies, 1686 views

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Reply The NYC church with 2 billion in assets thanks to Queen Ann (Original post)
cali Apr 2013 OP
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2013 #1
cali Apr 2013 #2
leveymg Apr 2013 #3
Recursion Apr 2013 #4
Earth_First Apr 2013 #5
Ruby the Liberal Apr 2013 #10
markpkessinger Apr 2013 #12
Nye Bevan Apr 2013 #6
Libertas1776 Apr 2013 #8
Ruby the Liberal Apr 2013 #9
malaise Apr 2013 #7
markpkessinger Apr 2013 #11

Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:54 PM

1. $4 million was spent on communications, $3 million on philanthropic grants

That's fucked up. Especially for a church which hardly anyone has heard of. Who have they been trying to communicate with? Aliens? How can you spend $4m on 'communications' and remain almost anonymous?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:55 PM

2. yeah, and the minister has a hell of a pay check and other compensation

 

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 02:56 PM

3. Trinity used to be the open air drug market for people who worked on the NYSE and Wall Street.

You could buy some really kick ass stuff there.

BUY LOW, SELL HIGH


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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:13 PM

4. I think its endownment is tied up with Columbia U's

Columbia was originally the seminary for that church.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 03:14 PM

5. Reverend James Cooper was supplied $1.3 million in compensation in 2010

As well as a $5 million dollar SoHo townhouse, an undisclosed condo in Florida and various trips around the world including an African safari 'ministry' vacation.

In order to tenure his resignation, he made the following list of demands:

* Health- and life-insurance benefits until age 72

* A gift to a charity in Cooper’s honor

* A “thank-you” payment to Cooper of an unknown amount

* $200,000 a year for seven years for staff and support to continue his ministry of service

* The right for Cooper and his wife to be buried in Trinity’s historic graveyard.



...how many hundreds of millions are we losing tax revenue on by supplying these organizations with tax-exempt status?

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:40 PM

10. "Put my name on a library"?

Well this one isn't in the religion gig for the wrong reasons or anything...



But seriously - they should have their tax-exempt status pulled. Thats a load of horseshit.

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:16 PM

12. To be fair . . .

. . . Trinity is a single parish, whose assets are independent of the wider Episcopal denomination. I agree Trinity is an obscenity; but for every Trinity Wall Street, there are hundreds of Episcopal parishes, and thousands of other Christian churches, who struggle to keep the lights on and who pay their clergy very, very modestly.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:30 PM

6. Am I the only one who immediately thought "Ann Romney"? (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:42 PM

8. for me,

i actually first thought of Queen Anne of Great Britain. Then I figured this is DU so it's probably referring to Ann Rmoney. I click on the link and what do ya know, I was right on my first original guess.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 05:38 PM

9. *raises hand*

Almost didn't open this thinking The Entitled One made a donation.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 04:37 PM

7. The Anglicans and Catholics own frightening amounts of land in

several countries on our planet. And don't dare ask them to release land for the social good. Not a chance.

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Response to cali (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 07:12 PM

11. As an Episcopalian and a New Yorker . . .

. . . who, for a time, sat on the vestry (sort of a board of directors, for those unfamiliar with Episcopal churchspeak) of another Manhattan Episcopal parish with a modest endowment (paltry by comparison with Trinity), a working cemetery and a handful of small property holdings (ironically a parish founded by members of Trinity in 1807 as a "summer chapel" for the benefit of Trinity parishioners who had summer homes in what was then the bucolic countryside now known as the Upper West Side), I can sympathize with the desire to manage a parish's assets wisely and with an eye toward the long-term. But only up to a point. For a single parish to be sitting on assets of $2 billion (!) is frankly an obscenity. The rector (head priest), with a salary of $475,000/yr. and a total compensation package valued at $1.3 million, seems to feel quite confident that his tenure as rector has been wildly successful. Maybe as a CEO of Trinity, Inc. that's true; as a priest and rector of a parish, I'm not so sure.

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