The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) is extending the repayment period and suspending interest charges on loans to help loanees struggling with financial stress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation announced this week.
“The Anglican Foundation of Canada understands that the evolving situation concerning COVID-19 is having an impact on many parishes across the country, and recognizes that some loan recipients may be in a challenging financial situation,” the foundation wrote in a March 31 letter to loanees. “AFC is committed to helping you reduce some of the financial hardship during these uncertain times. Parishes are welcome to apply for a deferral of loan payments for 1 to 6 months. There will not be any additional interest payable with respect to deferred payments that accrue on the loan during the period of deferral.”
The foundation said it is also looking carefully at its funds under management in the hope of being able to provide emergency funds if these should become necessary.
The foundation’s 2019 annual report shows 20 outstanding loans worth a total of $674,000, says AFC executive director Canon Judy Rois.
Parishes with AFC loans began to respond within 24 hours of its offer to defer loan payments and suspend interest charges, Rois says, and the foundation is receiving more requests every day.
“We expect that many, maybe all will choose to defer their payments,” she says. “Parishes have expressed a great deal of appreciation during ‘a time of declining revenues.’”
Among the loan recipients opting for the deferral is the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Saskatoon, Sask. The deferral, says Dean Scott Pittendrigh, “is very caring of the organization and will be a great help to us in these difficult days as we grapple with the economic downturn that is also hitting us in the prairies.”