By Kirk Petersen

The pandemic is threatening the financial viability of many churches, and the Episcopal Church itself is warning that layoffs may be necessary at the Church Center. Meanwhile, one unique church is donating half a million dollars to fund COVID-19 relief efforts in Africa, the Caribbean, and South America.

Trinity Church Wall Street — surely the only church with a $6 billion real estate portfolio — announced June 17 it is disbursing grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to 36 Anglican dioceses and organizations, to be used for food and for items such as masks, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.

“It’s our responsibility to help our brothers and sisters not just here in New York City, but those around the world who are harmed by the pandemic,” the Rev. Phillip A. Jackson, priest-in-charge and vicar of Trinity, said in a news release.

The overseas grants are on top of $2.4 million in grants and loans to nonprofits in the New York City area, announced in May.

Trinity has a long history of donating and investing far outside its neighborhood. The 36 recipients of the most recent grants have all received grants from the church before. Last year, the church acquired a California-based Episcopal seminary, the Church Divinity School of the Pacific. The church’s wealth has its roots in a 1705 land grant of more than 200 acres of Lower Manhattan.

The recipients of the latest COVID-19 grants are:

  • Diocese of Katanga, DR Congo
  • Diocese of Kindu, DR Congo
  • Diocese of Guinea
  • Diocese of Bondo, Kenya
  • Diocese of Kajiado, Kenya
  • Diocese of Kericho, Kenya
  • Diocese of Nakuru, Kenya
  • Diocese of Northern Malawi
  • Diocese of Nampula, Mozambique
  • Diocese of Central Tanganyika, Tanzania
  • Diocese of Kondoa, Tanzania
  • Diocese of Lusaka, Zambia
  • Diocese of Northern Zambia
  • Codrington Trust, Barbados (Codrington Theological College)
  • Diocese of Belize
  • Diocese of Amazonia, Brazil
  • Province of Burundi
  • Diocese of Rumonge, Burundi
  • Diocese of Cuba
  • Diocese of Litoral Ecuador
  • Diocese of Eswatini
  • Diocese of Accra, Ghana
  • Diocese of Asante Mampong, Ghana
  • Province of West Africa
  • Diocese of Tamale, Ghana
  • Diocese of Honduras
  • Diocese of Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Diocese of Mexico
  • Diocese of Cuernavaca, Mexico
  • Diocese of Niassa, Mozambique
  • Diocese of Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Anglican Church of Tanzania
  • Diocese of Biharamulo, Tanzania
  • Diocese of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Diocese of Eastern Zambia
  • Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe

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