Growth drive reaches out
The Archbishop has created a high-level committee to help establish Ministry Centres for church communities in new growth areas of Sydney.
New Churches for New Communities (NCNC) will spearhead fundraising for ministry facilities and co-ordinating diocesan resources into some of the fastest growing areas in Australia.
Working with the existing Mission Property Committee (MPC), which is buying land in growth corridors, the new committee will assist the Archbishop in active fundraising activities for the building of facilities and ensure a holistic approach in identifying the needs of new communities.
“This is a great opportunity for parishes and our diocesan organisations to work together for the expansion of God’s kingdom,” Archbishop Davies said. “This is not just parish-based, but will have the active co-operation of agencies such as Anglicare, ARV and the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation. We are seeking to honour Christ as Lord and Saviour in every community.”
According to the NCNC’s executive director, Glenn Gardner AM, “The MPC’s role is to get the land and ours is to get the funds to build, as well as playing a co-ordinating role in terms of community needs and diocesan resources.
“Some needs will always be ministry-orientated, for example proclaiming the gospel. But other needs may be service-orientated, such as education, health and other service ministries often provided by our Anglican agencies. In consultation with the local church and the community, we want to find ways to meet those needs.”
Chaired by business and education consultant Philip Bell OAM, the committee also includes businessman Roger Corbett AO, solicitor Greg Hammond and Angela Livingston, who heads a recruiting firm.
“We are not looking to build neo-Gothic church buildings,” Mr Gardner says. “Rather, we want multi-purpose buildings which can be used as churches on Sundays – or single-use facilities. For example, if there’s a great need for a preschool in a particular area, we will look seriously at trying to get funding to build one.
“We are establishing a Public Ancillary Fund (PuAF) to secure tax deductibility. So if we build something which serves the community and qualifies for deductibility, we can offer that.”
Archbishop Davies says there will be regular reports on this initiative.
“I hope everyone in the Diocese will be excited by what is happening in growth corridors and new areas of Sydney and surrounds,” he says. “Of course, we know that new churches are the worshipping congregations connected with new communities, not the buildings themselves. However, buildings are a useful resource for forming Christian congregations. We live on the legacy of generations which had trust in God’s goodness and the foresight to build for the present and the future. Like them, we need to be bold.”
The first project for the new committee is Stanhope Gardens in Western Sydney.
There will be more on this on sydneyanglicans.net and in future editions of the Diocesan magazine Southern Cross.
Photo: Archbishop Davies and Glenn Gardner, executive director of NCNC, look at plans for new communities.