Synod votes for historic merger

Read Synod votes for historic merger

The Synod of the Diocese of Sydney has voted to merge Anglicare and Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) to better meet the need for their services in the future.

Anglicare is celebrating its 160th anniversary, having been established as the The Sydney Church Society in 1856 by Bishop Barker. ARV was founded by Archbishop and Mrs Mowll in 1959 and has grown to be a significant force in aged care services.

But Archbishop Glenn Davies told a special synod called to consider a merger that the landscape of aged care in Australia has dramatically changed. 

“The future will see constraints placed on government funding of aged care services and development of the practice of consumer directed care.  Users of aged care services will be required to pay more and will be given greater say in the way their services are delivered.” Dr Davies said. “This is a dramatic shift in social policy by the Commonwealth Government, which has significant ramifications for both organisations. New players are entering the field of aged care services. These are large, international, for-profit organisations who are growing at a rapid rate. Scale will be vital for growth: scale is the new criterion for survival.”

The Archbishop paid tribute to the Chief Executives, Grant Millard of Anglicare and Rob Freeman of the ARV, who he said sought “ways of working together in their common objectives and their common commitment to Christ and his mission.”

Archbishop Davies expresses support for the merger in his Presidential Address

“There will be only one CEO of the merged organisation. It could be neither of them.” the Archbishop said. “Yet here we have two men of honour and integrity, who have both served their respective organisations with distinction, and yet who have each surrendered their position, because they believe this merger is in the best interests of the Diocese, the best way to forward the mission of the Diocese and to reach the lost for the glory of God.”

Dr Davies said he was thankful for the strength of both Anglicare and ARV.  “Strong financially, strong in reputation and strong in the foundation of their work on the love of Jesus Christ.  I am grateful that we are able to look with confidence to the future and are able to plan that future from a position of strength.” 

The Archbishop paid tribute to the 4,000 staff who work at Anglicare and ARV and the thousands of volunteers who he said ‘contribute greatly to our mission’.  

“I am excited about the prospect of one formidable agency working alongside our parishes to share the gospel by word and deed.” the Archbishop said.

The Bishop of North Sydney, Chris Edwards, moved the merger motion saying there was an overlap of the work of both organisations.

“Many of you would have seen the care that’s provided - as age robs people of dignity, they are cared for and protected and dignity is restored. Both organisations provide outstanding care.” he said.

Lawyer Gillian Davidson, a lay member of Synod and a board member of Anglicare, called the organisation’s work ‘incredibly important and significantly complex.” 

“The ministry opportunities of this merged organisation are significant, exciting and with God’s blessing a chance for us to minister to the greater Sydney area.” Ms Davidson said.

The motion to merge the organisations passed unanimously.

The vote was met with applause after which the Archbishop led in prayer, thanking God for the legacy of those who founded the two organisations.

A  new board will be established including three members of the current Anglicare Council, three from the current ARV Board as well as three other people.

Greg Hammond OAM has been invited by the Archbishop to be chairman-designate and will help oversee the merger process. 

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