The future for new churches in Sydney
Synod has heard from the Mission Property Committee and the Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities about their work in procuring sites in strategic locations for new churches, and efforts to raise funds for other church facilities.
The presentation to Synod focused particularly on a new site purchased at Bringelly – adjacent to the growth corridor anticipated in tandem with the development of the Badgerys Creek airport – and the completion of facilities for the Leppington Hope Church plant led by the Rev Luther Symons.
“I would love for you to visit and see the difference this church is already making in Leppington,” Mr Symons said in a pre-recorded video interview shown to Synod members. “The estate behind me is just bursting at the seams and we need to reach those people.”
The executive director of NCNC, the Rev Glenn Gardner, reported to the Synod that NCNC had raised $1.1 million so far in 2017 towards the construction of facilities for new churches, with a further $600,000 in pledges. However, he said NCNC’s target was to raise $20 million over five years, and it was thus looking to diversify its sources of funding from a small selection of wealthy donors to parishes and other individuals.
“I’ve emailed a number of parishes to explore... if it is possible for 100 parishes throughout the Diocese to give $5000 each a year for three years,” Mr Gardner told Synod. He said he would also recommend to the NCNC board that it establish of a Friends Of NCNC group to help raise the organisation’s work and profile further.
“I’m for this work to the extent that, if we do not take this window of opportunity, I fear for the future of Christianity in these areas of Sydney,” Mr Gardner said.
The MPC reported on its latest land acquisition on Badgerys Creek Road, bought in July this year. The block of land lies in a corridor expected to be rezoned as urban within five years, with a forecast population of over 50,000. The three-hectare site cost $4.65 million, and all parishes in the Diocese contributed to this through the greenfields land acquisition levy brought into force by Synod in 2013.
“I want us to consider that we have a mission field on our own doorstep,” Mr Gardner said. “As this growth of the population of Sydney takes place, so will the opportunity to let people on our very doorstep know about Jesus and to draw them into the fellowship of this church.”