The Growth Corporation was established at the start of 2019 by Standing Committee, in response to the request of the 2018 Synod to “further the work of the Anglican Church’s Sydney Diocese by facilitating and assisting the effective use of property and other resources for promoting and proclaiming the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”. In the months since establishment under the Anglican Church Growth Corporation Ordinance 2018 , we have formed a Board with faithful members bringing excellent leadership and governance skills who are well-suited to achieve this goal.
Greater Sydney is already a global city with a population nearing 5 million people. About 1% of those are regularly attending Anglican churches. The population is expected to rise to close to 8 million in the next 30 years. This provides an awesome opportunity and challenge for us as we use the skills and intellect given to us by God to work out ways to demonstrate God’s love to the people of Greater Sydney and Wollongong today and into the future.
As Greater Sydney changes, we, as a Diocese, need to be willing to change and morph the ways we minister to its people while not compromising on the Gospel we share. The Growth Corporation is taking a Diocesan-wide view on how we plan, manage and activate our properties to facilitate mission and create more opportunities to interact with the people of the communities in which we are located.
As previous generations have left a positive legacy for us, we want to be godly stewards of the resources provided by generations past, but also to provide future generations with building and property resources that will be used to facilitate Gospel ministry in generations to come. This includes physical buildings and property, but also developing sustainable funding mechanisms to enable ministry and evangelism to be supported without burdening future generations with financial constraints.
We also need to interface with providers of our ministers, church planters and evangelists to ensure that the locations and designs of property assets provide the flexibility to adapt to the ministry needs of the future.
The current opportunity for the Gospel in Greater Sydney and Wollongong is significant. About 1% of Greater Sydney’s population regularly attend an Anglican Church in the Diocese. This represents about 48,000 adults amongst Greater Sydney’s population of 4.7 million. In March 2018, the NSW Government’s Greater Sydney Commission released its Greater Sydney Region Plan – A Metropolis of Three Cities (The Plan). The Plan provides the population growth and land use planning context that helps to define the task ahead if we are to effectively share Jesus with a rapidly expanding population that increasingly is distant from our Saviour.
It is within this strategic context that buildings and property can act as an enabler for furthering the Kingdom if we plan effectively and strategically, collaborating across the Diocese to reach as many people as possible with the saving grace of the Gospel. The task is too large to address as isolated parishes. What is needed is a new approach where Mission is activated locally while working together as a Diocese to connect across Greater Sydney and Wollongong with initiatives and innovations that work in one location, but could also have application across the region.
The Growth Corporation exists as an umbrella organisation bringing together the various property/development-related functions of the Diocese with a strategic focus to provide:
- A coordinated approach to buildings and property across the Diocese.
- One point of contact for parishes on property issues.
- Prioritisation of greenfield and urban renewal church developments to facilitate Mission.
- Enhanced communication on Mission-related property initiatives.
- Continuous improvement to Diocesan property processes to balance the risk profile of the Diocese with the need to develop and purchase property to keep up with the Mission requirements of Greater Sydney and Wollongong.
- Innovative funding mechanisms to reduce the financial burden on new and existing parishes when contemplating Mission-related development.
- Clear visibility of the Mission-related development pipeline to enable Moore College, Ministry Training and Development (MTD) and the Centre for Ministry Development (CMD) to effectively prepare and match the right people for the right Mission roles across Greater Sydney.
The Growth Corporation has been established as the umbrella organisation within the Diocese, bringing together the various groups involved in strategic planning and development of new and existing churches, to work in collaboration with the owner of the properties, the ACPT, acting on behalf of the parishes.
If you are a parish representative, you just need to know what Region you are in and then contact the appropriate Regional Parish Property Services Manager.