Parishes secure over $3.5m in grant funding by partnering with SAP!

Over 150 parishes across the Diocese are set to benefit from more than $3.5 million in government and council funding thanks to a host of successful applications lodged in partnership with Sydney Anglican Property (SAP) over the last two years.

While our churches are much more than bricks and mortar, church buildings are integral to how we do ministry in our communities. At SAP, we like to think about it as putting our property on mission. As a result, parish properties not only need to be maintained but must also adapt over time to changing ministry needs.

This is where SAP’s Parish Property Services (PPS) team comes in.

One of the many areas that our PPS team looks after, is the process of helping parishes across the Diocese apply for grant funding to enable them to put their property on mission.

This can look like anything from coming alongside a church to advise and assist them in the process for local council grants, to being the grant applicant for a parish (as SAP is a legal entity), or handling the administration process and liaising with grant bodies.

Many parishes have been successful in gaining grants over the years to help them maintain parish property and support community initiatives. The PPS team provides parishes with information about grants that are available to all parishes, but many grants are restricted to local council areas, or for specific purposes that may be relevant to specific parish ministries or circumstances. As such, PPS encourages parishes to be familiar with those opportunities and to keep up to date with local council news.

SAP Compliance & Support Manager, Prasanna Kumar Shanmugam, is involved in the administration process of grants for churches and liaising with grant bodies. Over the last two years, in particular, we have seen some spectacular results for parishes in their grant applications.

Mr Shanmugam shares, “I am delighted to announce that 36 parishes have been successful in securing Community Building Partnership (CBP) grants, with a total amount of $708,939 awarded in 2023-24. This is a significant achievement, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all the parishes involved.”

The NSW Government CBP grants program has been pivotal for many parishes. In 2022-23, 61 parishes received grants in this program, and in 2023-24, a further 36 parishes received grants. These grants range from $6,000 for outdoor furniture and a BBQ at Denham Court parish, to $55,000 for an accessible children’s playground and family area at Dundas Telopea parish, with an average grant amount of $20,000 per parish. Here are some other examples of how this funding has been used:

  • Air conditioning of church halls
  • Awnings over a community deck area
  • Church furniture
  • Electric hot water systems
  • Fencing and shade sails for playgrounds
  • Kitchen renovations
  • Repairing doors and windows of church buildings and halls
  • Resurfacing church car parking areas
  • Ride on lawnmowers (our favourite!)
  • Security lighting and CCTV
  • Storage facilities
  • Solar panels and battery storage systems
  • Water storage tanks

CBP is an annual grants program. We encourage parishes to consider similar projects and to obtain quotations now so they are ready to submit grant applications for future funding rounds.

Further exciting grant news comes in the form of securing funds for 25 church buildings to install security infrastructure as part of the NSW Government’s Safe Places for Faith Communities Program (SPFCP), valued at $612,109. 

These range from $5,000 for a CCTV security system for the Lakemba parish, to $50,000 for security fencing at the Parramatta North with Harris Park parish, with an average successful grant amount of $25,000 across other parishes. Further examples of how this funding has been used are in:

  • Purchasing defibrillators
  • Door, gate, and window upgrades
  • First aid training
  • Motion-sensor outdoor lighting
  • Security locking systems

This outcome is particularly exciting after the far more modest success in similar security grants programs from 2018 through 2022. Our success in the program this year reflects that it is an increasing priority for the NSW Government to assist in security measures for places of public worship. As such, parishes are encouraged to consider applying for future grant rounds.

We are thankful to the many government bodies and councils that continue to create these opportunities for our parishes to improve their property as ministry needs change over time. 

See below for a summary table of grants received for churches in the last two years.

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