It is a significant decision to undertake a property project in a church. It is a decision which has the potential to enable new ministries, and also has long term effects. Also, it is rarely a simple ‘yes/no’ decision, or one which is made by a single stakeholder!
In 2018, Diocesan Council commissioned a ‘Mission & Property Strategy Task Group’ to review this important area. A number of recommendations were adopted, and some policies have already been developed. The implementation timeline for the strategy is 2019-2022. However, it already provides some guidance to churches currently considering changes to property.
Our Top Three Tips for property projects are:
- Mission Plan first, and then plan property projects to support the plan
- Talk to us early in the process, because these projects take time (18-months to 5 years depending on scale)
- Engage professionals early, to save time and money later
Property Project Framework Policy
Diocesan decision makers (E.g. Archbishop, Diocesan Council, PFRC) will use the Property Project Framework Policy to determine whether a proposed project will be Approved, Deferred, or Rejected. The full policy is attached to this page below.
Context of the Policy
The consideration and ordering of property projects is significant to the achievement of Synod policy objectives the Diocesan Vision. The object of the Synod is to provide for “the life and growth and the order and good government” of the Anglican Church. As the “governing body for the management of the affairs of the Diocese”, the Synod is to make decisions to proceed, defer, or reject property projects
(Quotes from Constitution of the Diocese of Adelaide, sections 7 and 8 respectively).
The principles of this policy form a summary of the objectives of the Synod in regards to property projects:
- All assets should yield a maximum dividend, either missional or financial, or both.
- The factors which inform a decision made regarding a property project must be transparent, to ensure equity of treatment and accountability for decision makers.
- Decision making with regards to prioritising property projects includes discernment and confirmation elements, and as such is subject to collective responsibility.
A model recommended by Diocesan Council “a helpful conceptual framework to support decision makers in their work” is the Missional & Financial Return Quadrant:
For each property asset, consider what return the church is getting from it. Is this return maximised? If not, what could be done to improve it?