For the purposes of this section, a church is a building which has been duly consecrated or licensed by the Archbishop for the celebration of "divine service". In this context, "divine service" is a service provided for in the Book of Common Prayer or An Australian Prayer Book, with such variations as are permitted in the relevant church.
If a person or corporation wants to provide land as the site for a church, or a building which includes a church, the approvals of the Archbishop and the Property Trust are to be first obtained and then the land is to be transferred to the Property Trust. These requirements do not apply if a person wants to provide land by will.
Before a building intended for use as a church can be constructed, the plans and specifications are to receive the Archbishop's approval. See Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval for information about the procedure for obtaining the Archbishop's approval. The Archbishop's approval is in addition to the other approvals which are required from the local municipal council and other statutory authorities.
No building intended to be used regularly for divine service may be used for that purpose unless the building has been licensed or consecrated as a church.
An application for a licence or sentence of consecration may be made by the minister or trustee of the building. An application form is available from the Registrar. If the Archbishop approves the application, a licence is prepared and read during the first service in the building.
A building cannot be licensed or consecrated as a church until the land on which the building is erected has been vested in the Property Trust or another trustee approved by the Archbishop-in-Council. In addition, the building is to have been provided with all things as may be required according to the law and usage of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney.
A church may be consecrated when it is free of debt and complete in its structure and furnishings.
Name of a church
The name of a church is that specified in the licence or sentence of consecration. The name of a church may only be changed by the Archbishop at the request of the minister and wardens, if any. See Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990 (clause 6(6)).
A church may only be used for one or more of the following purposes -
The minister is entitled to access to the church at all times and, in the church, may celebrate divine service without interference. The church is not to be used for a purpose not sanctioned by the minister.
The Archbishop can use St Andrew's Cathedral, St John's Pro-Cathedral Parramatta and St Michael's Pro-Cathedral Wollongong for ordinations and on all other occasions appointed by him, and can officiate and preach in those buildings. The Bishop of Western Sydney has similar rights in relation to St John's Pro-Cathedral Parramatta and the Bishop of Wollongong has similar rights in relation to St Michael's Pro-Cathedral Wollongong.
A person cannot celebrate divine service or preach a sermon in a church unless -
A church of another denomination which professes the apostolic faith may use an Anglican Church if the requirements of the Use of the Church Property Ordinance 1995 are satisfied. In brief, that ordinance requires the following -
A Regional Bishop may give approval on behalf of the Archbishop if authorised by the Archbishop.
This procedure shows that early consultation with the Regional Archdeacon is vital in ensuring that applications for approval are dealt with expeditiously. Information about the form of draft agreement approved by the Property Trust is available from the Property Trust.
The wardens are responsible for the care and repair of the church and its furniture. See also Building Works Kit.Alterations to a church
The approval of the Archbishop is required before a church building can be altered. See Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval. In addition, where the fabric, utensils, ornaments or furniture of a church are proposed to be affected, a separate approval from the Archbishop is also required. See Faculties.
If the church is a heritage building, specific approvals from heritage authorities may be required before the church can be altered. See Heritage Buildings.Closing a church
A recommendation to the Archbishop that a church be closed should contain -
After receipt of the recommendation the Archbishop may revoke the licence or sentence of consecration of the church. Upon the revocation of the licence or sentence of consecration, the church is considered to have been closed.
Before a building intended for use as a hall can be constructed, the plans and specifications are to receive the Archbishop's approval. See Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval for information about the procedure for obtaining the Archbishop's approval. The Archbishop's approval is in addition to any approvals required from local council or other statutory authorities.Use of a hall
The minister is entitled to free use of the hall for such parochial purposes as he determines, subject to the trusts of the property and any legally binding arrangements made by the trustee of the property with the approval of the parish council. The hall is not to be used for any purpose not sanctioned by the minister and the wardens acting together. In any decision about the use of a hall the minister has both a deliberative and a casting vote.
Care must be taken to ensure that halls are not used for public entertainment without the appropriate local council approval. See Use of buildings for public entertainment.
Requests from non-parish bodies or groups to use a hall are common. If a request is received, the wardens of the church with which the hall is associated should consider, among other things -
The Property Trust has prepared detailed information about the use of halls by non-parish groups.
The wardens are responsible for the care and repair of the hall. See also Building Works Kit.
The approval of the Archbishop is required before a hall can be altered. See Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval.
The rectory is the home of the minister and his family and they are entitled to free use of the rectory, its garden and outbuildings. The rectory is not to be used for any purpose not sanctioned by the minister.Construction or purchase of a rectory - the rectory requirements
A rectory is to comply with the guidelines as to size and construction made available under clause 4 of the Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990. Copies of these guidelines can be obtained from the Regional Archdeacon. Additionally, the rectory is to be maintained in good repair and -
If a parochial unit does not have a rectory that complies with the rectory standards, the following consequences result -
See the paragraph on Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval for the approvals required to construct a rectory. Those approvals are in addition to any approvals required from local council or other statutory authorities.
The wardens are responsible for the care and repair of the rectory. See also Building Works Kit.
The approval of the Archbishop is required before the rectory can be altered. See Building and construction works - obtaining the Archbishop's approval.
The Archbishop will carefully consider an application from a parish for a minister to live in a residence other than in a parish rectory, provided that the parish maintains ownership and availability of a rectory standard residence.
The approval of the Archbishop is to be obtained before a building intended for use as a church or hall may be erected or altered, or before a house for the use of clergy or other members of the Anglican Church of Australia may be erected or altered structurally.
If approval is given subject to conditions, the relevant works may only be executed if the conditions are satisfied or complied with.
The procedure for obtaining the Archbishop's approval is as follows -
At any time before an approval is given the minister of the relevant parish, if requested by the Archbishop or the Regional Architectural Panel, is to refer the application to the parish council for further consideration. Any resolution of the parish council is to be notified in writing to the Archbishop or the Regional Architectural Panel as soon as reasonably possible after it is made.
The approval of the Archbishop for building and construction works does not deal with the question of any furnishings and plaques which are to be provided for or transferred into the building. Objects in this latter category must be the subject of a separate application for a faculty.
The Archbishop has delegated his powers to approve building and construction works to the Regional Bishops.Faculties
Under the ordinances of the Church it is not lawful -
except with the approval of the Archbishop by faculty or other form of authority.
In addition, a faculty is required before -
The following items do not require a faculty (unless they are memorials) but require the Regional Archdeacon's approval -
A faculty granted for a utensil, ornament, item of furniture, memorial or other thing placed in a church or on church trust property is for that building or that property only. If a church building is to be replaced, a fresh application is to be made for approval to remove the utensil etc from the present building and dispose of it or to place it in the new building.
Use of buildings for public entertainment
Under the Local Government Act 1993, a person must not use or permit a building to be used for public entertainment without the prior approval of the local municipal council. The reason for regulating the use of buildings is to ensure that minimum safety and technical standards are maintained in relation to buildings used by the public.
"Public entertainment" is any entertainment to which admission may ordinarily be gained by members of the public on payment of money, or other consideration, as the price or condition of admission. Entertainment does not cease to be public entertainment merely because -
Updated: 24 April 2006
The contents of this document are for general information only. No person should rely on the contents of this document without first obtaining advice from a qualified professional person. Neither the Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney nor any organisation thereof is responsible for the results of any action taken on the basis of the contents of this document, nor for any error in or omission from this document.
Current as at 23 March 2010
| About Us
| For Clergy
| For Wardens & Parish Councillors
| For Bishops & Archdeacons
| For Synod & Standing Committee
For Other Committees, Boards & Councils | Other Services | Privacy | Disclaimer | Site Map | Site by Enitiative