Acts & Ordinances
Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990 -
(Reprinted under the Interpretation Ordinance 1985.)
The Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990 as amended by the Miscellaneous Amendments Ordinance (No 2) 1991, the Church Administration Ordinance 1990 Amending Ordinance 1994, the Regions (Transitional Provisions and Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 1995, the Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990 Amendment Ordinance 1996, the Miscellaneous Amendments Ordinance 1999 and the Associated Congregations (Amendment) Ordinance 2005.
An Ordinance relating to church grounds and buildings.
Now the Synod of the Diocese of Sydney ordains as follows -
1. This Ordinance may be cited as the 'Church Grounds and Buildings Ordinance 1990'.
2. (1) Words and expressions used in this Ordinance have the same meanings as in the Schedule to the Interpretation Ordinance 1985 and clause 2 of the Church Administration Ordinance 1990.
(2) In this Ordinance -
'Assistant Bishop' means a person holding office in the Diocese as an Assistant Bishop;
'building' includes part of a building;
'land' includes leasehold as well as freehold and any freehold or leasehold held under or subject to legislation relating to strata or community titles;
'parish council' includes persons exercising the powers of a parish council.
3. (1) A person who wants to provide land as the site for a church or a building which includes a church must -
(2) This clause does not apply to a person who wants to provide land by will.
(3) In this clause 'person' includes a corporation.
4. (1) There is to be an architectural panel for each Region of the Diocese.
(2) The members of the architectural panels are to be appointed by the Archbishop. Each such appointment may be revoked at any time by the Archbishop. A person may be a member of more than one architectural panel at the same time.
(3) The architectural panels, from time to time, are jointly to prepare, revise and make available guidelines for the requirements to be satisfied in order to obtain an approval under clause 5.
5. (1) A person wishing to erect or alter a building intended for use as a church or hall or to erect or effect structural alterations to a house for the use of clergy or other members of the Anglican Church of Australia as such must first obtain approval under this clause to the proposed works. If an approval is given subject to conditions the works may be executed only if the conditions are satisfied or complied with.
(2) An application for approval must -
(3) All site plans, building plans and specifications for any such works must be prepared by a suitably qualified person substantially in accordance with the current guidelines for the architectural panels.
(4) An application for approval may be lodged with the Assistant Bishop or Archdeacon of the area in which the relevant parish is situated.
(5) A Regional Bishop or the Archdeacon of the Region who receives an application for approval must refer the application to an architectural panel. The architectural panel must consider the application and recommend to -
that the application be approved, unconditionally or subject to conditions, or rejected.
(6) On receipt of such recommendation, the Archbishop or Assistant Bishop must approve the application, unconditionally or subject to conditions, or reject the application.
(7) No building work may commence in relation to the execution of any works until an approval under this clause has been given to those works.
(8) At any time before an approval is given, the minister may and must, if requested in writing by the Archbishop or an architectural panel, refer the application or any matter relating to the application to the relevant parish council for further consideration and any resolution must be notified in writing to the Archbishop or the architectural panel as soon as reasonably possible after it is made.
6. (1) No building intended to be used regularly for the celebration of divine service is to be used for that purpose unless the building has been licensed or consecrated as a church.
(1A) Subclause (1) does not apply to a building by reason of its use by an associated congregation of a church.
(2) An application for a licence or sentence of consecration may be made by the minister or the trustee of the building.
(3) Subject to subclause (4), no building is to be licensed or consecrated as a church until -
(4) Where a building erected on church trust property in a parish is licensed or consecrated as a church, the Archbishop may license any other building in that parish to be used temporarily or from time to time as a church if requested so to do by the minister and a majority of the members of the parish council of the parish.
(5) A licence issued under subclause (4) (unless revoked under clause 11(3)) is to be for the period specified in the licence and any building so licensed is a church of the parish concerned for the purposes of this Ordinance and the Church Administration Ordinance 1990 during that period.
(6) 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 churchwardens, if any.
7. No person is permitted to celebrate divine service or preach any sermon in any church unless -
8. (1) A church may be used for any one or more of the following purposes -
and for no other purpose or purposes.
(2) A person may not use a church for a purpose permitted under this clause, except with the consent of the minister (if any) for the time being of the church or, in the absence of the minister, with the consent of the Archbishop or an Assistant Bishop.
(3) The Regional Bishop may have occasional use of any church in his Region for any of the purposes listed in subclause (1).
9. It is not lawful -
except with the approval of the Archbishop by a faculty or other form of permit.
10. (1) Subject to any regulations made under this clause, an application for the Archbishop's approval under clause 9 is to be made by the minister and parish council but, if there is no parish council, then by the minister and the churchwardens of that church.
(2) The Archbishop-in-Council may from time to time make regulations relating to the practice, procedure, forms and fees to be paid in respect of all matters arising under this clause and clause 9.
(3) The Archbishop may, for the purpose of enabling him to deal with an application for his approval under this clause, direct that notices be given, meetings be summoned and other things be done in such manner as he determines.
11. (1) Should the minister or churchwardens of a church, or the Archdeacon with jurisdiction over the parish in which the church is situated, come to the view that the church should be closed, they must-
(2) Any recommendation to the Archbishop under this clause should contain -
(3) After receipt of the recommendation, the Archbishop may revoke the licence or sentence of consecration of the church.
(4) A parish council of a parish may initiate a proposal for the revocation of the licence or sentence of consecration of a church in accordance with the procedure in subclause (1).
12. (1) No long day care centre, pre-school, kindergarten, school or college, or similar educational activity requiring governmental registration, licence or authorisation is to be commenced or be conducted by any minister, churchwarden or parish council on any church trust property or other property except -
(2) In this clause, 'committee' does not include churchwardens exercising any powers granted to them under this Ordinance or the Church Administration Ordinance 1990 or a parish council.
13. (1) Where any real or personal property is held upon trust for a parish by trustees other than the Property Trust or the churchwardens, those trustees are subject to the same obligations with respect to providing accounts as are prescribed for churchwardens under clause 27 of the Church Administration Ordinance 1990.
(2) A person who is proposed or nominated for election or appointment as a trustee of property held upon trust for a parish or church must make the following declaration -
'I am a member of the Anglican Church of Australia.
I am not less than 18 years of age.
Dated this day of 19 .'
(3) The office to which the person was elected or appointed is to be taken to be vacant if the person fails to make the declaration required by this clause -
(4) Any trustee who -
may be removed from office by the Archbishop-in-Council.
(5) The names, occupations and residential addresses of all trustees (other than the Property Trust) and a description of the property held by them must be recorded by the Registrar of the Diocese.
14. In this part -
'burial ground' means land (including church grounds) being church trust property consecrated for or being used as a burial ground;
'columbarium' means any building, wall or other improvement of any description, or part thereof, in which ashes of a deceased person are placed or stored or are intended to be placed or stored.
14A. (1) A burial ground is under the charge and administration of the minister and the churchwardens of the parish in which the burial ground is situated.
(2) Subject to clause 14B(2), a burial ground must not be used for any other purpose other than the burial of the dead according to the rites and ceremonies of the Anglican Church of Australia.
14B. (1) A columbarium erected on land which is church trust property is under the charge and administration of the minister and churchwardens of the parish in which that land is situated.
(2) From 1 January 1997 a columbarium must not be erected on land which is church trust property unless, the land -
unless an exemption for good reason is granted by the Property Trust.
14C. (1) The Archbishop and the trustees of a burial ground together may make and from time to time alter rules, regulations and scales of fees -
(2) The Archbishop and the trustees of church trust property, not being a burial ground, upon which is erected a columbarium together may make and from time to time alter rules, regulations and scales of fees -
15. The name of a parish is that last designated by the Archbishop. The name of a parish may only be changed by the Archbishop at the request of the minister and parish council, if any.
16. The Archbishop may delegate any or all of his functions under this Ordinance to an Assistant Bishop or to an Archdeacon.
17. In the absence of the Archbishop from the State of New South Wales the powers by this Ordinance vested in him (subject to such limitations as he may prescribe) will be exercised by a Commissary appointed by him and in default of such appointment or if the Archbishop is incapable of acting then by the person who if the See were vacant would be the administrator of the Diocese and if the See be vacant then by such administrator.
18. (1) This Ordinance commences on a day to be determined by the Archbishop-in-Council.
(2) The Diocesan Secretary is to notify the minister of each parish and the churchwardens of each church of the date so determined.
This Ordinance commenced on 1 January 1991.
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