Photo Credit: Diocese of Sydney
[ACNS] The area around the edge of the Sydney basin is becoming one of the city’s fastest growing new suburbs, thanks for development by the New South Wales state government. And the Diocese of Sydney is determined to be a part of the new communities as they plant new churches to cater for up to one million new residents.
Church planters for the first three of the Archbishop of Sydney’s New Churches for New Communities (NCNC) program have met to discuss the vision for the new residential area will concentrate on Stanhope Gardens, Marsden Park, and Leppington as key sites for the new churches.
“Just about all the land has been sold here and earlier this year there was a land release which saw people camp out at the local shopping centre, in the rain, for three nights, just to get their 400 square metres,” the church planter for Stanhope Gardens, Steve Reimer, said.
“Our plan is to build the church here and have the auditorium so we can keep preaching the gospel and reaching out to the thousands and thousands of people who have moved into this area over the past few years, and just continue to do so.”
The diocese has applied for permission to build a ministry centre for Stanhope Gardens and hope to begin construction early next year. The diocese still needs to raise $1.2 million AUS of the estimated $3.5 million AUS (approximately £2 million GBP) needed to complete the Stanhope Gardens project.
Churches in the diocese pay a two per cent levy to fund land acquisition in developing areas, and a number of churches have donated funds over and above this; including St Luke’s Church in Miranda, which has pledged $50,000 over five years.
“This is a great encouragement, especially considering that Miranda parish has its own development plans under way,” the executive director of NCNC, Glenn Gardner, said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that we are there from the beginning as these new communities are being established.”