Planters on the Ground

Church planters for the first three projects of the Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities program have met to discuss the vision for Sydney’s fastest growing new suburbs.

The edges of the Sydney basin are expected to become home to an extra 750,000 to 1 million people in the coming years and the State Government is already preparing infrastructure such as rail links.  “It is our responsibility to ensure that we are there from the beginning as these new communities are being established,” said Glenn Gardner, the Executive Director of New Churches for New Communities.

The NCNC – along with the Mission Property Committee, Evangelism and New Churches and area bishops – have identified Stanhope Gardens and Marsden Park, both in the north-west growth corridor, and Leppington, in the south-west growth zone, as key sites.  “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,” said Steve Reimer, the church planter appointed for Stanhope Gardens.

A development application for a ministry centre at Stanhope Gardens has already been lodged and it is hoped construction can begin in the first quarter of 2017.  “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,” Mr Reimer said.

At least $2.5 million will be needed to complete the project, of which $1.3 million has already been raised.  In addition to the contributions all churches make through a 2 per cent levy to fund land acquisition in developing areas, a number of churches have pledged extra donations.  “St Luke’s Miranda has committed to donating $50,000 over five years and another two parishes are considering how they can support NCNC,” Mr Gardner said.  “This is a great encouragement, especially considering that Miranda parish has its own development plans under way.

A grant of $1 million over three years has also been received from the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.  Church planters Luther Symons at Leppington and Mark Collins at Marsden Park are watching the preparations at Stanhope Gardens closely as their areas are the next projects on the NCNC drawing board.

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News from Stanhope Gardens

Minister Steve Reimer shares a bit about what is happening at Stanhope Gardens.

God continues to build his church at Life Anglican Church Stanhope.  A group of 125+ meet every Sunday morning in the Leisure Centre, where a small group first began nine years ago.  Whilst there are still more adults than children, the gaps seems to close every year, which is exciting for the future of this church.

Highlights over the past few years include putting up a big marquee on the vacant church land for special services. This has been good for the church to be on the land and also has also provided greater opportunity to reach out to the community.  However, people look forward to the day when construction finally begins and it becomes the permanent home of the church.

It’s in a great location and will enable greater ministry to take place right throughout the week.  The need is indeed great with over 40,000 people already living in the catchment area for the church.  The mission of the church is to share the new life of Jesus with the world and they would love to see people from every nation living in the area worshipping together in the church.

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Donor Update

We are thankful that over the past month donations totalling $112,500 have been received.

St Luke’s Miranda has generously committed to donating $2,500 per quarter for the next five years, making a total of $50,000.

We give thanks to all those who are sharing in the work of establishing new churches in new communities.

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New start at Leppington

A greenfields church plant is currently preparing for a late 2016 start in Leppington, the second of the ministry centres to be built in the SW-NW growth corridor of Greater Sydney.  The plant, still in the planning stages but with members expecting to move in towards the end of the year, will begin in a suburb that scarcely has 300 occupied homes.  Yet the population of the area is expected to reach 50,000 in eight years.  The plant will be run by the Rev Luther Symons. “Some of the stats indicate we could be seeing new houses open up in Leppington every week for the next 10 years, which is staggering,” says Mr Symons.  “A great initiative from a similar plant at Oran Park has been to host BBQs at the end of new streets as they open up.  That’s inspired us to help build up the community fabric of the area as we share our lives and the gospel with them.”

Delays in the construction of the new residence for Rev Symons’ family and other structures has meant that the plant will kick off later than originally hoped, yet Mr Symons says support from many churches, groups and individuals has them raring to go.  “The church may well end up being the first community building in the area,” he says.  “It’s all because the Diocese … made this sort of work a priority.  A lot of people have invested prayers, money and time into this plan through New Churches for New Communities, Evangelism and New Churches, the Mission Property Committee, Geneva Push and the Wollongong Regional Council.  The local mission area has also been fantastic.  We’re looking forward to getting started.”

It is exciting to see the start of this new ministry in the second of NCNC’s projects.

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Funding Update – 3 February 2016

We are pleased to announce that to date $1.2million has been raised!

We are thankful to those who have donated, including the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, who have generously provided funding over three years, which will be directed equally to the Stanhope Gardens, Leppington and Marsden Park projects.

NCNC Launches

The Archbishop of Sydney’s New Churches for New Communities initiative was officially launched at a function in August. The launch was hastily moved to St Andrew’s Cathedral School after damage caused to the Chapter House by a storm in the city.

Compered by TV journalist Leigh Hatcher, the audience heard details of the first projects to be targeted by the NCNC, which raises funds to build infrastructure on land already acquired by the Mission Property Committee.

The function was told the first five projects would require $25 million in funding. When all the residential areas served by the new centres are completed, Sydney’s population will have grown by 700,000.

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