Sunday December 3, 2018
The Anglican Church of Tasmania’s Diocesan Council (its governing body) met yesterday and made its final decision in respect of those properties that will be sold.
“Following the conclusion of the appeals process one third of properties have been removed from the Anglican Church’s proposed ‘for sale’ list,” the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Condie said today.
“The Church has listened and responded to church and community feedback,” Bishop Condie said.
“This has been a difficult process, and we believe we have struck the right balance between fulfilling our Redress obligations, listening to community, and ensuring sustainability of the Church.
“We recognise that our church buildings are important places and hold significant value, which is why we have listened to the desires and concerns of both parishes and the wider community.
“Similarly, we understand and respect how important access to cemeteries is for Tasmanians, particularly those in regional areas. Where churches with cemeteries are to be sold, it would be ideal for community groups to take on ownership and manage them for community use into the future.
“Through the public consultation process, we received several expressions of interest from community groups, for purchase or transfer of property. Our Redress Team will be in touch with each community group and all other interested parties that have contacted us over the coming weeks,” Bishop Condie said.
“I want to reassure the community that we will have a strategic and staged approach to selling the properties that remain on the list for sale.”
Bishop Condie also assured Tasmanians that the Church’s Redress obligations would be fully funded.
“Our compassion for survivors of child sexual abuse in our organisation is the driver for the costly path the Anglican Church has embarked upon,” said Bishop Condie.
“This sacrifice expresses the Church’s desire to provide a measure of restorative justice, recognition and support to survivors for the wrongs they have experienced by past leaders of the church.
“Retaining 30 percent of the properties will have an impact on the funds we are able to raise. However, sacrificial giving from parishes has reduced this impact to the Redress Fund. I want to make clear to all Tasmanians that funding our Redress obligations remains non-negotiable.
“We have communicated with each of our Parishes overnight and asked them share Diocesan Council’s decision in their church services today. Given the high level of community interest in our Redress sale process, it was decided to share the final decision as soon as possible,” said Bishop Condie.
Properties on Sale List in June: 107
Churches on Sale List in June: 76
Churches on final Sale List: 51
Churches with Cemeteries on final Sale List: 22