Purchase of Parish Property
Parishes don’t need permission from the Diocese to buy property, however if the purchase is to be financed by a loan from a financial institution other than the DDF, then Diocesan Council approval for the loan is required.
For any purchase, the funds for the purchase will be the responsibility of the parish, however, as with all parish property, the purchase will be in the name of the Corporate Trustees of the Diocese of Armidale. So, given that the Corporate Trustees will be asked to sign the purchase contract, it will make things easier if a briefing is provided for the Corporate Trustees that outlines the reason for the proposed purchase, the property that has been decided on, the purchase price, how it will be financed, and an assurance that the parish can meet the financial commitment involved in the purchase. This is not to seek the approval of the Corporate Trustees, but just so that they know about the purchase when they are asked to sign the contract for it, and that they have an assurance, before signing, that the parish will be able to provide the required funds.
The Registry recommends that parishes engage the legal services of Mr. David White of AW Simpson and Co, Armidale for property purchases, however this is not compulsory, and parishes can make other arrangements for legal support should they wish.
It’s important that parishes keep the Registrar informed about the progress of any property purchase, so that upon the completion of the purchase, details of the property can be recorded in the register of diocesan properties, and so that appropriate insurance cover is obtained through the diocesan buildings insurance policy.
The Registrar will also need to be advised about reason for the property purchase, as if it is related to the ministry of the parish, or to provide accommodation for one of the ministry staff of the parish, then the Registrar will be able to apply to the relevant council for a rates exemption for the property.