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Annual Survey

Welcome to the 2024 Annual Survey Information Page.

The Community Life Return and the Financial Return are annual surveys that are sent out to all congregations by the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, this has been taking place since 2016. The surveys help provide an insight into what is happening in each congregation and provide a view of trends across the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania.

The annual survey is split into two parts and should be completed by a member of your congregation or faith community with access to the appropriate information.

What are they about?

Part 1

The Community Life Return focuses on the membership, worship and activities of congregations in the previous calendar year (2023). It considers the ways in which worship is undertaken including the introduction of online and hybrid options, the types of activities offered to members of the congregation and the wider community. This also includes the local approaches to governance, risk management, occupational health and safety.

Click here to access the guidelines to assist you in completing the survey.

Part 2

The Financial Return is primarily focussed on the finances and properties associated with each congregation in 2023. It covers sources of income, types of expenses, uses of properties and areas of compliance around auditing of records and essential safety measures (ESMs).

Click here to access the guidelines to assist you in completing the survey.

How are the surveys used?

The information gathered provides a valuable resource for various parts of the Synod. The collective results provide data for determining resourcing and development across Victoria & Tasmania and assist in trend visibility. For congregations, the survey data will be referenced in any work engaged with the Property & Finance departments as well as governance, health, and safety along with development of new initiatives in all fields.

The Community Life Return is used by Presbyteries and eLM staff to help with planning around ministry and leadership development, resourcing for local and international mission, and to monitor congregational health. The Synod Culture of Safety team use the report to monitor and support congregations in their responsibilities in relation to a safe church environment.

The Financial Return is used by Presbytery finance committees to monitor financial and mission sustainability, including the ability to sustain commitments relating to paid ministry roles. Presbyteries and Synod staff use the Financial Return reports to assess grant applications as well as plans around property maintenance and development.

How will the Surveys be distributed?

A personalised link for each survey will be sent via email, usually to the Secretary (Community Life) and Treasurer (Financial Return).

How to complete it?

You can complete the surveys online via the link that will be emailed to the relevant role in each congregation as mentioned above. If you have any difficulty completing the survey please utilise the options listed below under ‘Need help to complete?.

Tips to make the survey process easier

You are able to print or save a copy of your responses for the current year for reference the next year. Upon request we can help you access the information that was entered in your last survey.

You can also use the survey questions to create registers or lists of things to monitor throughout the year. This will make collating the answers to the questions much more streamlined as you have been monitoring and recording data that aligns to the questions.

What are the deadlines?

The surveys will be distributed in May 2024. We do request the surveys be completed by 31 August. However, if you miss that deadline, please contact [email protected] to advise your intended completion date. This assists with reports generated after this deadline.

How can we view the results?

Results from the surveys are available to key leaders in each Presbytery. To maintain appropriate levels of confidentiality, Congregations are encouraged to see trends and changes for their community by contacting their Presbytery office. Presbytery leaders can share reports with each congregation within their bounds. These results can provide a springboard for further discussions and resourcing opportunities.

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Watch this video to learn more on the importance and value of completing these surveys.

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Need help to complete?


Please direct any questions around the surveys to [email protected].