Our Property Services team assists in managing properties for purchase, sale, build, lease and maintenance.

This includes general property transactions, caveats, covenants easements, lease negotiations, highest and best use of property and the ongoing management of assets for the common wealth of the Church.

The purpose of Property Services is to optimise property assets and remain focused on mission directives.

Property Applications Review Team (PART)

PART is a sub-committee of the Property and Operations Committee and processes applications for property and finance matters.

It considers Money for Mission Fund applications and has the authority to make decisions within respective policies and authority limits.

Property matters include applications to lease, build, purchase, sell and develop. Finance matters include applications for a loan, grant (Disability Access Fund or Emergency), use of property sale proceeds, and establishment of an Interest Only Mission Fund.

All works requiring a permit (planning/building/heritage), are more than $50,000, or funded by property sale, require PART approval. Works between $20,000-$50,000 funded by reserves and needing no permits require Presbytery approval only. All works more than  $50,000 require PART approval.

Key Information Sheets

Application Forms

Approval process

Planning and building

Property for Mission Workbook

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Property for Mission Workbook 24-01-2023 DownloadPreview

New South Wales

Real Estate Advisory Services guides and assists Church entities with the complex issues involving buying and selling property, as well as ongoing management of Church assets.

Its aim is to support you and to extract best value from the marketplace, without compromising quality or adding unnecessary cost to entities.

The Property Board has introduced the Enhanced Governance Process for disposal of Church property/asset sales in order to achieve the best possible outcome for church entities. Any property/asset sale more than $500,000 is to have a co-agency agreement with the Real Estate Advisory Function at Property Services. The REAF will:

  • work with the Church entity to seek and appoint appropriate and credible real estate agents.
  • work with the Church entity to seek marketing submissions from at least two credible estate agents.
  • negotiate sharpened sales agent commission rates and advertising schedule rates on behalf of the Church entity.
  • will oversee the sales process, giving advice to the Church entity as required.

Building, maintenance and minor works

If the congregation has cash on hand for works up to $50,000 and a building permit is not required, then the congregation can proceed without Property Board approval for a permit, provided the appropriate presbytery processes and approvals are followed.

If the project requires access to Property Sale Proceeds, a grant and/or a loan then refer to the process for minor works (less than $1million). The following building approval limits have been set and approved by the Synod.

Works requiring a building permit

​Cost of works ​Funding Source ​Approval Required
​Any amount ​Fully funded by the congregation of by property sale proceeds or loan ​To be approved by the congregation, presbytery and PART on behalf of Property Board

Works not requiring a building permit, use of sales proceeds/grants/loans or formal building contracts

​Cost of works ​Funding source ​Approval required (for works not requiring a Building Permit)
​$0-$10,000 ​Fully funded by the congregation ​To be approved by the congregation
$10,000-$20,000 ​Fully funded by the congregation ​To be approved by the congregation with presbytery to be advised before work beginning
​$20,000-$50,000 ​Fully funded by the congregation ​To be approved by the congregation and presbytery
$50,000 + ​Fully funded by the congregation ​To be approved by the congregation, presbytery and PART on behalf of the Property Board.

All contractors working on or at Church facilities must undertake an Online Safety Induction training course and sign the contractor and tradesman handbook before entering UCA facilities or beginning work.

Facilities management and maintenance

Essential services maintenance must be undertaken in order to minimise risk to the property user and meet the Church’s legislative obligations.

For more information or assistance with managing and maintaining facilities, contact Property Services on 03 9116 1956 or at [email protected]

Asset management

Property Services can provide additional asset management services to determine the ongoing use and best practice of UCA assets. Asset management services may include:

  • reviewing asset and investment strategies
  • identifying viable development options that are in line with mission requirements
  • financial assessments/feasibility analysis for alternative options
  • managing the development delivery process, including sales, planning permits, project design/documentation, funding, construction, liaising with authorities and handover.

Buying property

Our experienced team of property professionals can provide all the help you will need when buying a property, from valuations to acquisition feasibilities, environmental audits and contracts of sale.

For more information, download our Guide to buying a property.

Selling property

Our Property Services team can help guide you through the whole process, including appointing a professional consultant, negotiating consultant rates, marketing campaigns, and advice on the method and negotiation of sale.

For more information, download our Guide to selling a property.

Leasing property

Leasing property as the landlord or tenant can become a complex and costly process if not managed correctly. There are various types of lease agreements, depending on the style, nature and use of the property. The appropriate agreement should be identified before proceeding with any negotiation.

All documents, Heads of Agreements, Licence Agreements and Residential Tenancy Agreements must be in the name of the Property Trust – not in the name of the Church entity.

For more information, download our Guide to leasing a property.

Heritage property

Certain buildings and land owned by the UCA are subject to a heritage overlay, which can include simple changes to a building’s façade through to the subdivision of land. If a property contains a heritage overlay you can view the relevant details on your local council’s website.

In addition to heritage overlays, properties may be listed in the Victorian Heritage Register, which is maintained by the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.

Useful websites

Australasian Legal Information Institute
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Heritage Council of Victoria
Land Tax
Land Transfer Duty
Real Estate Institute of Victoria
WorkSafe Victoria

Mission-motivated development means discerning God’s mission and aligning this with property development so it is consistent with the Church’s calling and purposes.

It is important to consider if the property will:

  • enable public worship.
  • help build relationships between Christians and their neighbours.
  • enable the telling of stories of faith and faithfulness.

Property is deeply connected to people and a key attribute of mission-motivated development is really evaluating how the property facilitates healing, reconciliation and renewal.

A proposal to acquire, develop or divest a property should enable activity that is genuinely missional as understood by the criteria outlined in the Getting started form and the Presbytery discernment form.

The church entity must be able to demonstrate how the development will assist them at a personal level to participate more fully in the mission of God.

Any property can be used as a source of funds, either through lease income or realising capital growth at the time of sale or divestment. A key task is determining the mission rationale for indirect use of property and to plan and manage a property portfolio for a specific period to achieve this.

Mission v congregation identity

Congregational identity is determined by its nature and mission purpose. Therefore, a key task is to establish with clarity the particular mission motivation for any property acquisition, development, value enhancement or divestment.

Some congregations are beginning to see a dependence on buildings is not necessary to the definition of “church”. For example, there are congregations that:

  • move to a different site every few years and are known by their work rather than their location.
  • have merged or divested themselves of their historic and grandiose place(s) of worship in order to worship in more modest facilities and thereby freeing their financial resources for mission.

Property Mission Enabling Policy

The PMEP is about reconfiguring or developing a Church property to sponsor or support discerned and agreed mission purposes.

Download explanation document here

The document above is designed as a supplementary appendix to another document, Understanding the Practice of Mission Motivated Development.

Download UPMMD document here

Property for Mission Workbook

The PMW provides a Church council with a clear process to deliver suitable objectives for a major property plans/works application.

The Property for Mission Workbook includes six inquires, each matched to a practical planning exercise. The six inquiries are:

  • Mission commitments and activities overview.
  • Property requirements - spaces and places.
  • Property audit and user priority.
  • Funds and finance.
  • Property for mission assessment.
  • Vision for property.

The inquires are supported by a suite of appendices, including the Major Strategy Review’s Mission Principles and a session plan to engage these.

Property Services offers assistance with projects of all sizes and risk profiles. The projects vary from small renovations, to major constructions and full site redevelopments, which include affordable and community housing, and educational facilities.

A governance structure has been developed to assist Church entities with complex building projects that are expected to cost more than $1 million. The structure alleviates inherent risks.

The project governance structure consists of two phases: project approval and project implementation.

Project approval

Mission is the first consideration for all proposed projects. The first two phases of the project approval process specifically focus on mission-motivated development (refer to “Mission” section).

Phase 1 involves completing the Getting started form, which provides a summary of vision and mission. The form must be completed by the applicant and discernment partner (either a presbytery minister or UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania representative). Approval comes via the discernment partner and PART.

Phase 2A involves completing the the Presbytery discernment form. This must be done by the applicant and discernment partner. Approval comes via PART. If the project cost is more than $2 million, Property Board approval is required.

Once PART or the Property Board has endorsed the form, the Project Control Group can be established.

The Project Control Group consists of:

  • 3-4 local applicant representatives.
  • 1-2 discernment partner representatives (if applicable).
  • Development projects manager.
  • Project manager.

When the project is approved, the PCG governs though the implementation process.

Phase 2B involves completing the Project business case form, which will be reviewed and recommend by PART, with final approval by Property Board if it is more than $2 million. If the project is $2 million-$5 million, approval is also required from the Finance Committee.

Property Services can provide project and development assistance, and an options analysis can be developed for the best use of the property to facilitate its missional and functional requirements.

Phase 3 involves completing the Application for approval of full project plan form, which should be done when the concept has been finalised and detailed information is available. Requirements include:

  • Concept plans.
  • Proposal objectives.
  • Quantity surveyor report.
  • Cash flow forecast.
  • Funding confirmation.
  • Timelines and milestones.
  • Total costs.
  • Risk schedule.
  • Interdependency (eg, government funding).

All forms are to be submitted to PART for approval. PART meets every fortnight and forms should be submitted one week before the next meeting.

Project implementation process

Implementation is divided into seven stages (phases 4-10) and is the PCG’s responsibility. The PCG is required to meet monthly and the Development Projects manager must provide quarterly reports to it. Both reports track finance, key dates and identified risks.

Development management

Our Property Services team provides development management assistance to Church congregations, agencies and institutions. PS reviews the opportunities and identifies development options with a focus on mission and financial sustainability.

PS has a list of qualified consultants and can put you in touch with the one best suited to your specific project.


Telephone: 03 9116 1956
Email: [email protected]

For information on Occupation Health & Safety, including Contractor Induction, click here.