Paul Holding (Chair)

The Baptist Property Trust fulfils an important legal role in the life of our churches, acting as owner of properties across the state. This is necessary because NSW Land & Property Information does not recognise churches for purposes of ownership.

Members of the Property Trust are elected by the Annual Assembly for terms of three years, on a rolling basis. Members presently comprise Mr Paul Holding, Burwood Church, Chairman, Mr David Evans, West Ryde Church, Secretary/Treasurer, Mr Richard Brading, Northern Life Church, Mrs Judith Carpenter, Ashfield Church, Mr Geoff Moore, Narwee Church and Mr Mike Williams, Northside Church. The Property Trust met formally on 8 occasions during the year, either face to face or by Zoom. We are grateful for the assistance of the Association of Baptist Churches who provide facilities for these meetings.

In conjunction with our solicitors, Church & Grace, documents required for property transactions are examined to ensure they are authorised by the churches, then executed. Members of the Property Trust met with our solicitors on 41 occasions to execute 107 documents on behalf of 37 churches. We are indebted to partner Mr Jim Creech for his work in overseeing this work.

A number of churches have funds from the sale of property invested by the Property Trust, pending purchase of alternate property. These funds are mainly invested with Baptist Financial Services, thereby supporting their ministry to our churches.

Another part of our role which is becoming more prevalent in recent years is the submission of grant applications to various government bodies on behalf of our churches. Again, this is owing to the lack of contractual ability of our churches to submit the applications. During the year our secretary has liaised with 19 churches to lodge 33 applications. These resulted in grants of $165,455 being approved. The Property Trust then received the grant funds, forwarded them to the churches and attended to completion of necessary reporting.

We look forward to continuing to serve our churches in the coming years.