Anglican parish decides to sell St Andrews church
The Anglican Parish of Woy Woy has decided to sell St Andrews church in Ocean Beach Rd, Umina, with an auction date set for March 5.
The property is described as a prime development site of 1422sqm, with a starting price of around $1.2 million.
St Andrews Church is on land zoned R1 which may be used for a range of purposes, including multi-unit development.
Parish rector, the Reverend Michael Davies, said it made practical sense to consolidate St Andrews and St Luke's at Woy Woy, given a combined congregation of about 150.
He said it was increasingly difficult to justify having two church buildings so close together, with two lots of ongoing maintenance costs.
He said that "40 percent of the sale of Umina will go towards the Redress Scheme to compensate the survivors of abuse.
"But also some money will come back into the parish so we can make the necessary improvements to the Woy Woy site to make if more user friendly for children and families," Mr Davies said.
"In the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Sexual Abuse of children and others, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle of which this parish is a part, had its own case study done and there was a lot that came to light of an historical nature about abuse.
"So, as a result of that, the Diocese needed to find quite a few million dollars to put towards the Redress Scheme.
"All these reasons all came together and as a parish council we took ownership of the decision to close St Andrews and sell it.
"We've brought the Umina congregation across into the Woy Woy site and I'm delighted to say that we haven't lost a single person," he said.
"It's a fresh look, a new beginning, a fresh start for everyone."
The Bishop of the Diocese of Newcastle, Dr Peter Stuart, announced a new name for the church at Woy Woy during a special service last week: Holy Apostles Anglican Church at Woy Woy and the parish will be renamed Peninsula Anglican Parish.
"We figured, as a parish council, that if the St Andrews building was to be no more, we probably needed to re-brand the parish and give the remaining church a new name," Mr Davies said.
Interview (Sue Murray) 12 Feb 2020
Michael Davies, Peninsula Anglican Parish