Memorandum of Understanding
The National Property Policy of the Uniting Church in Australia (Nov 2010) gives expression to our conviction that all our church property belongs to God and we are stewards of it.
In the Uniting Church property is understood as a resource for the ministry and mission of the whole people of God. This conviction is at the heart of our participation in God’s mission as the one body of
Christ, and embedded within our structures. This means that the ways in which we receive and share the resources God has given us will reflect the Gospel values of justice, equality, hospitality, and partnership.
The Regulations (4.13.1) state where two or more Congregations or faith communities share, or will share, the use of a Church property that is under the management and administration of a Church Council of (one of) the Congregation(s), they will enter into a culturally sensitive memorandum of understanding (not a tenancy agreement) that shall
a) specify usage rights of each Congregation or faith community;
b) provide for an appropriate sharing of costs; and
c) specify the manner in which the responsibilities listed in Regulation 4.4.1 and other relevant Regulations of the Church will be jointly undertaken in respect of the shared property.
UR have developed four Memorandum of Understanding templates to cover the different relationships between congregations &/or agencies.
(a) Congregations Sharing Agreement – When Congregations share a building with shared beneficial stewardship of the property. (eg: two congregations that share a church with worship at different times)
(b) Congregation & Agency Sharing Agreement – When a congregation “leases/Licenses” part of the premises to an UCA Agency, however the agency has no beneficial stewardship in the property. (eg: Seniors Day Centre in church hall)
(c) Shared Site Agreement – When a congregation & an agency share a site & both have a beneficial stewardship of different areas of one title/site (eg aged care centre & congregation)
(d) Shared User Agreement – When Congregations share a building with only 1 party having beneficial stewardship, to be used in new relationships when long term “Congregations Sharing Agreement” MOU is not appropriate. This is modelled on the UR external User Agreement.