Some time ago Wesley Mission identified the need to incorporate to be able to take advantage of funding opportunities and build our long-term sustainability, allowing us to continue to do even more of the good we offer to our community. On 1 July 2014, Wesley Community Services Limited completed its incorporation process following a program of transferal of all operational assets.
A changing environment for churches and charities
Recent changes to the way charities, including Wesley Mission, are able to operate have partly informed our move to incorporation:
- the introduction of the new regulatory bodies has forced greater transparency and accountability
- the definition of what constitutes a charitable organisation is tightening, and only those who meet the stricter criteria will benefit
- under new legislation those registered as a ‘Religious Charity’ receive only limited government funding, cannot operate as Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) and are not eligible for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
These changes are positive for Wesley Mission as we are in a great position to meet these more stringent requirements. We may also gain increased funding, allowing us to build on our vital church and community work.
These two entities are bound together by a Deed of Covenant. We look forward to the bond between our church and the service areas of our work continuing to grow and strengthen. The heart of Wesley Mission and who we are remains the same. Our vision and values are constant and our Christian faith continues to underpin all we do in our Word and deed ministries.
Incorporation provides the mechanism to respond to new legislation while retaining Wesley Mission’s integrated Word and deed ministry. We are strongly positioned to meet more stringent regulatory requirements and will be able to benefit from increased funding to allow us to continue our vital work, both in ministry and community service.
How Wesley Mission responded
To adhere to and benefit from the new legislation, Wesley Mission registered our congregational life and our community services as two entities, with two Australian Business Numbers (ABNs):
- Wesley Parish Mission, or as we refer to it, Wesley Congregational Life, as a parish of the Uniting Church in Australia, is registered as a Religious Charity and is not be eligible for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status
- Wesley Community Services is registered as a Public Benevolent Institution. It has a new ABN and retains its DGR status.
One Wesley Mission
Wesley Mission is committed to ensuring we remain totally integrated; the incorporation framework is a business structure only and does not change our principles or practices:
- Wesley Mission remains a Christian Church
- these changes are a response to a requirement to interact with Government and the regulatory bodies in a different way
- the incorporation changes relate only to our legal status and do not directly affect our day to day operations
- we will continue to be known as Wesley Mission in the community
- becoming incorporated assists our long-term sustainability.
We are committed to ensuring our future ministry model remains totally integrated. The underlying principles and values on which Wesley Mission is based will not change and the bond between our congregational life and our community services will continue to strengthen.
The heart of Wesley Mission and who we are remains the same. Our vision and values are constant and our Christian faith continues to underpin all we do in our Word and deed ministries.