Help for Church Councils

Firstly, thank you! If you are reading this you are probably a member of Church Council. Your willingness to commit to this is really appreciated.  We understand that it is a responsible job and that sometimes it can feel overwhelming or confusing.  The following are some notes to help explain some of your responsibilities and to make your job easier.  This is a work in progress.  If you have ideas about what you would like to see included, please contact the GRP Office on 9579 4682 or send an email to

Synod Support

The Synod is now publishing a quarterly Congregation Governance Toolkit and has a new page on the Synod website for this UCA - Congregation Governance Toolkit. The intention is to support Congregations with their compliance responsibilities. The quarterly publications help to ease the burden of these responsibilities by advising which actions to tackle in each quarter, thus spreading the load throughout the year. The Governance Toolkit and the webpage contain links to many resources and templates to help Congregations.

If you didn't receive your Toolkit please ask your Church Council Secretary or contact the GRP Office to find out to whom it was sent. Each quarter, a few governance and compliance topics will be in focus. 

The Synod Risk Manager is Bel Ritchie.  Bel can be contacted on


The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the national regulator of charities. All Congregations need to report to the ACNC annually by submitting the Annual Information Statement (AIS). Church Councils are responsible for ensuring this is done. Most Congregations are Basic Religious Charities (BCR). This means that the reporting requirements are much less onerous. In practice, BCR need to update the names of the responsible persons (usually the Chair, Treasurer and Secretary) and not much else.  Here are some simplified notes on how to do this: ACNC - How to Report

Safe Church

A workshop was held on 7 October 2021 on Safe Church: How To Get Started for Church Councils. See How To Get Started.

All Church Council members are now required to hold current and verified Working With Children Checks (WWCC).  Volunteers in relevant roles including all church Council members will need to attend a Safe Church Awareness Course and a refresher every subsequent 3 years.

Currently the UCA Safe Church training is unavailable. Alternative opportunities are:

There is a Synod Safe Church Unit which has carriage over all aspects of safe church and they are the key contact for Presbyteries and Congregations for these matters. This is the link to the ‘About Us’ page for the Safe Church Unit on the Synod website  It includes the team members and the scope of their responsibilities.  The team can be contacted on


A Zoom workshop was held on 20 April 2021 to help address the challenging issue of Copyright. Please see Copyright for some guidelines, tips and resources.