Update on the Child Care Project
Dear St Michael parishioners,
Every Sunday, about 800 people participate in the Masses. Parishioners have been generous within their means in financially supporting the community through the Sunday collections. But the income we get from the collections is not enough. Money is needed to maintain and repair the church, old church, presbytery, parish office, meeting rooms, toilets and car park; to pay for insurance and utilities; and to pay staff wages. Another source of income is badly needed.
Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services (SCECS) is a non-profit initiative of Archbishop Fisher established to cater for families with young children, especially Catholic families. It has an unabashedly Catholic ethos reflected in the learning framework of its care centres and its staff.
SCECS has come up with a child care centre proposal that is favourable to our situation at St Michael’s and which will provide us with the additional source of income.
On Thursday, 12 April, we had a parish meeting where the SCECS team presented the proposal to the parish community. The project will make use of the old church and the adjacent parking lot to develop a 90-place child care service which will be open during working days. The expected parish revenue when the child care is fully operational is $200,000 per annum. Development, management and running costs will be shouldered by SCECS. They propose to start construction in March 2019 and to commence operation in March 2020.
The parishioners had the opportunity to ask questions and to voice their concerns. The biggest issue raised was the parking situation and how the project will affect this. Currently, parking is a big problem especially for the 9am weekday Masses, for funerals, for special school Masses and even for Sunday Masses when 2 concurrent activities are going on (for example: Spanish speaking community fiestas on Saturdays and Vigil Mass). The parish parking areas are used by the SMSS and Bethany staff during school days and by the parents for after-hours school functions.
Having the additional income from the child care centre will definitely go a long way in helping improve the church facilities including the parking situation.
There will be continued consultation between SCECS and the St Michael’s community as the project unfolds. Thank you for your prayerful support as we embark on this exciting improvement in our parish.
Fr Janusz PP
15 April 2018 Hurstville