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Hughes Baptist Church: charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

This is a review of the organisation ‘Hughes Baptist Church, principally for those who are existing donors, or who are considering donating.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 14 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Hughes Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Hughes Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Baptist Church Hughes (Hughes Baptist[2]). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation.

Hughes Baptist does not have Hughes Baptist Church registered as a business name. It has a trading name Hughes Baptist Church, but trading names do not meet the requirements of a registered business name.

2. One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Hughes Baptist does.

3. The web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. If there is a donation page it is in the private section, ‘Hughes online’.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Hughes Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

From the Constitution:

Although there is no mission directly given on the website, this page says that it is “to share the news about what He [Jesus] did, does and will do for Canberra and its region.”


See here[3].

Sharing the Gospel[4]?



Hughes Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 34 Groom Street Hughes in the ACT.

No overseas countries are listed on the Register; whether this is correct depends on whether Hughes Baptist sends money overseas, something that cannot be seen from the ACNC Register information (see below).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Hughes Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Medium’, would normally mean that there is a Financial Report on the ACNC Register. But Hughes Baptist has taken full advantage of the concessions allowed it as a Basic Religious Charity. So, no Financial Report, nor any financial information in the AIS 2018.

These are the people responsible for that decision (and all decisions):

Duncan Becsi

Jillian Harding

Nicholas Maill

Paul Hazell

Pui Cheung

Robert Allen

Stephen Freeman

The expectation of members, set out in the Principles of Operation, include the expectation that you will give to the Church:

So, if you are considering membership, you will need to ask the church for the last accounts if you want to see what they do with your (God’s) money.


Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.


  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. The registration of the church in this name contravenes its Constitution [Governing Document, ACNC Register, clause2.1], which says that the name will be Hughes Baptist Church.
  3. The ‘Description of charity’s activities and outcomes’ in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018 is the vision, not 2018’s activities and outcomes.
  4. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.