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Westminster Presbyterian Church Presbytery of Western Australia: a 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

A charity review of Westminster Presbyterian Church Presbytery of Western Australia Inc (WPCWA) an organisation that appears to be the one that is listed as a member of Missions Interlink[1].

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. They….did not respond.

Is WPCWA registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • WPCWA is a Western Australian incorporated association (A1014600W)[2].
  • If its website is wpc.org.au[3], then it is using the names WPC Australia and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Australia. It holds no business names.
  • WPCWA operates – according to the ACNC Register – in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Western Australia, plus overseas in Vanuatu.
    • It does not have the required registration (an ARBN) to carry on business outside Western Australia.
    • There is no indication that it does any fundraising, so the question of state fundraising licences does not arise.

What does it do?

  • The Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017 says that
    • We support local churches in various ministries. We screen new ministers and churches. We seek to develop new churches. We are supporting a couple of overseas missionaries.
    • ‘Local’ is not Western Australia: the first of the ‘Presbytery’s Objects in the constitution is
      • to assist congregations affiliated with the Westminster Presbyterian Church in all States and Territories except Queensland to…

Do they share the Gospel?[4]

  • No.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • No Financial Report 2017 has been lodged (see below), and it is not possible to estimate ‘administration’ from the four expenses disclosed in the AIS 2017.

Do they pay their board members?

  • Such payments are not prohibited by the constitution.
  • Insufficient financial information is provided to check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes.
    • Despite an AGM that was held in August, the AIS was not lodged for another five months, a week before the deadline, and a month later than last year.
    • If you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over seven months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes
    • Because of their size, they don’t have to lodge one.
    • However, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.” No such statement has been made public.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • From the AIS 2017:
    • A surplus of $6K on revenue of $246K.
    • ‘Employee expenses’ were 93% of the total.
    • Liabilities are 87% of assets.

What did the auditor say about the financial statements?

  • If there was an audit, it is not available to the public without charge.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost – ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank. (So is ‘Website’, but that’s not compulsory.)

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • NA

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • Presumably the $245K ‘Donations and requests’ (AIS 2017) came from affiliated churches.
  • There is no disclosure of where the $5K of ‘Grants and donations…’ went.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • John MacRae
    • Simon Van Bruchem
    • Ray Wilson
  • The committee is responsible to the members of the association. The number of members is not disclosed.

To whom are WPCWA accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • As an association, to the Western Australian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • If they are indeed the member referred to as Westminster Presbyterian Church of WA’, then WPCWA is accountable to Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. The membership is listed as being in the name ‘Westminster Presbyterian Church of WA’. The link though is to a Presbyterian church at Bull Creek. That church has asked Missions Interlink to remove that link (email from them).
  2. Not to be confused with Westminster Presbyterian Church, another Western Australian incorporated association (A08200735). (But with no ABN.)
  3. Despite WPCWA’s name, it operates in two other states.
  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.
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