Remote Regional Parishes of Australia

Australia is a large continent, with much of the land sparsely populated.  

The aim of this stream is to support evangelisation in remote areas of Australia by providing financial assistance to a Catholic parish or parishes in order for them to remain open and serving their parishioners.  

Our first Remote Regional Parish being assisted is Streaky Bay/Ceduna, in South Australia.  Fr Mick and Matt Humphreys have prepared this 5 minute video to provide the background to this assistance. 

Streaky Bay/Ceduna Parish has five churches and one priest.  The Parish Priest, Fr Steve Ardill, undertook part of his formation with the Salesians.  He has advised us that the Parish is financially challenged.  "Council rates, emergency services levies, utilities, insurance and pest control are major imposts. In addition, maintenance costs for our Parish buildings are high. Presently, the rooves on our St. Michael’s Church (Chandada) and St. Canute’s Church (Streaky Bay) need replacing and the significant structural work is needed to re-render, repair the cracking and paint Christ the King Church (Minnipa). We are not able to celebrate Mass in this Church at present due to safety concerns."

The region of the Streaky Bay Parish(in purple), in relation to Adelaide(in orange). 

The location of the various churches within the Parish.

West Coast Catholic Parish, South Australia

Bishop Karol Kulczycki recently issued a Decree proclaiming the inauguration of the new West Coast Catholic Parish under the patronage of the Holy Family. The Decree takes effect on 1st January 2024.

The new Parish embraces the communities gathered around Streaky Bay, Ceduna, Minnipa, Chandada, Smoky Bay, Wirrulla and Calca.  

We are continuing to refer to Streaky Bay Parish for now because that is what parishioners understand it to be.  Change of name may cause unnecessary misunderstanding.  

During the past twelve months we have had several zoom meetings with Fr Steve and his Finance Council.  They have provided us with detailed financial documents showing their position over the past four years.  We are impressed by the work done by the Finance Council in trying to make their parishes financially viable.  With the support from our MIA Fund to undertake significant maintenance work in coming years, we are confident that their future will be assured.

To date we have agreed to fund nine projects including asbestos removal, replacement of damaged, worn and dangerous carpet, replacement of gutters, repair and replacement of windows on two churches to prevent further damage by the elements and partial re-roofing of the Streaky Bay presbytery.  Total cost of this work to date is $126,000. 

Fr Steve has provided his parishioners with the attached letter, advising them of our financial assistance in coming years.  They are truly grateful for our assistance.

Aside from financial assistance from the MIA Fund, we will be working with them to determine ways in which our Parishes can have a closer relationship, a sort of Friendship Parish relationship like our Friendship with Maliana.  Unlike the Maliana relationship, we will not be seeking assistance from parishioners through donations or fund raising events.  All financial assistance will come from our Mission in Action Fund.

Some of our Parish Groups have already made inroads into this new relationship.  When they heard that Fr Steve and his Pastoral Care team visit a number parishioners living in Nursing Homes or homes unable to attend Mass, they made the following contributions:

Some of the projects approved and completed to date are shown below

Replacement of carpet with carpet tiles in Church Hall, Streaky Bay.

Replacement of gutters and downpipes at Christ the King, Minnipa. Previously in a very poor state with significant rusting and several sections fallen off. Over time there has been major water damage to the interior eastern wall of the church. A high priority project now completed.

The roof on St Canute's Streaky Bay was in need of replacement, costing $50,000. This work was completed by a bequest from a recently deceased parishioner.

Ceduna Church Hall, new doors needed and now installed.

Chandada Church: Early in 2022 Streaky Bay Parish replaced the roof on St Michael's Chandada.  The MIAF has now paid for installation of 8 windows, replacement and painting of gutters and downpipes. A non-Catholic local who passed the Church commented: ‘You have done some excellent work recently. Your Church looks alive and well cared for’. Also note the Jesus Cross on one of the inside pictures.

Streaky Bay Presbytery - New Roof

Remove existing roof tiles, Install purlins, install new gutters, install new roof iron and flashings. Total cost $15,208.60: $5,000 grant from Streaky Bay Community Hotel; $10,000 from MIAF; $208.60 from Streaky Bay Parish Maintenance budget.

Repairs to roof and gutters on Sacred Heart Church Calca. The gutters/downpipes on the main roof and front entrance were in poor condition and have been replaced.