For some years, our theological and pastoral leadership training college, Carey Baptist College, has been exploring how it might invest or develop its campus at 473/475 Great South Road, Penrose (Auckland). The primary objective is to generate significant new income streams to support the ongoing work of Carey in training leaders for our faith communities. It has become apparent, over time, that the best course of action is to sell the current campus and move to another site.

In August 2021 the Carey Board approved the constitution of a property working group to consider options and navigate the best way forward. This group includes representatives of the Carey Board, and the senior leadership of both Carey and the National Support Centre. This initiative has the support of both Assembly Council and Arotahi (NZBMS).

In 2022 the property working group met with CBRE Ltd, a commercial real estate business, to discuss the possible sale of 473 and 475 Great South Road, and future purchase of a property to meet the space needs of Carey, the National Support Centre and Arotahi, but also to provide a substantial financial return to meet Carey’s future needs. 

The process of marketing the existing site and searching for a new location will begin in February 2023. It is likely that when we sell, we will take a two-year lease back from the new owners to give opportunity to identify a new site and complete any fit-out that might be required.

Reflecting on this project, Grant Harris, Chair of the Carey Board, says, “Carey is coming up to its 100th anniversary. We’re so grateful for the generations that have enabled the College to be in the position that it is in today, and as a governance team we’re seeking to be faithful in our stewardship for the next generation of leaders that will train through Carey, in what will be a different environment to what we know today. Our hope is to be able to resource that training the best we can. This will flow directly to the health of the churches we serve.” (Continues below...)

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The current property is jointly owned by Carey and the Baptist Union of New Zealand. The Baptist National Support Centre and Arotahi are both co-located with Carey on the site. We believe it is in the best interests of all three groups to remain co-located on the same site, enabling stronger relationship, clearer communication, and better stewardship of our collective resources.

Charles Hewlett, our National Leader says: “John Tucker and the Carey team play such a crucial role in helping Baptist faith communities to thrive. I really encourage people to pray for this important and exciting initiative.”

Alan Jamieson, Director of Arotahi, writes: “Our team is spread throughout many communities of the world, and our small team in Tāmaki Makaurau is excited to continue being part of the community with Carey and the Baptist Support Centre. Wherever we are, we will continue focussing on hand-carved mission for all NZ Baptists!”

The Principal of Carey, John Tucker explains the rationale for this move: “Over the last few years we have seen massive changes in the way our churches access Carey’s ministry training and theological formation. We’ve also witnessed the ongoing secularisation of New Zealand, with major implications for the funding of a college like Carey. This once-in-a-generation move has the potential to generate significant future funding for Carey and extend its ministry among the churches we serve.”

The current site of Carey was formally opened in June 1994 after moving from Victoria Avenue, Remuera where the college had been located since 1954. This next step is another property change in the unfolding story of our college and focus on training and formation. If the history of this story interests you, you can read about it in An unfolding story: a history of Carey Baptist College, by Martin Sutherland and Laurie Guy (2014), available for purchase online here: baptistresearch.org.nz/archer-press-store

A project of this size will require financial support from within the Baptist family of churches. If you would like to explore how you might contribute, or if you have any questions about this project, please email me: [email protected] or phone +64 9 525 4017.

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Chris Berry is the Executive Director at Carey, and works alongside the Principal in the development and implementation of the College’s strategic plan and manages the general operations of the College (including HR, Finance, IT and Property).


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