There is another dimension to the Anglican Church showing the door to Mission Afloat at Montgomery Park, Coningham.

Mission Afloat Tasmania (MAT in the Anglican terminology) is gone from there after years of providing successful camps for the young, yet Anglican Camping Tasmania (ACT) will be at the park with summer youth camps through this month.

In fact, of six different age group camps it is holding four are at Montgomery Park, the others at Judbury in the Huon and at Mayfield on the East Coast near Swansea.

At $230 per child attending looks like nice little earners for ACT.

This body says it’s been running camps for more than 30 years, that it is passionate about helping young people make the most of life (Mission Afloat would also embrace that philosophy) and has had previous summer camps at Montgomery Park.

But there’s an additional point about its use now of the park – schools which had hoped to send children to MAT’s intended 2010 camps are being approached by ACT for bookings.

Pardon? MAT has been kicked out, yet ACT can be there – well, until the Anglican Church calls for expressions of interest in its sale of the property in March. It appears it wants to now offer this as the one large lot and anticipates an outcome June-July.

But caveat emptor! As I’ve mentioned before, the existing restricted zoning of the park by Kingborough Council is likely to mean a prolonged process for any prospective buyer looking to a rezoning for development.

The conclusion in the report commissioned by the church mid-2008 was Montgomery Park had become too small for contemporary camping to be economical. Yet looking further at the issue, the attitude seems to lie, in part, in what is said in the ACT summer camps leaflet: “We provide a balanced program, offering a broad range of recreational activities as well as opportunities to discuss the implication of Jesus’ teaching in our lives today.”

This is underlined even more so in the 2008 report, which saw ACT as the “jewel in the crown” of Anglican youth ministry in Tasmania.

It said ACT had “exercised a strong evangelistic and disciple-making ministry over many years” and had been “the impetus for many young people discovering and owning their own faith”.

In adding that ACT “probably had the best leader-trainers in the diocese; they are gospel-centred in their approach” it also concluded that MAT was “pre-evangelism” and neeeded to become “evangelism” – despite rating it elsewhere in the report as a “wonderfully creative and enterprising island of ministry” and having a “real interface with the school community”.