Granny flats have traditionally comes in all shapes and sizes, sometimes it was a flat under a house or one end of a home, sometimes it is set alone a little away from the house, sometimes it's been a stand along caravan, I've even slept and been accommodated in a converted bus and at the Landmark Christian Camp on the Central Coast, a train carriage.
Some of the locations of homes with such granny flats I've been very comfortably housed on mission engagements have been in Townsville, Mackay, Airlie Beach, Rockhampton, Gympie, Toolagoolwa, Mergon, Warwick, the Sunshine and Gold Coasts in Queensland alone, there is another long list from my diaries in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania let alone the other states.
These have been located on farms, rural properties, in towns and in cities. They have all had the same provision, a place set a little apart from the family home where I might be independent and able to prepare for the next evangelical meeting or seminar / workshop, where I can call my family in courteous privacy and shower and head off to bed when it suited my schedule and choice.
Personal "adaptation" is perhaps the best word to describe the "mission and granny flat phenomenon" and thousands upon thousands of Christian evangelists and missioners have enjoyed this very special provision ever since such ministry has been exercised in Australia.
Moreover, many Christian people have chosen to exercise their commitment to Jesus Christ and how they might serve the Lord with what they have through the provision of these variant models of a granny flat. I know of one family on Mackay who turned their downstairs into a granny flat and over four decades have utilised that space to host missionaries, evangelists and visiting Christian workers.
A new form of granny flat
Now a whole new fresh approach has been offered to Australians to the granny flat and it's claimed to be cost effective, sleek, beautiful, brand new and affordable. (smh.domain.com.au)
$120,000 on today's world of money and housing is not a significant amount, yet this is the "mean sum" being presented for a stand along granny flat including site costs and approvals.
Given the name, Module Plus ''glam flats'' the expected rush will see a transformation in the granny flat market especially when many local councils in recent years have given planning approvals for them.
They are an inexpensive means whereby parents can assist their elderly parents when medication issues have becomes essential (but no where near time to be thinking about a nursing home), when parents want to assist their newly married children giving them a chance to save for their own home, and indeed, for Christian people seeking to serve the Lord in transient accommodation.
According to the report they have also been approached by the New England University in Lismore who are interested in 200 Modules for student accommodation.
Most councils will allow the Modules to be built as a secondary home on a property, provided the block is bigger than 450 sq metres and the residences don't take up more than 60 per cent of the land. They range in size from 29 to 59 square metres and can be one bedroom, two-bedroom or even four-bedroom.
In a more recent article on granny flats, they are now seen as a means to bring further income into the household and for self funded retirees, providing an additional income to their superannuation, which after the GFC has become under stress.. (www.news.com.au)
There will always be need somewhere at some time to accommodate those engaged in various forms of Christian mission – be they Christian bands, music groups, the Covenant Players, Sports missions with coaches, Christian tourism ministry seminars, whatever.
Therefore granny flats will inevitably come in handy in serving the Lord. Nonetheless, the best granny flat will serve numerous purposes, providing temporary accommodation for friends when their own homes are being built, visiting family and relatives, a place to house the university student family members, the elderly parents, friends passing through.
The Scriptures are replete with common sense about such matters and moreover the matter that we serve angels unawares.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at