John Safran has a new chat show on religion debuting on SBS this month called Speaking in Tongues, and last month The SMH’sSpike column had a taste of what it’s about. Crikey will be a guest for an interview to be recorded next week about business and the churches.

That’s a nice broad canvas, but what to say? Just how big a commercial operation are the churches running? Which is Australia’s richest church? Who has the biggest investment portfolio?

What about the arrangement that sees Hillsong running the Gloria Jean’s coffee chain as you can see debated here on John Quiggin’s blog? Is that appropriate for a church?

Property deals are another very interesting area. The Masons are selling Melbourne’s iconic Dallas Brooks Hall for apartments and the Sisters of Mercy have just received a very big price for their East Melbourne hospital site overlooking the Fitzroy Gardens.

How does the church balance its commercial interests with faith, education and the provision of healthcare, charitable or retirement services?

The Crikey army is hereby enlisted to assist. All tips and thoughts to [email protected] and we’ll tease this one out over the coming weeks.