March 2022


From the Moderator
From the Acting Assembly Executive Secretary
Presbyterian Youth Ministry
Global Mission
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership
Presbyterian Church School
Presbyterian Children and Families
Presbyterian Research Centre
CWS Notices
Church Register

From the Moderator

You are not really a Presbyterian minister!

That was the response I got from someone in the national Church Office early on in my 21-year stint as a school chaplain. And it was not an uncommon sentiment. Colleagues even commented that it was a shameful waste that I had left parish ministry. And while I was pretty faithful in attending presbytery meetings, they were relentlessly parish-centric.

Becoming Moderator has again reminded me how narrowminded this kind of attitude is. It has opened my eyes again to the amazing work going on in the organisations and trusts that have Presbyterian origins and affiliations. But sadly, there is a tendency towards disengagement and estrangement between Church and the organisations we birth - from both sides. Often, the great entities churches birth assert their independence and drift away from their origins. But we in the Church can also lose interest and become unaware, apathetic and dismissive of this dimension of our corporate life! I think we have work to do here to repair strained and broken relationships.

Two examples of possible disconnect, yet opportunity for strong connection, come to mind:

Presbyterian Support

Since becoming Moderator I have had numerous conversations initiated by people within Presbyterian Support, particularly Dr Prudence Stone (National Executive Officer) and Andrew Johnston (Chair of the National Council). Presbyterian Support hosts a partnership (PresCare) between the Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian Support that was initiated in 2010, created to look for ways our shared faith and commitment can respond to the needs and nurture the wellbeing of children and families in Aotearoa. 

I’ve been in communication with Anne Overton and Rev Sharon Ross Ensor who are allocated time by Presbyterian Support Northern for this PresCare work. We are exploring opportunities to strengthen our relationship and to work together. 

A good example of working together involves the Moderator’s role within the Church Leaders’ group that meets with the Prime Minister every year. Alongside other Church leader advisors, PSNZ prepares excellent briefings on social issues that inform and prepare our Moderator for these meetings. This is just one of a multitude of opportunities for continued engagement and collaboration.

Presbyterian Church Schools

There are over 10,000 students in our 13 schools. Supporting our chaplains and interacting with school leadership around what it means to maintain a Presbyterian Christian ethos is an amazing opportunity. 

John Roberto is a leading expert in Intergenerational Ministry. One of the things he addresses is the question, 'Where are the children?' He acknowledges that many churches have very few children in church on Sunday. But he enthusiastically encourages congregations to look for other places of engagement. He talks about three categories of engagement – children in church, children in our families (‘the grandparenting effect’), and children in the wider-community. In the wider-community of the Presbyterian Church, we have the privilege of connecting with 10,000 young people because of the visionary Presbyterian founders of these Church Schools. Let’s celebrate it and strengthen the links wherever we can!

God bless
Hamish Galloway

From the Acting Assembly Executive Secretary

Dear colleagues

This is my first Bush Telegraph column as Acting Assembly Executive Secretary, a position I will fill while Wayne recovers from surgery followed by a period of study leave . I am sure you will join me in wishing Wayne well and praying for a full and speedy recovery. 

Some information about me: I was ordained at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Waipukurau in 1990 and served there until early 1996, when I moved to St Margaret’s Church in Bishopdale, Christchurch. I was minister there for just over 16 years – this included a year on a ministry exchange in Canada - until I took on the role of Global Mission Director in 2012. 

Global Mission has been very enjoyable but the last two years have naturally had a massive impact on this work - most of what we were doing has had to be set aside until global conditions improve. So, when I was asked to consider becoming Acting Assembly Executive Secretary for the next few months, it seemed like the right decision and I accepted the challenge. I’m grateful for the positive affirmation and encouragement I have received so far – and even more grateful for the many people who are assisting me with the information and support I need as I take on the role. Note: Global Mission responsibilities will be managed by the Rev Paula Levy while I am AAES.

COVID information

The situation with Covid-19 continues to evolve and it is important to keep up to date with the latest information and requirements. You can find this on the New Zealand Government Covid-19 website.

For Presbyterian Church Covid-19 information for churches, please refer to the "PCANZ Guidance: Churches and Coronavirus" section of our website.

Council News

The Council of Assembly met on Friday 18 February. Council News summarising the outcomes of this meeting will be published soon. 

Special Assembly

Preparations for the online Special Assembly are well under way. The website will be open for registrations soon and Commissioners will be advised as soon as it is ready. A reminder that Ms Heather McKenzie will be Acting Clerk of the Assembly due to Wayne’s absence. Commissioners and others who have questions related to the Special Assembly, please contact Heather direct via email or by phone 027 455 0124.

Phil King
Acting Assembly Executive Secretary

Presbyterian Children and Families

Kia ora e te whānau

“Do Not Be Afraid” is the message of the angels to the shepherds that has been resounding in our hearts and minds since Christmas. As we look toward Easter, this is the exact message we hear from the angel at the empty tomb, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said.” (Matthew 28:5-6)” 

It is this very message we need right now as we face another year of uncertainty ahead due to COVID. May we gain strength around the assurance of God’s presence with us in these times, and the deep peace that Jesus offers us even in the most bizarre times. May we be encouraged and be encouraging to the children and families we serve with the words: “Do not be afraid,” God is with us. May this message resound in our hearts as we journey through Lent and toward the empty tomb of Easter morning!

Lent and Easter

As we enter another Lent in these different times and hold our plans loosely, we have put together a curated list of resources to support and encourage you, as well as the children and families you serve. Lent and Easter – Presbyterian Children and Families Ministry

Whanau Friendly process to launch in mid-March!

Together with the PYM team, we have been developing the Whanau Friendly process. It is our dream that the local church will be a place where all generations are present, thriving, encouraging one another, and growing in faith together. Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of our new Whanau Friendly process in mid-March. Check out our Whanau Friendly promo video

Our New Associate Director has begun

Karo Wilson, based in Oamaru, began with us on 2 February. We are thankful for the gifts God has given her and ask that you join us in prayer in this new season for our team. A bit about Karo here.

Ngā mihi
Robin Humphreys and Karo Wilson
Presbyterian Children and Families

Presbyterian Youth Ministry

Connect – Save the Date

We have heard from many people hoping we will be able to run our national youth ministry conference, Connect, this year. This week we made the following announcement on our website: 
“The Omicron variant of COVID is clearly starting its upward trend on the bell curve, which makes it very hard to be certain about upcoming events. We believe we will be in a much better place in a couple of months' time to make a decision about Connect 2022. What we can say at this point is that we have provisional dates booked for El Rancho, Wellington, on the on the 22-24 July, and we ask that you put these dates in your calendar. As we discern putting on Connect ‘22 we will continue to pray, pay attention to the news and experts, and engage our key stakeholders and colleagues.” 

Young Adults Ministry Cohort 

We recognise how important and how challenging ministering to young adults (aged 18-30) can be. PYM currently offers a support cohort for leaders working with young adults once a month - on a Tuesday afternoon over zoom. The cohort includes regular online discussions, posts, and interaction with experts. 

Next month (15 March, 4-5pm) former UC chaplain and young adults ministry ninja Spanky More will join our conversation and share some of his reflections on leading Vocacio – a live-in faith community for young adults who had given church the flick. If you would like to join the conversation, please email for the zoom link.                                                                                           

Gordon Fitch
National Youth Manager

Global Mission


Recovery in Tonga after the volcanic eruption and tsunami will undoubtedly take a long time. So there are still plenty of opportunities for PCANZ congregations and members to support the CWS appeal for Tonga.


It was encouraging to get a response enquiring about remote English teaching at Talua Theological Training institute in Vanuatu (included in last month’s Bush Telegraph). Negotiations are now under way to see whether this can work for all parties. 


The crisis in the Ukraine is very real and has understandably made many news headlines in recent weeks. While the crisis in Myanmar has faded from the mainstream media, the situation remains critical throughout the country, with ongoing violence rife. We continue to maintain regular contact with the leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar and offer support as we are able. They have asked for prayer support as many of their members and leaders have been affected by an outbreak of Omicron, but fortunately there have been no reports of any deaths so far.  We have recently been able to send some funds to provide scholarships for nurse aide student training supported by the PCM.  

Acting Global Mission Director

For the next few months, I will be filling in as Acting Assembly Executive Secretary, and from 28 February the Rev Paula Levy will provide part-time cover as Acting Global Mission Director. Paula can be emailed here.  

Phil King
Acting Assembly Executive Secretary 

Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Summer Block Course

We have just completed a very successful online Summer Block Course for NOM interns. The level of engagement and learning was especially pleasing given the limits of not being in-person. 


The Forge weekend (18-20 Feb) which was planned to be in Christchurch has also been delivered online for this occasion. The programme has been adapted and an effective time is anticipated.

Study Leave

I commence study leave on 28 February and in my absence Rev Dr Darryl Tempero can be contacted for any KCML related work.

Rev Dr Geoff New
Dean of Studies/Acting Principal
Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership

Presbyterian Church Schools

Church School Chaplains (Part 4)

One of a school chaplain’s most visible roles is as the leader of, what I am going to call, rituals. There is the regular chapel service with singing, readings and a message. Here there might also be small rituals, such as processing the Bible that some churches do, and also ones that are specific to schools, such as the staff sitting up the front. 

Chapels can be held in dedicated buildings and, especially under the limits of Covid, they can also be outside in halls or gyms for year groups or small numbers. 

Our chaplains now often lead chapel online. These are seen in classrooms, and later by individuals, as they are usually uploaded onto YouTube and/or Facebook (I highly recommend searching for them yourself).

However, in addition to the chapel service there are other rituals. For example, the annual Founders Day service, where the beginnings of the school are remembered along with previous students and staff, and at centenaries or similar celebrations where prayers and services are common. When new or refurbished school buildings are opened. All are opportunities for the chaplain to add spiritual rituals.

Another ritual area is funerals. Former students and staff die. Since many have no church connections, they ‘come back’ to the only spiritual leader they knew – the chaplain -  for this important acknowledgement. Sadly, current staff and students also need funerals at times. In some cases, chaplains hold memorial services or other such rituals even when the official funeral is held elsewhere to give the school community ways to grieve well.

In our secular world, the school chaplain’s ability to provide ritual allows perhaps the only spiritual acknowledgement of significant events in people’s lives. Please pray for our chaplains as they continue to provide this important service. 

Stephanie Wells (Rev) 
Director of Presbyterian Church Schools Resource Office

Presbyterian Research Centre


It’s been busy in the Archives recently with several sizeable collections of material arriving from North Island parishes. If you want to know what parish material to keep, take a look at the “Your Records” tab on the home page of the Research Centre’s recollect website and please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hewitson Library

The Hewitson Library has also been busy adding new books to two of their specialist collections, the Rita Mayne England Christianity and Cultures in Asia Collection, and the Chrysalis Seed Art and Faith Collection. These books are available for anyone to borrow and can be sent out by distance with no charge. If you would like to register to become a library member, or to access the extensive collection of e-books and e-journals (perfect for these covid times!), please email the library. Looking for a particular book or other resource? You can access the library catalogue at Koha online catalogue


As with so many other settings, Covid has had an effect on the running of the Research Centre. The  library and Archives remained open at the Red Traffic Light Setting, with all visitors required to show a vaccine pass and to wear a mask. As of 25 February, Archives is temporarily closed, and staff are working from home and able to answer enquiries by email

The Hewitson Library continues to be open strictly by appointment for the collection and return of books. Please contact the library by email or phone 03 473 0771.

Rachel Hurd
Presbyterian Research Centre 

CWS Notices

Tonga Emergency Appeal

Thank you for your gifts and prayers for Tonga after January’s eruption. Your response has been tremendous. Tonga Community Development Trust (TCDT) members will now be able to repair more rainwater harvesting systems; re-establish household and community gardens with topsoil, plants and fruit trees; as well as provide community psychosocial support.  TCDT also want to provide chickens and ducks to help families recover lost livelihoods.  By mid-February, donations topped $120,000 – more support means they can reach more people.  Board member Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi shared his story.  Please keep Tonga in your prayers.

World Day of Prayer

The World Day of Prayer is on Friday, March 4.  Please join local services or use the resources in regular worship.  Contact your local World Day of Prayer organising group or email Zella for details.

Christmas Appeal

Thank you for supporting the 2021 Christmas Appeal, Give Joy and Justice.  If you have not done so already, please consider making a donation to support local partners standing up for the rights and livelihoods of the poorest peoples.  Treasurers, please pass on donations before March 31 for receipting.  

Thanks Trish Murray

CWS recently acknowledged the dedicated service of Trish Murray, International Programmes Coordinator.  She enjoyed working with Methodist and Presbyterian women on the Special Project for many years and commends CWS international partners to the church.

Put a Smile on Her Face

In South Sudan, Suzan is thankful she can sit her final High School exams after two years of school closures.  “My hope was almost gone,” she said.  Now 20 years old, she was happy that she had a scholarship from CWS partner the Mission for Sustainable Advancement that made her education possible.  Read her story and please support the Summer Appeal for gender justice.


Connect over kai: Neighbours Day Aotearoa 18-27 March 2022

Kai Connections is the theme for Neighbours Day 2022. A common denominator amongst all communities in Aotearoa is how kai (food) brings us together. During March, Neighbours Day Aotearoa has free online sessions based around making and sharing kai, see details. Download posters and resources. See ideas on how you can join in here, and on the Presbyterian Church website. Contact your local Presbyterian Support or PSNorthern for ways your parish can make Kai Connections this Neighbours Day.

Presbyterian Investment Fund

Deposits and withdrawals can be processed as normal during current Covid-19 settings, observing the requirement to provide advance notice for major (>$100,000) withdrawals. The interest rate paid on the PIF On Call Fund is 1.50% p.a., although the Trustees are monitoring interest rates to see if and when the PIF rate should also increase. The interest rate on the PIF Long-Term Fund remains at 3.0% pa plus inflation. Rates are subject to change. The PIF is open to parishes, but not to individuals. For details on the Long Term Fund or further information, email the Trustees’ Executive Officer, Russell Garrett.

Work for the Church: Seeking Mission Coach for Kaimai Presbytery

Kaimai Presbytery seeks a Mission Coach to assist the Kaimai Presbytery Council in the implementation of Presbytery’s Strategic Plan – priorities the mission of God and the establishment of new congregations. The position is full-time, four-year fixed term, home office based, and reports to the Executive Officer. This is a faith-based position. Closing date: 31 March 2022. For more info see here or email or Very Rev Garry Marquand (Strategic Workgroup Convenor) 

Christian Day of Prayer for Ukraine 2 March

Pope Francis has called on Christians around the world to fast and pray for peace on Ash Wednesday 2 March to fight “the diabolical senselessness of violence” that has engulfed the Russian-Ukraine border. Read more.

World Day of Prayer 4 March 2022

World Day of Prayer is an international movement of Christian people in many different traditions who have a continuing relationship of prayer and service. People from various denominations gather in one another’s churches to celebrate, using a Worship Service prepared by women of a different country each year. Share the language, customs and music of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, right around the globe. Read more.

Glen Innis holiday home for ministers

Covid Policy: To ensure a safe environment for all guests, visitors, residents, and staff, we require all eligible guests (currently those 12 years and older) at Glen Innis Station to be fully vaccinated. Proof of full vaccination will be required on booking, and any additional visitors will need to confirm their vaccination status with the Holiday Homes manager prior to their arrival. While on the farm, we ask that visitors stay two metres away from farm staff, and out of any equipment sheds. Check in and departure, where possible, will be contactless. Please contact Glen Innis if you have any queries. Learn more

Church Register

For any queries concerning the Church register, contact Kate Wilson.

Minister Changes

Rev Dr Andrew Callander, minister New Plymouth – St James Presbyterian Church, Presbytery Central - Nukuhau Tapu to Minister Emeritus, Alpine Presbytery, 20 December 2021.
Rev Shona Bettany, other recognised minister to executive officer Kaimai Presbytery, 31 January 2022.
Rev Heather Kennedy, local ordained minister Alpine Presbytery to Minister Emeritus Southern Presbytery, 31 January 2022.

Non-PCANZ Ministers in Co-operative Venture Ministries

Rev Dr Mary Caygill, Methodist minister, to Kaiapoi Cooperating Parish, Alpine Presbytery, 2 February 2022. 


Rev Dr John Brinsley, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 25 December 2021.
Rev John Allen, Minister Emeritus, Southern Presbytery, 6 February 2022.
Rev Keith Allen, Minister Emeritus, Presbytery Central – Nukuhau Tapu, 7 February 2022.


Check out details about upcoming events including training workshops, opportunities to serve and more. Learn more


Check out our job vacancies page and the ministerial vacancies table for the latest vacancies available in Aotearoa and around the globe.