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Waikato Church Leaders Gather To Support Chaplaincy

Waikato Church Leaders Gather To Support Chaplaincy

More than 120 church leaders from across the Waikato region arrived at Waikato Hospital yesterday (21 June) to show their support for Waikato DHB’s chaplaincy service.

The ‘Friends of Hospital Chaplaincy’ event was the first of its kind in New Zealand. It was organised by the DHB chaplaincy service so church leaders from a variety of denominations could gain insight into the scope and complexity of the hospital chaplains’ role.

Copy of Chaplaincy event_Woodstock School_21-06-13_031The event included a tour of the DHB’s new Older Persons and Rehabilitation Building, a performance from the Woodstock School Pasifika group and presentations from chief operating officer Jan Adams, Waikato and Thames hospitals group manager Mark Spittal and chaplain Reverend Tom Woods.

“The chaplains here offer pastoral care, ministry, supervision and training across Waikato DHB. Each week our team visits an average of 546 clients,” Rev Woods said.

Waikato DHB employs more than 6000 staff who also come under the pastoral care of the chaplaincy team.

“We wanted to give church leaders across the region an opportunity to learn how they and their churches can come alongside the chaplaincy department and assist it in its invaluable work,” Rev Woods said.

The Ministry of Health funds approximately half of the cost of hospital chaplaincy, the balance being funded by local churches and the community.

As well as three ecumenical chaplains there are three Roman Catholic chaplains, a full-time Maori chaplain and 28 volunteer chaplaincy assistants.

They lead chapel services each Sunday and offer a number of other services of blessing, thanksgiving and celebration, but it is the personal support to patients and families that stands out.

For more information about hospital chaplaincy at Waikato DHB or how to make a donation, go to www.waikatodhb.health.nz/chaplaincy.


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