2015 Conference challenge

During the conference we held in Christchurch last year we invited schools to come up with an idea to take away to develop and further implement in their school communities. Here is some of the feedback back 11 months on;

Samuel Marsden

“Our Chaplain Chris Darnell is a star at making services relevant, entertaining, involving but also thought provoking and challenging. He even managed to get a clip from Top Gear to support our virtue of the week. Now that is clever!”  Anne Winnall, Director

St Peters set rather a lot of goals and are working their way through them.

“1. Mentoring programme within and outside of school- We already have a number of students who do this, within our own school, as part of their I.B. and CAS projects. We are also looking at  working in partnership with St Paul’s Collegiate who have just begun a programme in outside schools in Hamilton, through their chaplaincy.

2. Renewing the link with All Saints in Fiji- I am glad to say that I shall be meeting up with the Principal Serafina in Labasa, later this week and that she will also be taking me along to St Mary’s primary school so that we can discuss how we can better develop our exchange links and support in the future.

3. Support joint Diocesan School’s meeting by end of the year-Students were supportive of this but had other commitments during the first weekend of the school holidays. We will get this advertised sooner next year.

4.Outdoor Chapel-We had considered doing our Christmas service outdoors but decided that the Waikato weather might not be favourable! We will keep it in mind for smaller chapel services in the future- rather than try to get 1000+ students outside for a service which would be impractical.

5. More student involvement in services- We now have an active student leadership team both for juniors ( meeting weekly on a Wednesday) and seniors ( meeting weekly on a Thursday). They have been proactive in suggesting themes and music, reflecting on services, participating and selecting readers. This, though small, is a big advance on last year and bodes well for the future. Chapel prefects have led singing and organised alpha courses in the boarding houses. Boarders’ chapels are more of a challenge as they are less frequent and there is work to be done in that area. I am considering following the example of St Hilda’s in Dunedin and having some occasional smaller, optional boarders’ chapels in order to pursue a more focused, intimate and voluntary approach to worship- perhaps based on prayer spaces.” Dr Deborah Wilson, Chaplain and Head of Religious Studies

Woodford House

One of the big challenges for Woodford was to motivate seniors to preach. Joy Hamilton-Jones, (chaplain) says “We are on to this! 🙂 ”

Here is their list of achievements.

  • Senior student Sermons
  • We give our offering to needy causes. Eg Fiji disaster this year and refugee crisis, funds via world vision
  • Hukarere ,Te Aute and Woodford sharing our stories though song and culture
  • Student led chapels on Friday.

St Margarets

“We have set up a boarding exchange with Waikato Dio for year 10’s
We have regular sports and debating exchanges with St Hilda’s and Craighead.” Mrs Gillian Simpson  Executive Principal


Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru  had their peace garden officially unveiled by the prime minister in September last year.

They have also introduced a term theme – which was kindness in Term One and respect in term 2. Ms Lindy Graham the principal, says  this “seems to work well and the students are well aware of the theme. It gives a bit of a focus for Assemblies too…”