Back prior to the start of Covid lockdowns in 2020, representatives of the Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust, held fund-raising stalls 2 or 3 times a year. The stalls were at the Thorndon Famers’ Market based in the Cathedral carpark in Hill St. The stalls had contributed to raise funds for the Chaplaincy Trust also raised awareness of the invaluable role of the Chaplains who care holistically for the patients and staff at Wellington Hospital.

At the January 2023 WHCT Board meeting it was decided to hold a post-Covid restart of the stall as a trial.  Carole, the trust secretary, liaised with the Market organising committee for a start date of 1st April.

We were delighted that Rosemary, a previous long-standing volunteer, was able to once again help us with her delicious baking supplemented by baked items from other committee members. As she was unable to attend personally, Trust past president Margaret arranged for her friend Patsey to deliver her amazing pickles, jams, and chutneys to the stall.

We gathered early on the Saturday morning to set up, and we were very relieved that the predicted forecast for rain and cool temperatures thankfully did not eventuate – an answer to our prayers.

The Thorndon Farmers’ Market Stall (file photo)

The Trust stall – with its collection of amazing produce, was warmly welcomed back by the organising committee and the public. Overall, it was a very successful outing and our great thanks go to everyone who helped.

We are looking forward to repeating the exercise with a Christmas stall at the market.

The economy may be taking off but the financial climate for essential charities is still difficult. Timely donations from stalwarts such as S Peter’s Inner City and Onslow Anglican parishes have kept our funds ahead of demand through to the first quarter of this year. We were very encouraged to receive advice from Bowen Trust to support an increased Newsletter circulation and also nearly $4,000 from ICHC as the Trust’s share in the annual national appeal. We do remain acutely aware of the need to widen our income sources because we understand the pressures that rising costs and unanticipated extra demands (such as earthquakes, hurricane-force winds etc) are placing upon traditional donors. We need to raise over $20,000 a year to maintain chaplaincy support at the expected level. Currently we can see about a year ahead. Generous founder donors have enabled us to establish reasonable reserves to continue the commitment of our Trust Deed to help “sustain and maintain” chaplaincy services but in the face of an increasing need for chaplaincy support in our hospitals at present we can only focus on helping to provide the essential day-to-day, weekby- week essential service.

Active Fund-Raising

On the first two Saturdays in December the Trust – its new banner proclaiming The Candle brand – took a site at the Hill St market. The first Saturday was not just very windy; it was horribly unpleasant, but the stall remained firmly (nearly) anchored thanks to the preparation foresight of the market managers but also to the setting-up skills of Sam Ji from St John’s Church, Willis St.

For sale – a wide range of exotic preserves and a lot of fresh and accomplished baking, largely supplied by the people of St Barnabas, Roseneath. The rent of this site was a much appreciated gift to the Trust from the market management. The second Saturday – of course a perfect Wellington early summer’s day – was the market’s scheduled Christmas Stall Day. Again, generously supported by S Barnabas, the Christmas theme produced gourmet preserves, Christmas baking of every description, Christmas decorations, Christmas dotty stocking fillers, Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust all-purpose notelets. Both Saturdays gave public exposure to the chaplaincy services of the hospital, with good opportunities for people to ask questions and to take away chaplaincy fliers. It is hoped to make this an annual event, not only as a necessary fund-raiser but also as a chance for the chaplaincy service and the Trust brand to become more widely known.

(Published in June 2014 newsletter)

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Our particular funding need can be summarised simply:

we need an additional $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year from generous donors to cover the expected cost of maintaining chaplaincy services in Wellington hospitals.

In fact, the overall cost of maintaining and supporting chaplaincy in Wellington hospitals is around $144,000 a year. Central funds, including the 50% Ministry of Health component and our share of the contributions channeled via the Interchurch Hospital Chaplaincy Trust Appeal cover around $108,000 of this. This leaves a shortfall of around $36,000 a year,(or an average call of $3,000 a month) to be met by local contributions. The tricky bit is that the calls occur monthly; we need to have available sufficient money, each and every month – and thanks to our adept Treasurer, David Underwood, so far we have done just that. In the Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust area we are helped by having a group of “major donors”, (each contributing more than $1,000 a year) adding up to $24,000 a year. It is the remaining $12,000 that is our great concern.

WHCT is fortunate in having the benefit of sufficient reserves to cover, at the moment, most worst-case scenarios. These reserves were created from the efforts of a small group headed by Jim Rowe and Brian Cunningham, dedicated to the survival of the chaplaincy service. A portion of these reserves, tagged to specific needs, is not necessarily available at all times. Trustee preference, of course, is to continue to meet each year’s needs from its yearly income, which means, in effect, raising a further $12,000 a year.


The trust has decided to make its annual financial appeal early in each New Year to be certain of the funds to maintain the service. This timing will also effectively separate its specifically Wellington-based request from that of the national ICHC appeal in September.

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We wish to recognise and record the tremendous support we receive from our major donors. During 2011, each of the following contributed more than $1,000; some donations were considerably larger.

  • Interchurch National Appeal
  • St Peter’s Anglican Church (Willis St)
  • Otaki/Waikanae Presbyterian Church
  • McKenzie Trust
  • Bowen Trust
  • Onslow Anglican Church
  • Methodist District Synod
  • Funeral Donations via the chaplaincy

Trustees have been working with the national Interchurch Hospital Chaplaincy Organisation to make sure that the purpose and vision of the Trust can be effectively provided in conjunction with the national chaplaincy programme (each with its own local support group).

These negotiations will require further discussion, to allow for whatever changes (both predictable and unforeseeable) may occur within the health systems of New Zealand.

One thing is sure: whatever the changing patterns of health care, the special skills of the chaplaincy services will continue to be an important part of the vulnerable human situation that makes up the special world of health treatment and which, in one way or another, involves us all.

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WHCT Funds

Annual payments under current trends are around $15,000. This figure is likely to rise to around $20,000 – more if the LSP option is taken (see below).

The ICHC (Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy) organises an annual appeal for chaplaincy support through local churches commencing end September. Funds raised are distributed back to local chaplains where requested. This is the largest contributor to WHCT funds. Therefore WHCT urges supporters to contribute to the ICHC appeal over the coming months.

The Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust is counting on your support to help maintain this service by:

  • Volunteering to become a Chaplaincy Assistant.
  • Making a donation to the Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust. It is a registered charity: donations of $5 and over are tax deductible.
  • Leaving a bequest or gift in your will to the Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust.

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