#storiesofhope – Chappy Karl’s big heart for his small town

Three years ago Karl felt the call to school chaplaincy – and that call led him to the small town of Marmor, Queensland, where he and his family now…

Three years ago Karl felt the call to school chaplaincy – and that call led him to the small town of Marmor, Queensland, where he and his family now live in a renovated old church.

In this remote community of roughly 150 people, Chappy Karl finds gardening is a great way to bring support (and fresh fruit and vegetables) right to the table of the residents.

“I do a lot of work in the community gardens. It’s great for the kids to get involved with it – they go home and ask their parents to plant their own family garden!” says Chappy Karl.

Chappy Karl with school captain and garden-helper, Charlotte O’Grady

 

“We grow watermelons, rockmelons, zucchinis, cucumbers, pumpkins – everything. We also do community cooking with the produce. I know that there have been some rough times in the past, and living so far out, people can’t always get into town for food. These gardens have been a real boost for the community.”

Throughout the COVID19 season, Chappy Karl has been doing everything he can to support students, parents and staff across his two schools.

“I’ve been fitting in where I”m needed. The last few years, I’ve been able to build a good rapport in the community – now it’s about being there for everyone,” says Chappy Karl.

“The role of a chaplain is to be there. It’s about building relationships and providing support and drawing on your strengths. I love that as a chaplain, you can be yourself. You’re there to spend time with the kids and to support their well-being.”

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Karl’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 4/06/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Kylie helped Jack and his family cope

When Jack was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes three weeks before his 9th birthday, it was a huge shock for his family. The condition meant his mum Sarah had…

When Jack was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes three weeks before his 9th birthday, it was a huge shock for his family.

The condition meant his mum Sarah had to administer seven insulin injections a day. At times he wouldn’t eat – just to avoid having another needle.

Just as Jack and his family were coming to terms with their ‘new normal’, the death of a much-loved family member and being temporarily moved out of their rental home added further stress to what was already a challenging and stressful time.

One month later Covid-19 struck…

It’s at times like these that chaplains stand in the gap for children and families in need. Your generosity keeps them there – thank you!

Behind the scenes, Chappy Kylie was there. The relationship she’d built with Jack and his family, over the years, allowed her to step in and help when it was most needed.

“I first met Chappy Kylie many years ago in the middle of a rough time of my life,” Sarah recalls.

“Later on, in the first couple of months after Jack’s diagnosis I got very little sleep because I was so worried his insulin levels would drop low during the night, which they did a few times. I wasn’t home much and juggling the four kids and my night shifts was a lot.

“When Kylie delivered the hamper it broke us. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Jack (left), his sister and his mother Sarah

As Covid-19 came on and the family moved into another rough patch, Chappy Kylie dropped off another hamper and organised some frozen meals.

“They’re practical – it had cereal, pasta, just enough to get us through for a couple of days. The hampers and meals have saved me in some really difficult times over this season,” Sarah says.

“It just gives you support. It makes you feel not alone, you feel supported, you feel valued as a person. I don’t even know the words. We’re grateful.”

Head of Special Ed at Bald Hills State School, Kate Marley, says Chappy Kylie makes a huge difference for families like Jack’s.

“If Jack’s family didn’t have Chappy Kylie, there wouldn’t be hampers, there wouldn’t be food vouchers, and there wouldn’t be that phone call to check in,” Kate recalls.

“She made sure they got the support they needed.”

Kate says the support goes far beyond one family, and that Chappy Kylie shapes the way the school provides support to families in need.

“Kylie’s invaluable. She’s open and warm but hugely practical as well – she does the job of like six people,” Kate says.

“With Covid-19, people don’t know what to do – if they should come to school or not. Teachers are feeling vulnerable and they don’t know if what was applicable yesterday still stands in the present.

“In that space, Kylie has been that constant – just there walking beside them. Having someone in the school who is so present, calm and kind changes everything.

“She would feel the stress, but every single day she walks in with a big smile, willing to serve without complaining. I couldn’t imagine school without Chappy Kylie.”

Kylie loves the hamper program not only for the smiles when she drops one off, but also the impact it has on the kids in the school – who donate the goods for the hampers.

“I love that the hampers come from the school community,” Kylie says.

“It’s kids recognizing that they are a part of being able to help. I love getting kids involved in something greater than themselves – teaching them that they can be a part of spreading love and kindness.”

For Jack’s mum Sarah, she can’t speak highly enough about her chappy.

“It’s not just children she’s looking out for, it’s the mums, it’s the dads, it’s the foster families – it’s whoever the guardians are for those kids at school. She makes you feel a part of the community. It gives the school heart,” Sarah says.

“It means everything to me to know my kids are safe and that they have someone looking out for them.”

As the financial year comes to an end, please consider giving a tax deductible donation to our Bring Hope Appeal. Your support will ensure families like Jack’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 1/06/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Jen’s care packs are rallying her remote community

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, love is the antidote – and your chaplains are there to share that message…

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, love is the antidote – and your chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. For more information, head to suqld.org.au/bringhope

In her remote school half an hour south of Gympie, Chappy Jen has been busy reassuring families, teachers and parents in the face of uncertainty and change.

“Because of our location, there hasn’t been a lot of anxiety in our school – but it’s been important to reassure the families that we’re there for them at this time if anyone needs to talk,” says Chappy Jen.

“I was able to put together some Care Packs for parents of the 22 families in our school, and fill it with tea sachets, chocolate, easter eggs, a keep-cup, hand-made bookmark and a tote bag from a community group in Gympie – just a few little encouragements.”

Over the last few weeks, Chappy Jen has been helping the teaching staff put together the paper-based curriculum packs.

“Because of the small school size and an unreliable internet service, our school decided that everything would be paper-based. The system is the parents come in every second week and collect the new supplies. On this day, I’m always there to chat with them and check in with how they’re going,” says Chappy Jen.

“I used to home-school myself, so it’s been nice to pass on some wisdom to the parents who were concerned about keeping up with expectations.”

“Home schooling is going to look different to the normal school routine – and if the kids aren’t coping, then take a break – go outside and, look at a tree, even climb a tree. It’s not going to be 6 straight hours in front of a desk. There were a lot of parents that needed to hear that!”

On top of the assurance and support Chappy Jen has been able to give to overwhelmed parents, there has been the opportunity to slow down and invest time in the teaching staff.

“In the midst of all this new, it’s been really nice to see the staff have the time for social interactions. We all stop for lunch together, and the environment is different because we all aren’t busy doing other stuff. It’s like planet Earth is on a bit of a reset,” says Chappy Jen.

“I’ve also been painting everything in the school that I can paint! Planter boxes and walkways – just to freshen up the grounds a bit for when the students return.”

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Jen’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 15/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Jason’s wooden stars are bringing much-needed hope

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message…

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. Find out more at suqld.org.au/bringhope

Chappy Jason wears lots of hats in his community. Most recently, he has taken on the role of an artist, lifting spirits by leaving hand-painted wooden stars around town.

Article from the Warwick Daily News

The idea came from an art-therapy group in the US called “Stars of Hope” – who have a mission to spread hope, show hope and shine hope in the world. Chappy Jason, along with his daughters, thought this would be a great way to thank the Frontline workers in this pandemic – particularly those working at the local hospital.

“The Stars for Hope initiative is focused on what we can do for others. It’s about acts of kindness, thankfulness and gratitude for other people – the real heroes in this time,” says Chappy Jason.

“It’s a nice way to change your focus, instead of dwelling on your own challenges. The local paper actually ran a nice story about it. The Police, Paramedics and Hospital Staff were overwhelmed by the kindness.”

Two of Chappy Jason’s helpers, seven-year old Esther and fifteen-year old Erina think the stars are a great way “to make people happy, and let [the workers on the Frontline] know we are thinking about them and that we are all in this together.”

Esther and her Mum with their beautiful stars of encouragement

In addition to being a fantastic star-painter, Chappy Jason has had his hands full working across three schools.

“The past few weeks have been challenging. I work across three different schools and all three schools are different. I’ll often run programs in the school on and off as they are needed, but that hasn’t been possible right now. Instead, it’s been about finding new ways to support kids, families and staff,” says Chappy Jason.

“When you hit a phase with lots of change, often anxiety and fear follow. At the start of COVID-19, there were lots of students who weren’t coping at all and were having breakdowns. They needed someone to sit with them and just listen.”

“Sadly, a listening adult is lacking in the lives of many young people – even those that live in a safe environment. Kids that live outside of that – in vulnerable situations and split homes – have even less of that crucial support.”

Gabrielle and Erina, two more of Chappy Jason’s helpers

Chappy Jason’s story into chaplaincy came when he reached a crossroad in his own life, and he doesn’t regret a second of it.

“It’s definitely a God story. God planted it in my heart to become a school chaplain, and over and over again I have seen the impact a chaplain can have.

“These days, people just get caught up in the busyness of life and extra-curricular activities after school. Family time is missing. It’s so important that young people have an adult there to listen to them – that’s why I love my job.”

The work of a chaplain includes joy and many triumphs, but there are certainly moments of pain and grief. But it is a calling that cares for the well-being of little lives – and it’s a calling that makes Chappies like Jason, heroes.

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Jason’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 14/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Mike’s timely gift to a teen in need

In times of crisis, it’s those most vulnerable who feel the effects. This pandemic has impacted us all in some way – but some have definitely been hit harder…

In times of crisis, it’s those most vulnerable who feel the effects. This pandemic has impacted us all in some way – but some have definitely been hit harder than others.

We’ve seen this reflected in the stories that have come through over the past few months. Many stories we are simply unable to share because the wounds are still so raw. Today we want to share a part of one of these stories with you.

To protect the identities of those involved, we’ve changed their names out of respect for their privacy.

Chappy Mike works in a school in South East Queensland. In the final week of Term 1, the students at his school were told they’d be moving into isolation at home over the school holidays.

Change is a challenge for anyone, but change and the prospect of social isolation in the midst of a global pandemic for a child who has already endured so much in their short life, it can be devastating.

It was at this time that Chappy Mike got a call from the Department of Education asking if he could support a foster carer who had a child at the school. The carer was deeply concerned about her foster child Ben, who has an ADHD-like condition.

Going into isolation was a scary prospect for this family. In short, they knew something like this could push Ben over the edge.

Chappy Mike wanted to help.

“I knew Ben liked basketball, so I reached out to my network and someone from the local community offered to fund a basketball hoop for him,” Chappy Mike says.

“On the last Friday of term we dropped it off at Ben’s house. The smile on his face made it all worth it.”

This seemingly simple gesture in a moment of anxiety and need made the world of difference to Ben and his foster family. There’s always more to these stories and the backgrounds of those involved.

But what matters most is that children like Ben and families across Queensland continue to see hope in the midst of their everyday struggles thanks to the love and support of their school chaplains.

Your support puts them there.

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so Chappies like Mike can continue to support the most vulnerable in this season of need. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope to donate today.

Posted: 14/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Susanne is helping to fight anxiety in the midst of Covid-19

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message…

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope to find out more.

Chappy Susanne from Burnside State School has been a shining light in her community through this ongoing crisis. With a background as a trained counsellor and psychotherapist, Chappy Susanne is very aware of the mental health toll things like COVID19 can have on a person.

“Even though I work in a primary school, we are seeing more and more students with anxiety. As a chaplain, it’s so important to be educated about social media and other things that are going on in the students’ lives so that we can connect with them, and they can connect with us,” says Chappy Susanne.

“Running anti-anxiety programs that touch on deep breathing and stretching is a great way to teach both students and parents how to handle anxiety when it comes.”

“It’s important that our young people have coping tools and strategies, so that when they go to high school they have something they can implement into everyday life. One of the reasons I got into chaplaincy was because I wanted to work in the preventive space and have the opportunity to work with the whole family.”

Chappy Susanne’s passion and skills to support her school community is something her principal is so grateful for. 

“Chappy Susanne is a crucial member of our school community. She demonstrates kindness, care and compassion for our students, staff and school community,” says Principal Monique.

The partnership goes both ways, as Chappy Susanne is mutually grateful for the support and trust of her Principal.

“My Principal is amazing – she’s really big on mental health and looking after the wellness of staff and families. She has a perspective of kindness and warmth, and the motto that ‘family comes first’,” says Chappy Susanne.

Chappy Susanne and Principal Monique outside their school

“In this COVID19 environment, I’ve been spending a lot of time supporting the staff. There’s a lot of pressure and expectations on the teachers and many have been feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been calling families to check in on parents and students – it’s good to let them know you’re thinking of them and that they’re not alone.”

“For the kids that have been coming into school, it’s been my job to give them hope and talk with them about their big questions. It’s in times of trauma that we need the most support, and where we start to ask some of those big questions in life. As a chaplain, I’m there to shine light and give people hope in the uncertainty.”

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Susanne’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 13/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Dave thinks outside the box to support teachers and local businesses!

In the midst of Covid-19, school chaplains have been passionately and selflessly supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. But what happens when the School Chappy is one of…

In the midst of Covid-19, school chaplains have been passionately and selflessly supporting the most vulnerable in our communities. But what happens when the School Chappy is one of those considered most “at-risk”?

Chappy Dave has a severe chronic condition (polycystic kidneys) and recently had a complete aortic rebuild. Weekly blood tests and check-ups are just part of his regular routine. If he contracted Covid-19 there’s a good chance he wouldn’t survive.

It’s why he’s been kept housebound of late. But it has not stopped him from continuing to provide hope and support to his much-loved school communities.

“It got real in the last week of term – that’s when the stress really picked up in the education space,” Chappy Dave says.

“Teachers had to change the way they teach very suddenly, which caused a lot of stress in that final week. It wasn’t just the unknown of the school calendar, but also not knowing if they are being exposed to Covid – working on the frontlines.

“There was a real sense of uncertainty about what things were going to look like.”

As Dave pondered this, stuck at home, he came up with a way to bring some positivity to the circumstance.

“There are two local coffee shops across the road from the two schools I work at – both were doing it tough just doing takeaway orders,” Chappy Dave recalls.

“I thought I’d shout all the teachers free coffee on the last Friday of Term 1. Both businesses made about 250 bucks as well.

“It was a really good way to end what had been a really stressful time on a positive note. Sowing into local community businesses, and sowing some love into the teachers – letting them know someone was there for them.”

For the teachers at Baringa State Primary School and Buderim Mountain State School – Chappy Dave’s random act of kindness meant a lot.

“At that stage of term, we were unable to leave our classrooms due to extended lunch supervision. Times were very uncertain and stressful,” teachers Sophie and Georgia recall.

“It was nice to have a break to walk across the road to the coffee shop and receive a random act of kindness to bring some positivity and caffeinated energy to our day.

“Chappy Dave is so important during times like these – he’s a ray of sunshine in the school community, for staff and families.

“He’s staying connected to kids with live-streamed baking lessons, regular phone calls and even delivering home-cooked meals to those families who are struggling most.”

Matt Allman, owner of one of the coffee shops John Kyle Espresso, says Chappy Dave’s gesture meant a lot to him – as well as the teachers.

“They [the teachers] were stoked – they had big smiles on their faces and kept telling me how much of a legend Dave is,” Matt says.

“Not only did this help the teachers, but it also helped us as a cafe in those trying times at the start of coronavirus when everyone was freaking out.

“It means a lot. If everyone did random acts of kindness like Dave, the community would be a much better place.”

In this season of uncertainty and rapid change, school chaplains are well placed to provide support for the ever-changing needs of Queensland school communities.

“In general schools are very routine and very structured – chappies in those environments are quite fluid and flexible,” Chappy Dave says.

“We’re primed for this kind of stuff. When things go haywire and break routine, chaplains are there to step up and bring some much-needed positivity to stressful and uncertain situations.”

Chappies wouldn’t be there to support families, teachers and local businesses without your support. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Bring Hope Appeal before June 30 so Chappies like Dave can be there to cater to the social, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of their communities.

Click here to donate to the Bring Hope Appeal: www.suqld.org.au/bringhope

Posted: 12/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Kev gets creative to help kids during Covid-19

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message…

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. For more information, visit suqld.org.au/bringhope.

Chappy Kevin works across three schools in Central Queensland, and although the grounds are much quieter than normal, one of the ways Chappy Kev brings joy and hope to his communities is with “Kev’s Story Time.”

Before COVID-19, Chappy Kev would read weekly books to the primary-aged students, and then they’d complete engaging worksheets or draw pictures that related to the story.  

“It’s good to be a little bit creative in this season! When we knew everything was going online, I pre-recorded a bunch of stories that have a wellbeing theme – things like dealing with anger, or what to do when you’re feeling scared. The idea is that the teacher will watch the story online, then go through the worksheet with the kids in their class,” says Chappy Kev.

“It’s been fun watching the posts get a few hundred views. I rarely get to connect with as many parents as I am now, so that’s been awesome. One of the teachers who was a little anxious about transitioning to the online learning space, teared up when she saw me recording the story book videos.”

Chappy Kev shares with a Grade 6 class

Teacher Carol Christensen, has been grateful for Chappy Kev’s ongoing support in this season of transition.

“Last Tuesday, when Chappy came to see me, I was feeling overwhelmed. His chat reassured me and reminded me that lots of teachers were feeling the same way,” says Carol.

“The new way of learning is still a bit overwhelming, but when we look back at the work produced every day, we can see how things are improving. I include Chappy Kev’s stories in my weekly learning activities, and have received feedback from parents to say the stories and advice Chappy shares are helping students to start their day well.”

“I’ll try not to get teary, but it is humbling and encouraging to know that Chappy is there to help. He is a vital part of our close school community.”

In addition to the education side of things, Chappy Kev is aware that students at home might be missing the familiarity of the school grounds.

“I also did some light-hearted filming through the oval and playground, telling the kids how much they’re missed at school. It’s important for the kids at home to stay connected to school, even though they can’t physically be there at the moment. It’s something familiar for them to see and reminds them that they aren’t forgotten.”

Like many chaplains across the state, Chappy Kev has enjoyed the opportunity to encourage and support the teaching staff.

“The fun videos are a great way to connect with the kids, but it’s critical for chaplains to be in schools right now for the teachers, too. They’re dealing with technology issues and juggling a whole range of online platforms – I’m there to check in to see how they’re going,” says Chappy Kev.

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Kev’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 11/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Beck & Steph’s Community Pantry is bringing goods to families in need

With Australia’s unemployment rate tipped to soar past 10% due to Covid-19, many people are finding themselves without the funds to purchase even basic goods like groceries and toilet…

With Australia’s unemployment rate tipped to soar past 10% due to Covid-19, many people are finding themselves without the funds to purchase even basic goods like groceries and toilet paper. A real need to support our friends and neighbours who are struggling has risen.

This need inspired Chappy Beck and Chappy Steph, alongside the student services team at Murrumba State Secondary College, to build a community pantry out the front of their school.

“When restrictions started coming into place, our principal floated the idea of setting up some sort of community pantry – two hours later our team was down at Bunnings grabbing what we needed,” Chappy Beck recalls.

“The pantry itself is two sets of metal shelving we attached to the fence out the front of our school. We wanted it to be accessible even if the school was closed down by Covid-19.

“We only had one shelf to begin with, but after the first week we were receiving so many donations from the community that we had to set another one up!”

The pantry’s motto is a good explanation of how it functions: ‘give what you can, take what you need’. Members of the community are free to take whatever supplies they need – or donate goods to the pantry if they are in a position to do so.

“It’s got everything people need at the moment. Pet food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, non-perishable foods, basic pantry needs, snacks, breakfast foods – all sorts of things,” Chappy Beck says.

“We also have been handing out a lot of woolies and coles gift cards – so that families can buy the fresh food that isn’t always available at the community pantry.

“It came from a place of recognising that so many families were going through real hardships, with many suddenly losing jobs and finding themselves in need. It’s also a great opportunity for people to give and contribute to their community in this time.”

Leader of Learning for Student Services at the school, Kelly Klibbe, says the pantry has been a huge success.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Kelly says.

“Our staff in particular have really gotten on board. Over Easter, many of them used the money they’d typically spend on festivities to buy and donate supplies to the community pantry.

“They’re really invested in contributing to the local community – and this pantry gives them an outlet to do just that.”

With all the problems and issues that Covid-19 has brought up, Kelly says chaplains are critical.

“In terms of the role our chaplains are playing in this season – it’s vital,” Kelly says.

“It’s been challenging, especially not being able to be face-to-face with most kids, but having our chaplains here to be a support when and where needed has been incredible in these last couple of weeks, and will be really important as we move forward.”

Chappies wouldn’t be there to support communities without your support. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Bring Hope Appeal before June 30, so Chappies like Beck and Steph can be there to cater to the social, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of their communities.

Click here to donate to the Bring Hope Appeal: www.suqld.org.au/bringhope

Posted: 8/05/2020

#storiesofhope – Chappy Tim’s vow to help turns heartbreak to joy

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message…

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it. In this time of uncertainty and fear, hope is the antidote – and our chaplains are there to share that message with children and their families. For more information, visit suqld.org.au/bringhope.

In North Queensland, Chappy Tim has been busy bringing light to his community in a dark time, including helping to rescue a teacher’s wedding in the midst of COVID-19!

“I started at Garbutt State School in Week 8 of Term 1, and from the first day I instantly connected with the family-feel community. Because of COVID19, I could see there was some community anxiety around what remote learning would look like, and could feel a sense of uncertainty about the future,” says Chappy Tim.

“I was talking with one of the teachers, Tom, who had heard his upcoming wedding would have to be cancelled because of the Prime Minister’s [social distancing] announcement. Everyone in the school was feeling really bad for him, but there was nothing anyone could do,” says Chappy Tim.

“After I had a big chat with Tom, he said he and his fiancée were still wanting to get married, so I called up my Local Chaplaincy Committee Chair who happens to be my Minister, and they ended up getting married three days later!” 

Tom and his new bride are very grateful that Chappy Tim was there.

“Following a tough few years, it was heartbreaking to realise that we would now have to cancel our wedding. During a chat with Tim about how this was affecting us emotionally, he said he “knew a guy” if we were still interested in going ahead,” says Tom.

“We went from heartbreak to joy. Thanks to the support of Chappy Tim and his Minister, Jason, we were able to marry a few days later. We are loving married life,  even amid a global pandemic, and look forward to celebrating with family and friends next year. We are extremely grateful that Tim was able to provide this support and care.”

Tom and his new bride beaming on their special day!

Having just started working at the school two weeks earlier, this wedding was a great way for Chappy Tim to integrate into the school community.

“Unexpectedly, helping with this wedding made my entrance into the school so much easier. The Principal even thanked me for raising the morale of the school which was pretty special,” says Chappy Tim.

When he’s not busy planning staff weddings, Chappy Tim has been getting to know the students and staff. Having been a chaplain for 12 years, Chappy Tim has seen the difference a chaplain makes in a community. 

“There’s a lot of fear and anxiety out there at the moment. It’s been nice that the Government has recognised the difference chaplains make in a school community – it’s such an important level of support.”

“I think the role of a chaplain is unique in that we think big-picture in terms of well-being – the chaplaincy service really focuses on how you’re effective across the whole school. This has been really helpful in the COVID-19 situation, because we’re prepared for thinking about bringing support to a large quantity of people.”

School chaplains across Queensland have been hard at work, sharing love and hope in a time of uncertainty. 

At this crucial time of year, please consider giving to our Bring Hope Appeal so communities like Chappy Tim’s can continue to receive the gift of hope in their time of need. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of others during this time. Visit suqld.org.au/bringhope today.

Posted: 6/05/2020

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