Posted in Bring 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 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.”
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.