“When I started with the Wynnum Manly Local Chaplaincy Committee, we had 1 chaplain. Now we have 10 schools in the district that have chaplains.”
Tom Andrews has seen many changes over his 25 years volunteering on the Wynnum Manly LCC but that statistic is something of which he is especially proud. The committee, as do many committees around Queensland, supports its local chaplains by helping to fundraise for the chaplaincy role, and ensuring the chaplain is cared for and supported.
Beginning in this LCC role in 1991 – the year before he retired from a 40 year teaching career – Tom is passionate about seeing chaplains in as many schools as possible for as long as possible.
“I would like to see chaplains in every school. That’s my vision.”
“What makes chaplains so important is their availability in the schools to be a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and do what is necessary to help out in anyway. They’re a really great resource to the school,” he says.
Wynnum State High School was the first school in the region with a chaplain, and the school still has one to this day. Principal, Phil Campbell, can’t speak more highly of current chaplain, Greg Deighton.
“He’s a vital part of our school community. Chappy Greg is involved in every aspect of the school and he contributes so much. I don’t see him as an addition, I see him as a vital part of the school community,” says Phil.
“Our chaplain is a fine example of that generous spirit that chaplains tend to have. Nothing seems to be too much trouble, nothing seems to be a problem! He just says “Yeah, I’ll help!” A generous spirit adds so much to the community that he works in.”
“We’ve got a couple of new students starting this week and he’s a vital part of seeing these young people settle in. He’s going to find out who they are, what they’re interested in and what they want to do in their life. Just to do what he can to connect them into our community. He does a lot of work with kids who are having some social issues and he will include them in things that he knows are going to be successful.”
Remarkably, Wynnum Manly LCC still has four active members who have been a part of the committee since it began back in 1991. Hugh Davis, Frank Olsen and Glenys Davey have been working alongside Tom since the beginning, forming the strong backbone of this committee which has gone from strength to strength. Despite their long term involvement in this LCC, there’s no sign of them slowing down anytime soon.
“I’m motivated to keep going in my LCC role because I am capable of doing it. And I have a passion for young people to have access to a chaplain,” says Tom.
There are many ways to support SU QLD Chaplaincy throughout Queensland. To find out more, please contact our Field Support Delivery Manager, Beth Killen, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (07) 3112 6073.