Phil Preece, FCN
I had no knowledge at all about Faith Community Nursing. I worked as a Registered Nurse in the rest home in Collingwood. A friend of mine travelled to Christchurch and spent some months working there. She attended St John's Latimer Square church and there met Ronnie who told my friend she had been to a Christian nurses conference. My friend told me as she was excited to have an organisation for Christian nurses. She gave me the contact number and then I got in touch with the National Coordinator of NZFCNA and requested information about faith community nursing. This all happened sometime in late 2009.
I was also really interested because it seemed like a FCN would fill a need in this large isolated community in Golden Bay, where I worked. So I mentioned it to my pastor. He was immediately very keen as he had heard of Parish nurses in the Diocese and said that it is what we need in our parish. He was also adamant that it must happen as a paid position in order to be able to devote sufficient time to it. He then took it upon himself to find a way to fund the position. He tried many avenues for funding – numerous community grants, grants for the elderly etc – then the funding became available through a trust fund within the Anglican Church.
I took about one year to finally access some funding and get it put in place. I had already for some time been informally working voluntarily in the community as well as my work at the rest home. I got hold of the training modules and completed them in October 2010. I also attended the conference in Wellington in Sept 2010. I began officially working as a Parish Nurse in Golden Bay in January 2011. I am now in my third year. It sounds like there will be funding available to continue this position after the three years' original allocation is complete. I work equally with the Anglican members and non church people in the community, mainly with the elderly.