New agreement recognises a bigger role for the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network

New agreement recognises a bigger role for the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network

Signing of a new agreement between the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services (MPES): Rev Myung Hwa Park Moderator Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACTRev. Dr. Stephen Robinson Coordinator: NSW Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, Rev. Dr Andrew Williams, General Secretary Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT, Vicki D’Adam CEO, Ministry for Police and Emergency Services, Allison Rowlands NSW Government Welfare Area Coordinator for NSW

The Uniting Church Synod of NSW and the ACT has renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services (MPES) for the provision of disaster recovery chaplaincy services in NSW. The new agreement will see the official role of the Church expanding even further to minister to those affected by natural disasters and emergencies beyond the recovery centres.

The DRCN was established in 2009 following discussions within the NSW State Welfare Services Committee. It is an ecumenical chaplaincy ministry which is trained and coordinated by the Synod under the MOU with the NSW Government through the Ministry for Police and Emergency Services (MPES).  At the request of Disaster Welfare Services, the Church sends teams of chaplains to evacuation and recovery centres, working alongside other welfare agencies.

Since the last MOU in 2007 there have been many very positive changes to develop an integrated plan.  This involves The Uniting Church taking a lead role in the roll out a number of training courses with a broad spread of chaplains of all faiths. The DRCN training developed in NSW has been such a success that it is being rolled out nationally.

In recent years, The Uniting Church has been called to Minister and assist with the recovery process of the Blue Mountains bushfires, the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire, the Riverina floods, and many wind and fire storms across the State.

“The new agreement will allow Uniting Church Disaster Recovery Chaplains to be more readily used in the wider community, not just in the disaster recovery centres. Chaplains can also support local clergy,” explained Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson. “We have come a long way since 2009 and we are really pleased to continue the service with the MPES.”

“This is a great partnership with MPES and we appreciate Stephen’s work as an acknowledged expert in the field.  What has started in NSW is gathering momentum nationally and we are very happy to be part of this. We don’t ask for disasters but when they come we are very pleased to have the expertise of Stephen and his team,” said Rev Andrew Williams.

Ms D’Adam CEO of MPES said, “It is a timely reminder for Church members to prepare for the coming bushfire season. We certainly appreciate the support of the Church and we are grateful for the important work it does in the community.”

With the recent anniversary of the catastrophic bushfires in the Blue Mountains just passed, it is timely reminder for members living in or near bushland to prepare for the bushfire season.

To see tips on how to prepare for bushfire season go to:

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