New Zealand

Te Kotahitanga Neehi Hapori Whakapono o Aotearoa

"Faith by itself, not accompanied by action is dead"  James 2:17

Elaine Tyrrell QSM

Board Secretary

Elaine felt called to parish nursing and set up the first Anglican parish nurse ministry in New Zealand in 1998 as a pilot, at Nelson Cathedral, where her husband Charles served as the Dean.  In 2000, she travelled to Adelaide for her basic Faith Community Nurse (FCN) training and so began a long-term friendship with her friend and colleague, Dr Anne Van Loon who had developed the ministry in Australia.

In the following years, others joined the training in Nelson and the concept spread to many parts of the country, with the need for a means of support and teaching.  Elaine became the first chairman of NZFCNA in 2003 and a year later the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia recognised faith community nursing as a valid, important ministry within the church.  Visitors to Nelson Cathedral reading about the ministry on a noticeboard in the building, took the concept back to their home churches leading to its introduction in the UK.  There have been four parish nurses at Nelson Cathedral, the first two voluntary but now the nurse is paid.  Two other parish nurses in the Nelson Diocese are paid too.

In the Queen's birthday honours of 2016, Elaine was awarded the Queen's Service Medal for health, in recognition of her work in founding Faith Community Nursing in NZ.

She has worked in rehabilitation nursing and completed research focussing on the patients’ view of their hospital care.  Her research papers have been published and she has lectured in Australia as well as New Zealand.  Her interest in rehabilitation continues as she is currently facilitating a pilot hospital to home scheme, on behalf of the Stroke Foundation of New Zealand and Nelson Marlborough Health.

Elaine has returned to the Board of NZFCNA after a short period of retirement; to work towards making this nursing speciality better known within the country so that the Church can reclaim its role in meeting the needs of its people in a holistic, professional model of care.