2018 Retreat Leaders

1 January 2018


Maree Aldridge

I am a Doctor of Ministry student studying through the Adelaide College of Divinity, Australia and have worked as a community artist since 2004.

Through the mediums of visual arts, story, poetry, sound, and environments of co-creative and co-learning, my public installations and exhibitions invite conversation, reflection, healing acceptance, liberation and consciousness-raising about what I call, the subtext of social injustice: disconnection, marginalisation and objectification. They present the yearning for wholeness, inclusion of difference/ strangeness and empathy in meeting the difficulties of the human experience.

An Artist in Residence from 2011 to 2015 at Anglican Action, a mission and social service agency in Hamilton, Aotearoa New Zealand, I was inspired to write Letters to a Missing Woman out of a sense of justice and empathy for the plight of women who found themselves in broken places.

An art installation emerged from that story and resided at Anglican Action in 2015 and at the College of St John the Evangelist in Auckland for six months in 2016. I have facilitated many Letters to a Missing Woman workshops for various groups of participants.

I am writing The Return, a sequel, for my doctoral thesis, extending and deepening the story and bringing it full circle. I am reminded of the poet, T.S Eliot’s words in Little Gidding

We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

I am a mother of two adult children and live in Cambridge, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Retreat: Letters to a Missing Woman
Date: 6pm Friday 29th June—4pm Sunday 1st July

Linda Gow

I am a Clinical Psychologist with thirty years experience of working as a clinician and manager in the public and private sectors in Aotearoa New Zealand and England: in the health system, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), education, social welfare andjustice. I understand the stressors inherent in organisations as well as the importance of personal emotional resilience.

My work has equipped me to provide expert facilitation, consultation, coaching, supervision, assessment and therapy to individuals, couples, families, groups and organisations including the church. I have been a clergy spouse for 27 years and with my own personal faith and understanding of the Anglican church, I am uniquely placed to offer a holistic approach to clergy and lay care.

In my clinical work, I also have a particular interest in the integration of mainstream psychological therapies with Christian beliefs and practices.

Retreat: Introduction to Mindfulness and Christianity
Date: Friday 25th May
Time: 9.30am—4.00pm

Jenny Johnson

My early background was in nursing (RN and Midwife) and in later years, I completed a Diploma in Counselling.

My interest is in the potential of poetry to foster psychological and spiritual growth and this led to training in Poetry Therapy through The National Federation of Bibilo/Therapy (U.S.).

I also trained as a SoulCollage® Facilitator and I love offering creative and contemplative retreat days for self-discovery and spiritual enrichment.

I enjoy reading, contemplative poetry, creating collages and playing with fabric in my spare time.

Retreat: The Inner Cloister Garden
Date: Saturday 10th March
Time: 9.30am—4.00pm

The Rev. Josh Jones

Born and raised in Birmingham, UK, I was a professional musician, writing and playing music in a rock band for twenty years and was a ‘one hit wonder’ in the BBC pop music charts.

Eighteen years ago, God intervened and took me on a surprising journey of discovery in Christ. He led me to an Alpha course at St. Martin in the Bullring Anglican Church, Birmingham.

Ten years of exhilarating, deeply enriching ministry followed there, including my appointment as Director of Creative Worship. In 2009, I was called by God to explore a new adventure in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Ordained in 2011 at Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, Auckland and now Co-Vicar of St. George’s Anglican Church in Epsom, Auckland, I am passionate about re-imagining and finding fresh dimensions of faith and worship, exploring how God moves in mysterious ways through the music of the Beatles, Dylan, Cohen, Taizé, Wesley, Hillsong and many other musicians.

Retreat: The Spirituality of Music
Date: Saturday 13th October
Time: 6.30pm

Vincent Maire

I have more than ten years’ experience teaching meditation in the Christian tradition. Until recently I was the National Co-ordinator of the New Zealand Community for Christian Meditation and I continue to serve as a trustee of the organisation.

I work as a hospice spiritual carer and live on the Hibiscus Coast of Auckland.

Retreat: Introduction to Meditation in the Christian Tradition
Date: Saturday 1st September
Time: 9.30am—4.00pm

The Rev. Joy MacCormick

I am a mother and grandmother, poet and an Anglican priest in Aotearoa, New Zealand. I have worked in parishes, hospital chaplaincy and was Priest Assistant at Vaughan Park for five years. I have led retreats and quiet days there and in other places.

I have a special concern for those who struggle to reconcile their experience of Holy Mystery with traditional church doctrine and teaching.

I am now retired and living in Wellington. It is a gift to have more time to devote to spiritual direction, supervision, leading retreats and to write. My book, Moments of Grace was published in 2013 (BRF) and I continue to contribute to the Bible Reading Fellowship’s Quiet Spaces Reading Notes.

Retreat: Re-Visiting the Garden of Eden
Date: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th February
Time: 9.30am—4.00pm

The Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith

I am a writer, poet, theologian and retreat giver. I was appointed Priest-Spirituality at Vaughan Park in 2016 and for the past five years have been Curator and Editor of the Moments page on the Vaughan Park website, which publishes new and contemporary writing, poetry and devotional resources to an international readership.

I have worked in hospital, hospice, parish and prison ministry and a particular interest is in supporting people who are bereaved and those living with any kind of loss. The retreats and workshops that I offer are safe, compassionate and gentle spaces for the tending of grief and loss and the nurturing and strengthening of body, mind and spirit. My book, Grief’s Shadowed Path: Poems of Loss and Healing has been published recently .

An Associate Member of The Iona Community, I have lived on Iona in the Western Isles of Scotland and my faith and life is grounded in Celtic spirituality. I also give Retreats on the Celtic way and offer spiritual accompaniment and companionship as an Anam Cara, which is Gaelic for a soul friend.

My online presence can be found at www.spiritofbradan.com.

Retreat:  Discerning the Celtic Seasons of the Heart
Date: 6pm Friday 13th —4pm Sunday 15th April

Retreat: Gently Tending Grief
Date: 5.45pm – 8.30pm Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September 9.30am – 4.00pm

Julie Saraswati

I live in Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand. I worked as a teacher in Kent, England and then emigrated to Australia where I continued my teaching vocation for 17 years. I married Poorneeta, an Australian and we came to live in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2008.

I have worked as a Children’s Librarian in Nelson and am now enjoying the beauty, creativity and rhythms of the natural world as a gardener.

I love to sing and play the harp in my local church of St. John’s, Hira and also in the community. I have a particular love for Celtic music and offer my gifts of music and song at Retreats in partnership with the Rev. Dr. Hilary Oxford Smith and at other events.

Retreat: Discerning the Celtic Seasons of the Heart
Date: 6pm Friday 13th —4pm Sunday 15th April

Retreat: Gently Tending Grief
Date: 5.45pm – 8.30pm Friday 7th and Saturday 8th September 9.30am – 4.00pm


Kris Telfer and Fran Francis

I am Kris Telfer and have a nursing vocation. I have been a nurse since we had to wear funny hats and white shoes. I work at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. I am involved in The Walk to Emmaus spiritual renewal ministry in New Zealand and also Faith Community nurses.

When I’m not doing these things, I’m taking photos, going for walks and thinking things up with Fran.

And I’m Fran Francis. I’m a spiritual director and when I’m not thinking things up with Kris, I’m training spiritual directors for Spiritual Growth Ministries’ Spiritual Directors Formation Programme.

I co-pastored Shore Vineyard Church with my husband but spiritual direction and retreats are my thing so that’s what I’m doing. I have a Masters degree in Ministry and am also involved in leader care for the Vineyard internationally.

When I’m not doing these things, I’m enjoying my vintage caravan.

Retreat: Through Julian’s Windows: Living a Balanced Life
Date: Saturday 5th May
Time: 9.30am—4.00pm

Retreat: Living Room: A walk through the house of my life
Date: 6pm Friday 6th—4pm Sunday 8th July