2009 Scholars



Vaughan Park Scholar in Residence

The Rev. Sarah Harris

Currently, Sarah is a Priest Assistant to the Bishop of Auckland and a fulltime doctoral student with Otago University.

While at Vaughan Park, she researched how Luke 19:10 functions in the Third Gospel, and asked why the author has chosen to attach this saying to the Zacchaeus pericope.

“Gospel narratives form the heart of who we are as Christians, and I believe that the Third Gospel is particularly relevant to the Western Church.   The Western church needs to learn to read this Gospel in particular with care and attention, as its message will help us transform unjust structures of society and show us how to respond to the needs of others with compassion.   We show remarkable similarities to Theophilus, the Gospel’s original recipient, and we need to heed the call of how we live and worship in light of our privileged position.”   


Distinguished Academic Visitors

Dr. Heidi Campbell is Assistant Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University where she teaches in Media Studies.

She has a PhD in Practical Theology and Computer-mediated Communication from the University of Edinburgh-Scotland. Since 1997 she has studied the rise of religion on the internet and what impact new media technologies are having on religious communities.

Heidi has written on a variety of topics including Christianity online, new media ethics and religious community’s response to mass media and she is author of Exploring Religious Community Online (Peter Lang, 2005) and co-editor of A Science and Religion Primer (Baker Academic, forthcoming 2009).

She is also completing training with the Episcopal Diocese of Texas Formation in Direction (F.I.N.D) School to become a spiritual director.

Her time at Vaughan Park will be spent working on a book project on how new media technologies raises important theological and ethical issues focusing how different categories of religious authority are being re-shaped and influenced by use of the Internet, especially within the Anglican tradition.  Specifically she will explore the emergence of the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life, a virtual church online has sought from its beginning to build a relationship with the offline Anglican Church.


Dr. Nicola Slee is Research Fellow and Team Leader for the MA in Applied Theological Studies at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, UK.

She is well-known as a feminist theologian and poet, and has authored and edited many articles and books since the early 1980s, including Faith and Feminism: An Introduction to Christian Feminist Theology (DLT, 2003), Women’s Faith Development: Patterns and Processes (Ashgate, 2004), Praying Like a Woman (SPCK, 2004) and The Book of Mary (SPCK, 2007).

While at Vaughan Park Nicola worked on two book projects: first, she continued working on a series of poems and prose reflections entitled In Search of the Risen Christa, focused around the figure of the female Christ (a recurring motif in recent feminist theologies); second, Nicola did background research and reading for a text on feminist theology that she has been commissioned to write for the SCM series of Core Texts, with an accompanying Reader.

Nicola used the time at Vaughan Park for her own spiritual refreshment and to stand back from her personal and professional life and seek a new perspective to nourish her for the next phase of life and ministry.  


Resident Scholar

Féy Cotter has a BMin from the Bible College of New Zealand, and is currently working on her thesis for a Masters of Theology through the Laidlaw-Carey Graduate School. Her area of interest is justice and non-retaliation in Matthew’s gospel. She is actively involved at All Saints Church, Nelson where her husband Murray is an assistant priest. Féy works full time as the Personal Assistant to the bishop and is a member of the Bishop’s Ministry Team in the Anglican Diocese of Nelson. From 1996-2002, she served as missionary with her husband and family in an isolated area of Albania and was involved in Church Planting and discipleship, development of an English Language School and refugee support while home-schooling her four children who are all now adults.



Dr. Nicola Slee (2009)
Preface from Seeking the Risen CHRISTA
New release, available from www.spckpublishing.co.uk

I was fortunate enough to be awarded a research scholarship at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, Long Bay, one of the lovely beach suburbs of Auckland.  I owe a very special debt to all the staff at Vaughan Park, and most particularly to John Fairbrother, the Director, and his wife Margaret, for their generous Kiwi hospitality.  Vaughan Park is not only a beautiful place to set down for a while, with the beach and parkland right on one's doorstep, but a place of wide and inclusive welcome, of liberality of mind and heart, renewal, healing and vitality, where I was encouraged to relish my freedom and inhabit the space in whatever way was good for me.  I was nourished and held by a rhythm of daily prayer and regular eucharistic worship from the New Zealand Prayer Book, as well as by excellent food and free-flowing New Zealand wines, and above all, by the loving friendship I received from the community.  I enjoyed many stimulating conversations about the project - and much more besides - with John and Margaret and others, and had a number of opportunities for trying out some of the poems in this book with the worshipping community.