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Christian World Service welcomes new Chair

Claire Hart was recently elected as the new chair of Christian World Service’s Board.

Auckland-based, she brings a fresh perspective to the work of an organisation that has served New Zealand churches for 72 years.

According to National Director Pauline McKay, Claire brings some valuable skills to the role as CWS seeks to broaden its support among younger Christians/churchgoers and the wider population.

“Claire has experience and qualification in development and human resources that will enhance the Board’s governance role. In addition, she brings an Auckland dimension to the national board,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.

She currently works for Tearfund where she works in the Advocacy and Education team and has a keen interest in Christian service. Claire has completed a Masters in International Development from Massey University, exploring the effectiveness of some churches’ work in developing countries.

At 21, with others she founded Streetworks, a community development organisation mobilising the local church to assist poor communities in Hamilton. She has worked for Samaritan’s Purse, organising volunteers for Operation Christmas Child and in human resources.

“As a big picture thinker, I jumped at the opportunity to join the CWS Board. I enjoy the challenge of working strategically, so picking up the role of chair will enable me to help the organisation strengthen its support base and expand its work,” says Claire Hart.

Claire succeeds Alison Maccoll who served as chair since 2014 and oversaw the implementation of a new governance structure.

The Board has responsibility for the governance of CWS, ensuring it meets its objectives to support good development and humanitarian response, educate New Zealanders about the causes of poverty and injustice, and encourage theological reflection and spiritualties that sustain people.

Board members are appointed for a three-year term which can be renewed once. Positions are reserved for partner churches and a representative of the CWS Supporters’ Council. The Board also appoints other members with identified skills.

The Supporters’ Council is made up of people who are committed to the vision, values and objectives of CWS and have given financial support in the last two years. It meets annually throughout the country. This year’s Council was held in Christchurch.

Denominational Members: Professor David Fielding for the Anglican Church, Graham French for the Quakers, and Sally Russell for the Presbyterian Church. Positions for the Christian Churches New Zealand and the Methodist Church are currently vacant.

Other Board Members: Associate Professor John Caldwell, David Culverhouse, Rev Dr Jenny Dawson for the Supporters’ Council, Jill Hawkey, Ian Lothian, Jenny Smith, and Pauline McKay (ex officio).

Note: Christian World Service works in 25 countries with local partners committed to making long-lasting change for the poorest people and strengthening communities to deal with disaster, violence and climate change. CWS is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 146 churches and faith-based organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development in over 100 countries.

31 October 2017