PAST : The Chaplaincy Network has been running since late 1990. It began as a means of drawing together many people in the university who were engaged in Christian ministry of various sorts. The intention was to encourage mutual support and encouragement, to provide a forum in which different groups could discuss issues and help each other, and to establish a collective nucleus to which people wishing to become active in ministry in the university might address themselves to find out what was going on. All sorts of ministry were included, and students were strongly represented. The network was not seen as a function of the "official" chaplaincy, and indeed was set up to augment chaplaincy activities, which had recently been curtailed by the disappearance of the ACC chaplain. Later, regular meetings for fellowship were started.
PRESENT : At the moment, the Chaplaincy Network is a group of people who meet ( approximately ) weekly for an informal talk about some Christian topic. It's a friendly group, and we are not deadly serious all the time, though we can be if the occasion demands. We have no formal structure, and have so far managed very well without it.
For no good reason, the regular members of the group are predominantly chaplains and academics. This is not intentional; anyone interested is most welcome - see "PAST" above - and a bit more variety would do us no harm at all.
COMMENT : The change has been evolutionary rather than the other. We originally had formal meetings with chairman, secretary, and minutes, at which representatives of the different ministry groups ( only rarely including an official chaplain ) would say what they'd been doing, and points of interest discussed. Some people were significantly helped in various ways - but if you're busy you need quite a bit of incentive to spend a lunchtime every other week on an activity that might bring you a bit of return once a year. Perhaps not surprisingly, attendances dwindled, and meetings became less and less frequent. The fellowship meetings kept going, but with the dilution of the associated ministry emphasis lost some of their original special quality. After the first spurt of activity, the network has been practically invisible, and as the original set of students moved on there were no replacements. Perhaps in compensation, the more regular attendance of the chaplains added another dimension, and that was very welcome.
Through the years it has evolved through various forms, and will doubtless continue to do so.
Real World : As perhaps its most visible activity, the Chaplaincy Network started publishing Real World in 1992, and kept it going ( sometimes a bit tenuously ) until November 2005. It never really hit its original target ( the first issue was intended for tertiary students throughout Auckland, and also promised six issues per year; by the second issue, that had dropped to at most four per year, and I don't know that it ever had much circulation outside the university ), but successive chaplains said that they got significant reactions to the issues, so it must have done something.
Other ministry : This has been spasmodic.
It would be interesting to record all the Chaplaincy Network's activities here, but it would take time. As of now, all I've put here are the bits originally made electronically and not thrown away. All of these record topics discussed at our meetings. If anyone wants to transcribe my vastish collection of bits of paper, don't hesitate to get in touch !