Debbie Smith Appointed Children and Family Ministry Developer for the South of the Diocese

Debbie Smith Appointed Children and Family Ministry Developer for the South of the Diocese

In response to feedback on the diocesan Children and Family role, we picked up on a need to have a presence in both the northern and southern parts of the Diocese. With Colette Stevens already up and running as the Northern Children and Families Enabler, we are excited to announce that Debbie Smith has been appointed as the Diocesan Children and Family Ministry Developer – South Diocese!

Her role will involve developing, discipling, and growing C&F Clusters; supporting Children and Family leaders and volunteers; and ensuring that quality leadership training is provided for those in ministry with children and families.

Debbie is in this role the equivalent of two days per week, based in Wellington. She is also the National Messy Church Co-ordinator, which means that the days and times she works may vary. Debbie began in this role on Monday 27th June.

Please join us in making Debbie welcome!


A bit more about Debbie:

Debbie is an English ‘North Country’ lass, originating from Coronation Street country. She enjoys people and making new friends. Together with her husband Andrew she emigrated from the UK in 2007 to Christchurch. It was here she developed a significant Messy Church congregation, building on Mainly Music and connecting with children and families in the community. This led to her becoming National Co-ordinator for Messy Church across New Zealand, a role she has recently returned to.

She brings a rich experience of leadership in her working life and ministry, both before and since ordination; from specialist nursing, counselling for health authorities, supervisor, adult education in colleges and dioceses, parish ministry and chaplaincy in prison and hospitals. Throughout her professional career she has been involved with children and families and brings years of experience leading Mainly Music, Messy Church, all-age church, school assemblies (Bible in schools), after-school clubs and holiday programmes. She enjoys learning with and from children, encouraging their relationship with God through use of imagination, story, engaging senses, listening, prayer, silence and liturgy, alongside fun, colour and activities. Her heart is to encourage their potential as a disciple and emerging leader by honouring their story and contribution. She enjoys journeying with families, listening, encouraging and supporting. Over the years she has experienced the potential in inter-generational gatherings to create opportunities where people can encounter God.

She has a deep love for Jesus and is committed to intentional discipleship and mission. At heart she is a pioneer, harnessing the potential for growth and development. She particularly thrives in growing teams and seeing others flourish in the ministry God has called them to.

In her time out she enjoys walking on the beach, writing, time with friends over coffee, gardening in pots and homemaking. Together with Andrew she is in the process of relocating from Pahiatua to live in central Wellington, where Andrew is taking up the role of church manager at All Saints Hataitai. She can be contacted on 021 072 0958, and with Colette is looking forward to working alongside you and getting to know you.