The relationship between the Church and news media is often fraught with tension and misunderstanding. It's a relationship that Rev Frank Ritchie from Commoners Wesleyan Community is seeking to reshape through his work as a chaplain with Media Chaplaincy NZ.
Frank is no stranger to the work of news media, having worked in radio broadcasting in New Zealand for many years. His insight into the demands of the industry and his skill in communicating have allowed Frank to fuse his passions for both media and ministry in a unique way, allowing him to come alongside media professionals to offer care and counsel.
One of Frank's most recent projects Friday Prayers is a series of interviews with Journalists reflecting on their experiences covering the March 15 terrorist attacks on Christchurch's Muslim community. The interviews are both raw and revealing and are a testament to both the essential and difficult work of news media and to Frank's commitment to connect and care for those who deliver it.
In a recent profile in Stuff Rev Frank described some of the motivation behind his work saying,
"I don't like church becoming an insular affair. I like the idea of faith being something that interacts. If what I believe is the truth, then there's an element where it's true for everybody. My challenge is to communicate it."