The Governance Board invites applications for the 2024 Vaughan Park Residential Scholarship.

Theological research and reflection are the foundations for a modern-day understanding of ancient lessons and literature. The Vaughan Park Resident Scholarship aims to provide a conducive and supportive environment for such exploration. 

The criteria for application is a project which reflects a clear and concise Theological connection, where the medium of delivery can be either written or visual. The Scholarship offers the successful applicant a supportive and encouraging space and place for reflection, study, and work. 

Applicants can be lay or ordained, hold a recognised level of tertiary education, be committed to an approved subject of study, and able to be residents at Vaughan Park for the period of the Scholarship. The applicant may originate from any country, however, will be accountable for all travel arrangements, costs, and liability. 

A comfortable, en-suite studio and all meals are provided. 

The Scholarship will be valid only in the year for which it is granted. Applications may be made for either a one or two-month long residency. The Scholarship period is available throughout the year, with the exception of January, February, December, and March/April (depending on the period over which Easter is Celebrated). In your application, please indicate your three preferences for the months when you would be able to undertake your study. 

How to apply

Applications should be made in writing to the Scholarship Grants Committee of the Vaughan Park Governance Board and include:

  • a short biography
  • an abstract and overall context of the study
  • references from at least two and no more than three referees
  • your three preferences for the study period

Applications close Friday 29th September 2023.

To apply, please email the Chaplain, the Rev. Sapati Tima @



Some kind words from former Scholars…

Cherry Hamilton, UK

My month at Vaughan Park was one of the best experiences I've ever had.  The director, John, picked me up from the airport, and from the very start he and his wonderful, friendly team of staff made me feel like a VIP.  The facilities at the centre are second to none - much more like a hotel than a retreat centre - with the scholar's studio being especially well equipped, and with a view of the sea!  The library where I worked is such a peaceful place, built into the side of a hill, with grass for a roof; like a state of the art hobbit cave.  The spectacular views and diverse selection of books helped me to feel inspired, and Joy the assistant priest was always on hand to provide wise guidance, a shoulder to cry on and a good chat with a cup of tea.

The food at Vaughan Park was second to none.  As well as the healthy meals mentioned on the website, there are also plenty of indulgent treats and no need ever to go hungry!  I met several other guests from all around the world over the course of my stay, all with interesting stories to tell.  And the setting of the centre - right next to a stunning unspoilt beach and nature reserve made the whole experience feel like a taste of paradise.

Although I came to Vaughan Park to study and write, the atmosphere was very much one of no pressure.  This gave me the freedom to really think about where my writing was going, and to make necessary changes.  In fact, this was even encouraged! 

I simply couldn't recommend Vaughan Park enough, whether to a scholar, or anyone else looking for a place of rest and inspiration.  Vaughan Park is not just about a stunning venue, but the kind and fascinating people.  It will always be a part of me and I hope to maintain close links and perhaps to return one day.

Professor Nicola Slee, 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.


Pat Marsh, UK

...One of the things that I think I am learning is that it's better to travel simply with openness to God, rather than with expectations, which always come from limited viewpoints anyway.

I had this image in my head that I would wander along the beautiful beach, return to deep peace and stillness and simply let the words pour out of me.  And, for a variety of reasons, it hasn't happened quite like that.  There has been a far richer variety of people to meet and have conversations with than I could possibly have imagined, and those conversations have enriched and influenced my time here in very positive ways that will, without a doubt, impact my future ministry.  The stillness that I had anticipated has been punctuated by 'Godly encounters' that have seemed to be more important.

 Vaughan Park has far surpassed my expectations.  It' superb facilities, amazing location, wonderful hospitality, caring and friendly staff, and deeply important underpinning prayer are a combination that every retreat leader dreams of. 

The use of 'space' and the sensitive development of this site are true models for how a retreat house can 'be'; offering superb hospitality to secular guests whilst retaining intimacy, privacy and a rhythm of prayer for its more conventional retreat guests.  The two co-exist happily together at Vaughan Park.  These aspects are further enhanced by the high quality of the facilities at Vaughan Park and the attention to detail in the non-intrusive hospitality of the staff.  I will certainly be recommending Vaughan Park to others.

Through the unconditional gift of its scholarship programme, Vaughan Park and its team have really modelled Christ to me.  Retreats should come with a health warning though: beware, retreats can change your life!

Our Scholars for 2021 introduce themselves...