The Overseas Travel Fund was renamed the Bill and Margaret Best Travel Fund in 1990 in memory of former Assembly Executive Secretary Rev. W.A. Best and his wife Margaret. The purpose of the Fund is to assist church workers to further develop their area of service to the Church. The Personnel Work Group administers the Fund.
Church workers must have been employed in an equivalent full-time role that is recognised by the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand for at least five of the previous 10 years. The term ‘church worker’ includes ministers, lay ministry and staff, and elders. Training and study courses should meet the minimum duration as set out in the table below:
|Location of course/conference||Minimum duration|
|Within New Zealand||Seven (7) days|
|Australia/Pacific region||Seven (7) days|
|North America/Asia||Fourteen (14) days|
|Europe||Twenty-one (21) days|
Applicants must complete their course and return to New Zealand within 12 months of the course beginning. Grants are for travel costs only. For assistance with course fees and/or materials, please contact presbytery/UDC council. Where the course is in North America, Asia or Europe, the applicant needs to demonstrate that the equivalent course is not available in New Zealand or the Pacific region.
Applications close 30 April and 31 October each year. Applicants are notified of the outcome of their application by early June and December. Applicants are encouraged to apply for their grant prior to travel. However, applications for travel undertaken in the past 12 months will be considered. All application must include a letter of approval from the presbytery/UDC. Applicants wanting to attend a conference as an official representative of the Presbyterian Church should provide the names of at least two referees.
Where an applicant has previously received a grant from the Fund, they must undergo a stand-down period before they are eligible to apply for a new grant. The stand-down period is as follows:
|Location of previous travel||Stand-down period|
|Australia or the Pacific||Three (3) years|
|Asia||Five (5) years|
|Europe or North America||Eight (8) years|
At the completion of the course, applicants are required to complete a study leave report.
For additional information, contact Margaret Fawcett at (04) 382-8181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.