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Russell Jenkins

The Arjay Trust was started by the late Russell Jenkins (RJ) back in the early 1960's. Having been very successful in business, Russ felt that it was both his duty and his privilege to use his wealth to show the love of God to people.  Russ valued people from all walks of life and it is said that he knew the name of every person working on the floor of the engineering factory in Panmure where he worked. He believed that as a Christian, his faith should be readily seen and experienced by those around him. He was held in high regard, both for his handling of money and his management style.  Russ, a very humble man, was so convinced that money was not to become the fixation of his heart, that he decided to teach his only son, Brian, the joy of philanthropy.  


In the early years, the Arjay Trust gave grants and loans to people in need that Russ heard about through work, church or friends.  If a person had a need or a church wanted financial assistance, Russ would quietly find a way for the Arjay Trust to provide the necessary funds. It gave him great joy to hear of the elation of a recipient who had anonymously received a wonderful gift of money unexpectedly, as if straight from heaven itself.  After the death of Russ, Brian gathered a group of Trustees who managed the Arjay Charitable Trust in keeping with the ethos of Russ.

It was during this period that Brian saw the need for a place of refreshment and restoration for pastors and leadership teams in Christian service.  There were few places available for spiritual retreat and growth and Brian wanted to build a welcoming place that provided a level of accommodation that blessed the participants.  It was out of this desire to honour the workers of God that the Arjay House and later the Whakata Country Retreat were established. For nearly 30 years the retreat houses blessed many people and Arjay became synonymous with a place of beauty, refreshment and closeness to God.

Over the years, the Arjay Trust has given away  several million dollars in grants and retreats to people who needed to see the love of God here on earth. 

  In a new post-covid world, the work of the Arjay Trust is still focussed on honouring the legacy of Russ. It is the hope of the current Trustees that through generosity and timely financial assistance, people will come to know that there is a God who knows their needs and loves them lavishly. 

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