Pastoral care is firmly based on Jesus’ example of being available to those in need by coming alongside them, not as professional counsellors, but in prayer, offering a listening ear and acting as channels of God’s love remembering that we are all made in God’s image and equal in His eyes.
St James’ pastoral care for a long time has been led by the Vicar supported by a team of trained pastoral visitors. Visits are offered in answer to requests, for example: for Home Communion from anyone who, in the short or long term, is unable to attend church, this includes taking monthly Holy Communion services at several of the Care/Residential Homes within our parish. Visits are also made in response to any request for a visit from someone unwell in hospital or at home.
But pastoral care extends far wider than visiting the sick. It includes interacting with the lonely or anyone at a difficult crossroads in their life who, whatever their age or circumstance, is looking to the church for prayerful support. It is certainly true that this can actually apply to all or any one of us as we journey through life with all its ups and downs.
Another important aspect of pastoral care is being aware of those who make contact with the church through Baptisms, Weddings or Funerals, and various other community groups such Stay & Play, the Lunch Club or Social Group.
Often the work of the Ministry and Pastoral Teams goes on behind the scenes, quietly unobtrusively. For any who may wish to have a visit or a conversation with a pastoral visitor they can be assured that all will be done sensitively and according to Diocesan approved safeguarding and confidentiality guidelines.
You can leave a message requesting a visit, make an inquiry, or ask for prayers for a particular situation.
Messages will be responded to within 24 hours to arrange the most appropriate follow-up. Initial contact will be made by Revd Linda Galvin, Carol Kidd (pastoral team coordinator), Brenda Holden or Enid Plowman.
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.’