Kidderminster Shopping Centre Chaplains
04 November 2008
Three people were commissioned recently as Town Centre Chaplains in Kidderminster. Sue Bullock, the Revd Pam Garrud and Stella Gray, will all give up their time voluntarily to visit the retail outlets in the town and provide a listening ear to all those who work and visit there.
The volunteers are part of the 'Faith at Work' in Worcestershire team of Associate Chaplains and their work will be co-ordinated by the Revd Rose Lawley, who combines her role as the workplace chaplain for Kidderminster and Wyre Forest area with being a Vicar at St Oswald's Church in Broadwaters. Of the new chaplains, Rose said: "There will be at least one chaplain visiting two of the shopping centres in the town each week. They will be there for everyone and will have time to stop and listen in confidence about any pressures or worries that people have. They can also offer support and help it people are going through a difficult time either personally or professionally."
The three volunteers all come from different Christian backgrounds, but are not there to impose their beliefs, or to offer a formal counselling service. They were commissioned by the congregation at a special service at St Mary and All Saints Church, which was attended by around 100 people, including the local MP, the Mayor, the Deputy Leader of Wyre Forest District Council and the Town Centre Manager.
Stella Gray is a member of Baxter United Reformed Church. She said: "I have previously worked in retail and know the pressures involved in shop work. I feel the most important part of town centre chaplaincy is that we are providing a listening and caring presence to the workers of Kidderminster."
Sue Bullock is a member of the congregation at St Mary and All Saints Church. She said: "My work has given me very strong convictions of how important the people around us are. I worked and lived amongst factory and mill closures and saw the impact on family and community. I believe it's important to work both in and outside the church building and be of service to all people within our community."
Pam Garrud is the minister at Foley Park Methodist Church. She said: "I believe that the church is often seen by outsiders as something that stands apart from what they see as real life. My motivation for being a chaplain is to meet people on their own terms and to be of some small service by offering a listening ear."
The chaplaincy service is available to all ages and people of all faiths and none. If you would like to make contact with the chaplaincy team, or may be interested in becoming an Associate Chaplain, please call Rose on 01562 748274 or visit the website: http://www.faithatwork.org.uk/.
The Diocese of Worcester is one of 44 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.
From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester
Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516 Fax: 01905 612302