Pastoral Ministry Update – June 2016
I am the Good Shepherd. I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full. (John 10.10-11)
As a church we are committed to caring for one another and providing help and support for those in particular need, whether practical or more emotional.
Much of this kind of support is facilitated through our network of home groups, with members learning, growing and sharing together. If you don’t belong to a home group and would like to find out more, please talk to Rev Catherine Butt or Gill Giles.
Rev Catherine Butt chairs our Pastoral Oversight Group which facilitates and oversees Pastoral Care provided at St Mary’s. This group is Diane Young, Rosemary Slasor, Dr Sam Muthuveloe, Paul Winter and Rebekah Taylor. Each has significant pastoral gifts, some are trained in pastoral ministry or counseling, and all are committed to improving our provision of pastoral care. Please feel free to approach any of them with any questions about this aspect of our church’s ministry.
What is available?
We can provide someone to listen, pray and accompany you through a difficult time. We can facilitate someone to come and visit you or someone you are concerned about. We can refer you to more professional help if necessary. We can facilitate prayer support over an extended period of time.
How do I access pastoral care?
You can approach any of our Pastoral Oversight Group to arrange an initial conversation to see what kind of support would be most appropriate. Contact details are available through the church office:
Rev Catherine Butt
What if I’m not in a home group?
First of all, why not consider joining one? This is an excellent way to get to know a few people better, and is a key way of ‘belonging’ to St Mary’s. Home groups (or ‘small groups’ as some people call them) are a means by which you can receive practical and spiritual support in an ongoing manner. It is in home groups that people often are able to explore questions of faith, study the Bible more deeply, and exercise spiritual gifts in a safe environment. However, there are those for whom belonging to a home group isn’t possible, and there are situations which demand a level of support which goes beyond the capacity of a home group. There may also be instances where it is not appropriate or comfortable to share such details in that context. Pastoral care and support is available to anyone connected with St Mary’s, regardless of whether they belong to a home group, should they wish to access it.
Will you help someone who doesn’t come to church?
We are committed to responding to anyone who approaches us for help, regardless of their background or circumstances. You can also phone our Church Office on 01908 366531 to find out more about what is on offer at St Mary’s by way of groups and church services, through which more specific pastoral care can be accessed.
How can I help?
If you would like to find out more about joining our Pastoral Visiting Team please contact Rev Catherine Butt. We will be running some training in the autumn of 2016: attendance of this training will be a requirement for those involved in this ministry.
As we care for one another on a week-by-week basis, let’s keep our eyes and ears open for opportunities to offer care, compassion, and encouragement to those who are struggling, and let’s pray that we would each know the Good Shepherd watching over us and providing for our every need.
Rev Catherine Butt