Chaplains get to work right across Norfolk
2010: Industrial chaplains work across Norfolk and Waveney under the auspices of Good Work (Norfolk and Waveney Industrial Mission). Here is a snapshot of some of their work over the past 12 months.
Norfolk County Hall Chaplain: Rev Chris Copsey
The Chaplain at County Hall in Norwich is available to both officers and members of Norfolk County Council, of all religious faiths and none. My role includes being alongside people in the workplace; to share their anxieties, delight in their joys and to listen to personal or work related matters.
Pastoral encounters are a large part of the job and have included bereavement, stress, family issues, mental health issues and bullying. Sign posting to other professionals is part of the chaplaincy support. Several memorial services have been arranged for staff members.
The last 20 months have seen the Chaplaincy involved in planning and leading ceremonies within County Hall that include Remembrance, Carols at Christmas, Armed Forces Day and this year for the first time a multi-faith commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.
A Quiet area has been established in the building and a multi-faith peace area outside in the grounds. A Christian prayer group meets weekly, and I lead formal prayers at full Council meetings.
British Sugar Factory at Cantley: Rev Peter Glanville
It’s a non-stop industry, certainly too fast for an Industrial Chaplain to hover around the factory floor or avoid the 44-tonners as they pound onto the weighbridges with their freshly dug cargo. Fewer workers maybe - but not necessarily less need.
Staff in modern industrial processes still have working and domestic problems and crises. The Chaplain working in intensive industries such as these must be reactive and responsive – ready to help with the problems of living, at the instant such help is needed.
It’s a question of “being there” when all the modern chaplaincy skills of support, counselling, and just simple, non judgemental help, can make the difference between problems born, or problems solved. Not accessed through a complex request procedure, but readily and confidentially available.
Asda Great Yarmouth, NORSE (Borough of Great Yarmouth), Camplings Linen Services: Stephen Andrews
Working in retail, in factories and especially with local government employees I realise how overwhelming some of the workplaces can be. Nevertheless, my ministry is rewarding, my time is spent offering friendship, listening to problems and offering support whenever I can.
Difficulties range from financial debt, anxiety, depression to relationship problems and bereavement. I have always believed that everyone has a story to tell and many of those I meet in the course of my work want to tell their story.
I meet people with faith and often meet with people who have none but many like to ask me theological questions. Meeting with them in the various workplaces means that I am witnessing my faith when the opportunity allows, I am taking the church to the people. Listening, gentle words, action, speaking the good news whenever possible is a witness that can and does produce results.
Great Yarmouth Port Chaplain: Rev Peter Paine
In maritime terms, despite a recession and also the building of the Outer Harbour, work has been steady and increasing during the year. More seafarers are seeking help not so much in the financial department but in the loneliness and depression from being away from home for long periods. Seafarers are being taken by our transport into shops, the market place or even a ride into the countryside to get away from the every day routine of the vessel.
Without the help from the Mission to Seafarers we would be unable to carry out these vital duties for the seafarer.
What does not show up on the figures is that we have given away more Bibles this year than ever before with the help of the Gideons. This is very pleasing to my heart that the Word is going forth.
Click here to read more about the work of these chaplains.