Chaplaincy - A Reflection from Afar
In 2018 I moved from Walsall and now live in the beautiful rural countryside of Derbyshire. Having seven years plus experience of retail chaplaincy and privileged to be working with the BCUIM, I’m sharing a reflection of chaplaincy viewed from afar.
I’m hoping to do some Chaplaincy in Derbyshire and I was thinking about whether there are any differences of doing such a ministry in an urban or rural setting?
One view point is there are a lot more concrete and bricks in urban settings than rural. Urban communities come across as having more diverse social issues than rural. I’m sure both have their social Challenges. But now I live in a more rural area I have had more time to reflect on the importance of Chaplaincy being part of the mission of the church.
When a Chaplaincy is established in that community in building those relationships, it is a natural by product that you will become more attuned to what people are encountering in your context.
But the key part to Chaplaincy in which makes this all possible is being a presence in the context you are in and listening and praying for those you encounter. I have heard many chaplains state they wonder what effect the ministry is having on a certain context. But I would like to share that God works through your ministry just by your listening and praying in private, and He is doing so much more than we could ever realise or imagine for ourselves and who we encounter. As Arthur Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes say, "Every contact leaves a trace."
To conclude: stating these view points from afar only makes sense when we reflect it takes a certain kind of person to be brave enough to step into the known and unknown parts of our context and allow God to bring newness to whatever we encounter despite the challenges that may spring up.