Workplace Chaplaincy City Debate - 5th June <p><strong>City Debate – 5th June, 5.30pm at St Peter’s</strong></p> <p>We are very fortunate to have two speakers for our city debate who have agreed to come and share their thoughts on the theme:</p> <p>Work, Wealth &amp; the Common Good; challenging some long-held assumptions about executive behaviour, corporate responsibility and the role of faith in the marketplace.</p> <p>The debate will be chaired by the Archdeacon of Nottingham, Venerable Peter Hill. The two speakers are Revd Dr Kenneth Barnes (Visiting Fellow, Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regents Park College and Dean of the Marketplace Institute, Ridley Melbourne) &amp; Mr Roy McCloughry (Tutor in Ethics, St John’s College, Nottingham).<br/><br/>Both speakers are eminent in their field and engaging; we can promise you a thought provoking evening. This is an open event and all are welcome. There will be light refreshments. It would be great to have as many people as possible from the congregations to hear what they have to say. Please encourage your friends to come along as well.</p> <p> </p> Tue, 06 May 2014 10:02:52 +0200 Working Well... <p><strong>Just what does a workplace chaplain do? According to the Revd Rachel Shock it is a frequently asked question, which is sometimes difficult to answer. C Magazine talked to her about what is involved ...</strong></p> <p>The Workplace Chaplaincy is based within the Parish of All Saints, St Mary &amp; St Peter in Nottingham and has been offering support for over 25 years to businesses. “I work with a marvellous team of volunteer ecumenical lay chaplains who give up their time to visit Marks &amp; Spencer, Debenhams, BHS, John Lewis &amp; Victoria Centre support staff. This leaves me to concentrate on Freeth Cartwright, Capital One, the Courts and others. We also have a team of specialists who have agreed to help us if we need to refer people for specific help like bereavement counselling or parenting issues,” said Rachel.</p> <p>“Recently someone came to see me whose boss had been killed on his way home from work. He wasn’t a Christian and he didn’t know why he wanted to see me but needed to share the information with someone other than the other people in their office. He came to see me quite nervously and left some time later saying nothing had changed but that he felt calmer and he now had a sense that his boss was at peace. The conversation had helped him to clarify what had happened and at his invitation we talked about the Christian faith and how we understand what happens to people when they die.</p> <p>“I have a regular pattern of visiting businesses in the city centre. It’s impossible to get round the whole firm every time and with different working patterns, there are always some people I never see. However they know I’m there – in most places as I arrive an email is sent round to advise that I am in the building. This email includes my mobile phone number, which people can then use to text or ring asking me to call by their desk or meet away from their desk! They also have my email address and we have put a lot of effort into raising the profile of the chaplaincy within these firms. People may not need me on the day I visit but they know how to get hold of me straight away. It also allows them to control the method of communicating.”</p> <p>The team have re-established iChaplaincy (a chaplain online) for the firms which support the chaplaincy and actively promote their services. “People still find it useful to be able to contact a chaplain by email confidentially and anonymously – most think their questions are stupid – if you have no experience of church, there are all sorts of misgivings, misunderstandings and assumed practice,” said Rachel.</p> <p>“People have a sense of spirituality but don’t know how to express this or how to find out more. Relationship issues are of course common, sickness and bereavement feature highly, together with debt and stress usually induced because the firm they work for has had to make a number of people redundant and they now find themselves doing the work of two, and I am often asked how I would deal with a dispute which is going on in the workplace.”</p> <p>Solicitors, Browne Jacobson is one of the firms visited by Rachel and Business Development Manager, Jackie Carter has first-hand experience of the love and care available. “Rachel has been our chaplain for the last 18 months. I contacted her as my dad had been poorly virtually from the day he retired 15 years before, but by that stage he was really ill and I think the family all knew it would be our last Christmas with him.</p> <p>“I was finding it increasingly difficult to deal with how I was feeling and experiencing feelings of guilt at not being able to spend much time with dad. Rachel came to see me at the office and she just let me talk about all the things I couldn't tell the family about how scared I was and how hard I was finding it all. She kept in touch with me throughout Christmas and when, in March 2012 he lost his battle she was there to provide a warm and caring word. And we still have a chat if I'm in the office when she visits.</p> <p>“While all employers will have pension funds and some will have other benefits like private medical cover and life insurance, not many will actually have a workplace chaplain to provide emotional support when it is most needed. I'd encourage any employer who wants to provide practical support to consider a workplace chaplain - and, you don't have to be deeply religious to ask for that chaplain's help. Rachel never asked me about my faith, she simply provided a shoulder to cry on and some wise words when I really needed them, and I can't thank her, or Browne Jacobson, enough for that.”</p> <p>Nottingham City Transport has a history of chaplaincy within the company... “We have a long heritage dating back to the mid- 19th century and our association with the diocese goes back to at least the turn of the 20th century,” explained Mark J Fowles, Managing Director. “Since 1986 we have had an ‘official’ Chaplain with only a short break following the retirement of the Revd David Tudor. The recent appointment of the Revd Rachel Shock will continue and maintain that long relationship. I have often been asked by other business leaders what it is that having such a position brings to our company and the answer in truth, is that I don’t know exactly, but what I do know is that without it we are something less than we are with it.</p> <p>“Over the years many of our employees of all denominations have consulted with our chaplain to discuss a whole range of topics from tram contracts through football and discussions of Christian beliefs to counselling during times of stress or bereavement. I am confident that Rachel will bring her own inimitable style to the company. Welcome Rachel, you complete us."</p> <p>Capital One has supported and enjoyed working with the Workplace Chaplaincy service for many years. Community Relations Manager, Stuart Mather, said: This service is for employees of all faiths. If there is something on people’s minds— either work-related or in their personal life they can meet Rachel during one of her fortnightly visits to Trent House. She also makes herself available outside these visits by providing alternative ways of meeting and contacting her. Rachel has played an instrumental role in supporting our employees recently when, devastatingly, two of our employees passed away. Rachel was there to talk to anyone who required it and spoke beautifully at the memorial services.”</p> <p>Rachel says that funding is becoming a priority issue this year. “We receive a third of our funding from the parish, a third from the businesses and currently a third from the Diocese. This third will cease from December 2014 so we are trying to see how we will find the funding to continue this valuable work.</p> <p>In the meantime, I walk and talk getting to know people, a friendly face in the office always conscious to keep my eyes away from computer screens and other confidential material but with a real sense that this is where God wants me to be – joining with Him in the presence of the Spirit to bring light to the world of work.”</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:31:12 +0200 Hotels and Gadget Stores - what can churches learn about customer satisfaction? <p><strong>Revd Rachel Shock, Nottingham’s Workplace Chaplain, question how churches measure up against the retail and hospitality industry</strong></p> <p>On a recent visit to London I visited a luxury hotel, a church and a gadget shop. These three experiences reminded me of the importance of ‘welcome’ when we visit somewhere new and prompted me to question what our own parish could learn.</p> <p>On Saturday afternoon I arrived with much anticipation to one of the best known hotels in London. We had booked and as such they were expecting us. We were greeted by a smiling person who took our coats and showed us to our seats. We were handed menus and told that he would come back in a couple of minutes after we had time to digest what was written on the page. He made some suggestions about what we might look at; how the different menus worked and asked us if this was our first visit to the hotel and whether it was a special occasion. He suggested various teas that we might like to drink. We were left to chat and absorb the atmosphere and the other people in the room. After ordering, the tea and cake duly arrived in a timely fashion with the waiter making polite but unobtrusive conversation. He checked whether there was anything else he could bring us and left us to enjoy, coming back occasionally to refill and check we were alright. The ambience of the hotel far exceeded my expectation. There was a sense of history, charm and calmness that pervaded the place. Or was it simply a mixture of excellent customer service with beautiful surroundings?</p> <p>The second visit was to a church on the Sunday morning. Again this was a much anticipated visit, as I had heard many positive things about this place. I arrived at the church to find a closed solid door in front of me. I duly pushed open the door to find no-one at that end of the church despite the fact that a service was due to start in 15 minutes. A group of people stood talking at the other end; they did turn round to see who might be entering their domain but it was only when I walked towards them that someone reluctantly got up and came over. I would like to say that I was greeted with a smile. Unfortunately all I got was, “I’ll find you a book.” I was escorted back to the door and, as I was handed a service book, was told “I’ll give you the easy one.” What he meant was he would give me the book specially printed for tourists with virtually all of the service (BCP) removed. What in actual fact he gave me was a very nice printed booklet explaining the history of the church and with the bare minimum of the Book of Common Prayer Service. It was a shame he didn’t just give me both books. I obviously don't look like someone who could handle a difficult book!</p> <p>The same gentleman explained that everybody sat at the far end of the church and I found my place and sat down smiling politely at the few members of the congregation who were eyeing me up suspiciously (i.e. no smiles). I had wanted to visit this church for a while but more particularly recently, because it had been mentioned in a radio discussion where someone had said that the ambience of this church could not be replicated elsewhere. I was eager to experience this and decide for myself. I was actually expecting a sense of awe when I walked in and, although the architecture and history were interesting, so far the experience was disappointing.</p> <p>One of the reasons I like visiting churches when I am away is so that I can assess my performance against other ministers. Do they do anything differently that helps with worship and increases that elusive ambience? Does the way they conduct worship bring an added dimension to it? Could I improve? If I hadn’t been familiar with the BCP, I definitely would not have been able to hear or understand many of the prayers the minister said that morning, not helped by the lack of microphone. The loud “Amen” from one of the members of the congregation was really my only clue that the prayer had finished. Despite my growing disappointment, the minister did rise slightly in my estimation as he helped an elderly member of the congregation back to his seat and then continued administering communion.</p> <p>At the end of the service I got up and decided I would have a look around the church. I passed various people and said good morning to them but not one of them replied back. Eventually on reaching the far end of the church I became a tourist and took out my phone to take a photo, assuming that this would make someone come running if it was forbidden. Sure enough the gentleman clearing the books away came over and said abruptly “We're closing the church now.” I headed quickly out of the door where the minister was still chatting and I went to shake his hand. He said, ‘Good morning,’ but immediately followed by, “Lovely to see you again.” I stopped myself from saying “Again!? Have you seen me before?”</p> <p>This is definitely not a church I would ever want to go back to again – the supposedly unique ambience was distinctly lacking for me. What on earth would somebody who wasn't familiar with the service or familiar with the Church of England think of any of this? Unlike the staff at the hotel who were uniformly welcoming and courteous, the people at this church were uniformly unfriendly and had clearly not thought to consider how they might come across to visitors. Admittedly the exceptional service at the hotel was accompanied by a hefty price tag, but do we really have to be paying to receive attention and how much does it cost for one person to smile and say hello?</p> <p>My third visit was to a gadget store. I’m quite attached to my gadgets, as anyone who knows me will realise. So a visit to this particular store was also eagerly anticipated. Needing an adapter for my camera I went up the stairs to be greeted by six young men and women who were waiting to serve (not behind desks). With a smile on his face, a young man immediately asked me if he could help. Telling him what I wanted he took me over to the shelf and showed me the various options, explaining, without any patronising tone, which the best option might be. He then politely showed me how to use their new payment system and at no time did I feel that this young person thought I was anything other than an expert in these particular products. I obviously give off a sense of knowing what I am doing with my phone rather more convincingly than I do with the BCP.</p> <p>Back in Nottingham the other day I looked in our parish visitor book to see that someone had come in and experienced a welcome which was less than satisfactory. Possibly no-one is to blame because we are all quick to pick fault and there are many factors that affect a person’s visit. However, I know from conversations with one or two people in the congregation that we might not be doing the best we can with the many visitors we have coming into our churches. We are just about to reopen St Mary’s to the public and maybe now is the time to have a rethink about our welcoming strategy. Is it the best that we can do or could we improve it? Is this a priority for our parish? Just like in the hotel and the gadget store, it is up to everyone to play a part in being welcoming. Next time you turn around in church and see a strange face, be brave and go and welcome the person even if you do have to apologise because they have been coming to the church for 10 years!</p> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:50:41 +0200 Workplace Chaplaincy: supporting businesses and organisations in Nottingham City Centre <p>The church has a long history of supporting people where ever they are. Indeed, most people will be familiar with the concept of chaplaincy and may have come across it in education, hospitals or even the armed forces.</p> <p>Chaplaincy is not about religion or denomination but addresses the growing understanding within a predominantly secular society that all life has a moral and spiritual dimension, however that is expressed. The focus is about caring for the whole person.</p> <p>Here in Nottingham the church has been offering pastoral support in the workplace for very nearly 25 years. This is done through Workplace Chaplains who provide impartiality and an outside perspective for those members of staff, whether senior management or apprentice, in public or private sectors, that require to have that in the setting of their daily work.</p> <p>Chaplaincy in the workplace provides an opportunity for people to know someone is there for them when they need it, particularly when it is of a personal nature.</p> <p>Many enlightened employers recognise that the Nottingham Workplace Chaplaincy has a crucial role to play in offering confidential pastoral support to staff. They have chosen to allow the chaplaincy to provide informal and confidential support to staff within a structured visiting programme and to give advice at all levels if needed. They know the chaplain will make time and space for concerns to be heard.</p> <p>The Nottingham Workplace Chaplaincy, which is Ecumenical, is funded by employers, the Church of England diocese and the city centre parish of St Peter, St Mary and All Saints’. There is one paid chaplain and six trained volunteer chaplains. It is managed by The Workplace Chaplaincy Council whose members include people from the business community and the church.</p> <p><strong>What is Workplace Chaplaincy?</strong></p> <p>Most businesses recognise people as their most important asset. Good businesses invest significantly in the welfare of their employees, ensuring they are trained, resourced, motivated and managed to do their job. But work is only a part of any individual’s life. Workplace performance will always be influenced by what else is going on in each person’s life. Good managers recognise this.</p> <p><strong>Support Offered by the chaplains</strong><br/><br/>• visiting workplaces and informal chats<br/>• individual support by appointment<br/>• practical support and advice at times of change<br/>• advice on CV writing, interview techniques, etc.<br/>• helping humanise the workplace<br/>• work is a significant area of life - when we are at work it is hard to leave problems, stresses and big questions at home.</p> <p><strong>How Can We Help?</strong></p> <p>The Chaplaincy team is here to listen and can signpost to other help. We have the backup of a team of specialists in their field. For support on both personal and business issues to share in your joys and anxieties particularly for issues with:<br/><br/>• Bereavement<br/>• Debt<br/>• Redundancy<br/>• Looking for a job<br/>• Interviews<br/>• Workplace matter<br/>• Relationships<br/>• Health<br/>• Change<br/>• Stress<br/>• Loneliness<br/>• The meaning and purpose of life<br/>• Or feeling that you just can’t cope</p> <p>For More Information:</p> <p>Contact Revd Rachel Shock<br/>St Peter’s Church<br/>St Peter’s Centre<br/>Nottingham NG1 2NW<br/>Tel 0115 948 3658<br/></p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 16:00:05 +0200 Workplace Chaplaincy - Linking with others <p>Not that I want to be seen to be endorsing products, but a certain online site which encourages business people to join and link up with others, is proving to be an intriguing concept. When this site first appeared, I thought of it as nothing more than an elaborate business card holder and I wasn’t sure of its potential use. However, as far as promoting the name of the workplace chaplaincy, it has been very useful. As with most of these sites, if they are used wisely, they can be useful tools. I have had people contact me quickly and easily when quite honestly, contacts wouldn’t previously have been made.</p> <p>What the site shows you is just how many people we are connected to and who those people are connected to as well. As the saying goes, it really is a small world.</p> <p>I had someone contact me who never thought he would see a contact in his business world that was to do with religion. He didn’t see how the two could possibly be connected! He’s not the only one; even if you are a Christian, it is sometimes difficult to see how what we do in the church connects with what you are doing when at work. The church certainly struggles sometimes to engage with its parishioners working lives. It doesn’t know how to help people make connections between faith and work.</p> <p>I’ve spoken to people who don’t really believe that the work they do is significant to God. For them, it’s just a job to pay the bills – how can God be interested in the fact they drive a bus, fix the electrics or sort the mail? All I can tell them, is that God is interested – he’s as interested in those jobs as he is in any other job. God is intimately involved in our world and part of his love for us, is his interest in what we work at – whatever that is and however ordinary we might imagine those tasks to be.</p> <p>Where churches often forget to engage with work is in the simple action of praying for people. When did you last ask your minister to pray for something that was happening at work? As ministers we are often asked to pray for someone who is ill but not so much when one is facing redundancy, or a manager who has a difficult or ethical decision to make. We can underestimate the power of prayer and don’t do it enough, possibly because we are worried that we might not have the right words. God isn’t interested in right words; he is interested in the intention in our hearts.</p> <p>All work is significant - the Bible is full of affirmation of the work we do; “Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3.</p> <p>Work is significant to God because we are significant to God – he is interested in us and what we do; he uses it as an instrument to get things done. God’s wish is for the world to be made a better place, a place where his kingdom flourishes. Work is what he wants us to do and our work is a context for us to use our God-given skills and gifts.</p> <p>If we were to be a little more upfront about being Christian, we would be amazed how many people we can touch with the love of God simply by them knowing you are a Christian. Letting people know allows for potential conversations. We are to act as agents for transformation in the world. In the workplace we are called to be a model of Christ to others, a mouthpiece of Christ to others whether in tough times or easy times; we are called out to be part of the transforming mission of God.</p> <p>The workplace chaplaincy is working hard to make connections across the city, linking up with people offering an informal and confidential listening service; a structured visiting programme in many workplaces and providing pastoral care and support. We have also discovered that we are ‘doing’ church in some of the workplaces by offering memorial services on work premises. Going to where the people are rather than expecting them to come into a strange environment. All this means we are linking up with people and making connections.</p> <p>May I wish you all a Happy New Year and may your connections be fruitful!</p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 14:22:56 +0100 Workplace Chaplain <p><strong>Vacancy - Workplace Chaplain<br/><br/></strong>The parish of All Saints, St Mary &amp; St Peter wish to appoint a Workplace Chaplain - a half time stipendiary (incumbent status) post and employed by the PCC - to lead an ecumenical team of lay chaplains in care for people in their workplaces across the city centre and beyond.  For more information, and to apply, please <a title="Workplace Chaplain " href="">click here</a>.</p> <p> </p> Thu, 01 Sep 2011 10:34:00 +0200 Business meets the bishop <p>Nottingham Workplace Chaplaincy cohosted a post-work reception with Freeth Cartwright's at their offices on 22nd September. Business leaders were encouraged to come and meet the new diocesan bishop, Bishop Paul, informally over drinks and nibbles. They were then encouraged to put their thoughts and questions to the bishop about Nottingham and its commercial future.</p> Sun, 03 Oct 2010 07:49:17 +0200