What do we do now?
With the Covid-19 crisis there are plenty of restrictions on what chaplains can and cannot do. What do you do when a lot of people are “home-working”? How do you help those being furloughed or even made redundant? Things have eased up somewhat, but as I write, there is talk of new restrictions, a “circuit-break”.
Recently I took part in a quiet day on Zoom with a number of volunteers in chaplaincy. At one point what do we do now came up. A number of suggestions were made.
- Find some open space that can be used to meet, like a nearby garden. In a hospital context this may well work for relatives unable to spend much time with patients. Other contexts might be able to find some space too. A poster on a notice board about the “space” might help.
- Use modern technology might help with things like “Facetime” and various video calling apps. Where the work is within a factory or office, the managers could be given a phone number and asked to circulate it carefully to those needing time with a chaplain. There could be privacy issues here, but they might be ameliorated. There is always the CWC Listening Line too!
- Maybe this is a time to develop some of our own skills. CWC is looking at accessing appropriate webinars about mental health etc which could help this.
- There is always prayer, and not as a last resort! Chaplains work is not just about face to face contacts (although we all want more of them!). Holding people and situations in the peace of God in prayer may be one of our main callings at present. In a world where there is so much uncertainty and anxiety, finding quiet, calm, restful places, whether external or internal, would seem to be essential. Can chaplains find ways to help this happen? And, this work of prayer is no soft option when there is so much pain around. But it certainly needs to be done.
These are some things that arose out of one conversation. So, what do you think? What have you tried? Perhaps the other thing we can do at the moment is share ideas. This newsletter can be a forum for that or there may be other ways to be explored.
What do we do now?
What do you think?
Revd. Paul Hills, Vice Chair, CWC