5th March 2018
Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplains feel supported for the future (press release)
Workplace Chaplains of different faiths and denominations met in Ely to share experiences, network and hear what Cambridgeshire businesses are doing to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of employees.
Newly-formed charity Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplaincy held a launch event that brought together different faith bodies, employers and supporters along with a wide mix of chaplains who provide for people working in diverse industries such as business, shops, schools, colleges, prisons, waterways and hospices.
A letter of support was read out from Gordon Ridgeon of the Ridgeons Group, who explained how important workplace chaplaincy has been to their staff over the years. Gillian Beasley, CEO of Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council then spoke to Chaplains and supporters describing how important an independent voice in the form of a chaplain is to Council staff.
Gillian introduced a chaplaincy scheme in response to recognising stresses in the workplace and felt that ‘showing kindness, compassion and concern can make the difference between someone going under or thriving’. She explained how this works at the Council;
‘Workplace chaplaincy offers a vital frontline support and are safe spaces for staff because it is independent of the organisation, and from HR. The service allows early interventions, a way of ironing out the mind, giving calm and clarity to someone in a safe and independent environment. As a major employer in Cambridge and Peterborough, the Council’s staff deserve to be supported well and workplace chaplaincy offers this to them.’
The Rt. Rev. Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon also addressed delegates and was pleased to hear from chaplains and employers. Bishop David, reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer, said that;
‘There are three key ways churches can play a part and make a difference to workplace chaplains; firstly, by prayer for them and their work, secondly by encouraging people to support them personally and as trustees, and thirdly by standing up alongside them for the Christian principle of putting others’ needs before our own, so that every day is a sort of Christmas Day, one of giving and receiving rather than grabbing and getting.’
Cambridgeshire Workplace Chaplaincy are now developing their programme of activities following feedback from Chaplains, with the aim of supporting workplace chaplaincy services and those who deliver them whilst promoting the presence and value of chaplaincy in the workplace across the county. ENDS