Pastoral Assistants share with their clergy in the pastoral ministry of the church. They are the caring hands of the church offering a prayerful presence among the congregation and wider community. Many clergy find enabling and supporting colleagues a rewarding joy, as well as appreciating the greater available hours for pastoral care.
Pastoral Assistants are trusted listeners who do not judge. They affirm people by listening well and they hold what they hear with God in their prayers. They are reminders that God walks alongside us in all aspects of life, and of His strength which holds us. It is a blessing to be included in the high and lows of others’ lives, to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. It is a rewarding role: Pastoral Assistants typically return home from visits feeling uplifted having participated in God’s work of love and compassion, representing the fellowship of God’s people.
The Pastoral Assistant training develops knowledge, skills and confidence. The content includes good practice for visiting, listening, recognising different needs as well as light theological understanding and reflection. It is suitable either as a refresher or for those new to this ministry. On completion of the course Pastoral Assistants are ready to be involved in a broad ministry or to specialise in a particular area. Their learning then deepens through experience, and support from the church ministry/pastoral team.
The next opportunity to train for the role is the course starting this September. All are welcome, whether forming a new pastoral care team or in order to refresh practical skills and biblical understanding. For more information please contact Natasha Kent 01452 835544.