Here at Inglewhite we believe that Pastoral care should go further than the old fashioned 'Cure of souls' which included support through births, deaths and marriages whilst also providing a place for people to come and meet with God in worship and to be built up through his word. This form of pastoral care aimed to bring healing, sustaining, reconciling and guiding.
I like the definition from A K Campbell, 'Pastoral Care is, in essence, surprisingly simple. It has one fundamental aim: to help people to know love, both as something to be received and as something to give'.
At Inglewhite we believe in the 'priesthood of all believers' and that everyone is involved in caring for each other, so alongside the traditional we encourage lots of other aspects of care to build relationships of trust and support.
Our Pastoral structure has developed from just relying on the Church Leadership watching over everyone. We find that leaders have specific areas of Church life that they are responsible for according to their gifting.
We find it's often others within the congregation with pastoral gifting that needs to be released, and therefore, we want to encourage people with different skills and ways of ministry to provide help for people in diverse circumstances and needs.
The umbrella model gives us a helpful picture.
With the Pastor taking overall responsibility many people function voluntarily in the Church to provide the care for all. The panels of our umbrella include:
1. A team dedicated to welcoming new people
2. People who run small groups and particular ministries who watch over the people who attend. Many of the connect groups will be focussed on particular aspects of Christian living and you may find real help from being part of a small group.
3. Area pastors who watch over geographical areas and are available to organise more formal visits and practical help for people as they are required
4. People who visit informally to build friendship, maybe taking Church flowers or going to chat and listen
5. For all who visit there is a 'pastoral toolbox' developing whereby we can refer people for more experienced help or, even professional help if needed, which works through conversation with the pastor. This may involve people getting help from the prayer ministry team or being encouraged to go for counselling or medical help. We fortunately live in a country where there is so much skilled help available to us and often the first step of recognising our need of help is the hardest! Loving, supportive relationships are often the key to people finding help. Having a prayer partner or being part of a prayer triplet has been a great blessing to many and we would encourage everyone to find this kind of support. We hope and pray that you will find that it is a safe place under the Inglewhite umbrella!
Common Principles to all care with the aim of demonstrating Christian love:
a) to have respect for the other person, to respect their space and dignity
b) to be confidential, not to pass on information about someone without their express permission (save in extraordinary circumstances when the person themselves or another is in danger, please refer to our safeguarding policy for a fuller understanding on this point) .
c) to show wisdom in dealing with people regarding where and when and with whom you meet and what to share in those times.
d) to know your own limits, to know when to refer on to others (with permission) who might be able to help better
Steve Hardman: Inglewhite and Goosnargh
Steve Kelsall: Catterall and Garstang
Denis Every: Longridge and Ribchester
Pastor John is currently looking after Broughton and Fulwood, as well as his general role in responding to needs and seeking to show care to all.
If you have a need for support or prayer, please contact your area pastor or the church office so we can make sure that help is provided.
If these people are unavailable then the leaders can also be contacted to help arrange the Church response.