We all experience times in our life when something difficult or unexpected comes our way. It may be personal illness, bereavement, times when family life is hard, a difficult relationship, depression or anxiety. Or it may be a happy life event, such as the birth of a new baby, which though full of joy is also exhausting! At Holy Trinity Claygate we remember Jesus’ command that we love one another. And we take that particularly seriously when a person may need a little additional support in a situation.
As each person and each circumstance is unique, the type and level of pastoral support is always individually tailored to ensure it is appropriate and relevant.
Our Director of Pastoral Care, Mike Harle, our Seniors and Pastoral Care Co-ordinator, Pippa Cramer and our team of Pastoral Assistants are always available to listen, converse and to pray.
Holy Trinity has a team of Pastoral Assistants who have completed the Guildford Diocese foundation training course, and are authorised. Their activities are coordinated by Pippa Cramer, Pastoral Care and Seniors Coordinator.
Holy Trinity is keen to develop the pastoral gifts of its members, and regularly encourages others to go forward for training.
Our pastoral team regularly visits people at home in the parish and in a care home, hospital or in hospice. Visits might be prompted by issues of illness, bereavement, rehabilitation and isolation – or simply by the desire to keep in touch with one another.
Clergy and our pastoral assistants are trained to be careful listeners, and all are willing to pray with others, as it arises.
Holy Communion can be shared by clergy on one of our pastoral visits, especially for those who become unable to attend Sunday services.
A simple order of service, helpful readings and intercessory prayer are used. Anointing with oil for healing may be offered.
At moments of particular need, if the circumstances are right, as a church we may provide a ministry of hot meals delivered to individuals’ homes.
A small and dedicated team support others in this way, during times when the time or resources to make wholesome meals become challenging for someone –perhaps at times of recuperation, settling in to a new home environment, or short-term infirmity.
Prayer on behalf of others is a regular feature of life at Holy Trinity, and we put our faith in the healing power and will of God. Those known to be in particular need are prayed for at Sunday services, Tuesday morning prayer, Wednesday staff meetings, pastoral team meetings - and privately across the church.
At Holy Trinity, we know that pastoral needs are not limited to the elderly, but are felt by young people as well as the elderly, women and men alike, those with children as well as those who live alone.
This might involve helping people think through the professional support they need, and pointing to ways that this might be found. Or it might be limited to being a ‘listening ear’.
In all things, we will look to Jesus Christ as Lord and seek his example, wisdom and comfort as difficulties are encountered.