Pastoral care means different things to different people….at Hope we believe that will include helping to preserve the wellbeing of people, spiritually, emotionally, socially. It will include expressing God’s love and care through prayer and other practical action to those who are in need. It means giving support and encouragement through times of change, disappointments, concerns, upset, bereavement and sometimes the crises of life eg. Separation, divorce, redundancy etc
The church does not, and cannot be expected to provide it all. The emphasis is on the “pastoral” rather than care generally. We can sometimes be an important link in the chain in helping people to people being referred to agencies/experts so that they can obtain the best care. Wecan give support though listening, short-term provision of practical support, friendship and social groups critical visiting in times of crisis, direction, prayer and discipleship for the Christian life. We will do our best to refer people to other agencies as appropriate.
We feel that the best pastoral support is given through a “whole church” approach, rather than just relying upon a Minister or staff members to provide it all. The timing of intervention and support is often a crucial factor.
Prayer triplets can provide great places for people to listen, support and pray for each other and our church
Fellowship Groups are encouraged to take responsibility for their own members and those linked to them, by keeping in contact, praying for them, alerting the Pastoral Team if they are not around at church or have a pressing need. That Team meets fortnightly to keep on top of the needs of the fellowship.