Pastoral Care Helpline

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Apr, 2020 12:55 PM

The Diocese has, in the last few days, set up a Diocesan Pastoral Care Helpline for use by crematoria and as a back up for chaplains at our local hospitals. It is aimed at supporting families during the current crisis.

Pastoral Care Helpline

Original photo courtesy Pexels

A large number of retired clergy, experienced LLMs and other clergy self-isolating, have volunteered to offer bereavement and pastoral support.

Louise Appleby at Church House is managing the dedicated Helpline with support from Lucinda Herklots, our former Diocesan Secretary, who has offered her services at this time, along with Bishop Karen and Bishop Andrew.

The number of the Helpline will not be publicised widely so it can be a dedicated one used by the crematoria and as a back up for chaplaincy teams at hospitals in the Diocese.

We particularly think this will be important if the number of deaths increases significantly in the coming weeks and families are no longer able to say their ‘goodbyes’ to loved ones. The local hospitals and their chaplaincy teams have also worked with us on this.

Speaking about the helpline Bishop Karen said:

"We hope you will join us in praying for this important ministry, giving thanks for those who are using their gifts and skills in this way, and holding before God those who have died and the bereaved as well as our hospitals and chaplaincy teams.

"Any person ringing the Helpline will be supported, those who already have a church connection will be put in touch with their local parish priest and there will also be contact details for those of other faiths or who live outside the diocese.

"The Helpline will go live appropriately on Maundy Thursday as a sign of our service to the wider community at this time."

It will operate 7 days a week between 9am and 5pm.

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