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Welcome to our February 2021 newsletter.

A reminder to Chaplains and volunteer counsellors that we have a support call tomorrow evening (Tues 2nd 7pm) so if you would like to attend please email us for the link.

Our Prayer Diary can be found on our website here.


In this months newsletter:
<span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@jamie452?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Jamie Street</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/love?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

Love @ Work


It could be a slogan for Work Chaplaincy. But it isn’t! It’s the title of a book about the 100 years of the Industrial Christian Fellowship (Love@Work - Ian Randall, Phil Jump, John Weaver – DLT - 2020). 

Its forerunners, the Navvy Mission Society (1877) and the Christian Social Union (1889) joined together in 1920 to become the ICF. 

The book details a fascinating history of social thought and action by Christians. Included in its history is the work of G.A. Studdert Kennedy, perhaps better known as “Woodbine Willy” the First World War chaplain and poet. Much of what it has been about could be termed a form of workplace chaplaincy.  The history talks of sacrificial practical action by individuals and groups. It also tells of challenges to institutional religion to take seriously the social needs of workers and to industry to take seriously the spiritual, social and emotional needs of workers. 

Quotes from Studdert Kennedy make clear some of the values and mission of the Fellowship. Faith “does not relieve us from the duty of thought…It does not put an end to research and enquiry, it gives a basis from which real research is made possible and fruitful of results; a basis without which thinking means wandering round in circles, and getting nowhere in the end, and research means battering at a brass door that bruises our knuckles, and does not yields by a millionth part of an inch.” (p.55)

On the place of organised religion, in this case the Christian church, “If the Church is to be the Church, and not a mere farce - and a peculiarly pernicious farce, a game of sentimental make-believe - she must be filled to overflowing with the fire of the ancient prophets for social righteousness, with the wrath and love of Christ.” (p.57)

In these words we hear, an awareness of the need for a holistic approach to work life which includes social, emotional and spiritual needs, a challenge to religion to take seriously the life lived at work, based on experience not sentiment, a driving passion for justice and the good of all.

These don’t seem a bad summary of how workplace chaplaincy might perform!

Given our present context of pandemic, we have been appraising how we might continue to be in contact with people in the workplace now that so many work from home and covid makes personal contact so difficult. Perhaps we should also be reflecting on some of the issues raised in the historic ICF approach.

Are we “speaking truth to power” over the injustices and inequalities the pandemic has underscored? 

Is there a “prophetic” element to chaplaincy directed both to the religious and the secular?

Are we sufficiently energised by a vision of meeting the whole needs of people, emotional and spiritual as well as material? 

The mental burden of lockdown cannot be underestimated, nor the hollowing out of spiritual sensitivity that it is bringing. 
We have seen the best of people in the dedication of the NHS and of the myriad of volunteers giving time and energy to help their communities.  But we have also seen the worst in the carelessness and selfishness of some, the outright and ignorant denial of the problem by others and the slovenliness (at least) of some government decisions.  What does workplace chaplaincy have to say and do in the light of all this? 

As the pandemic begins, please God, to fade these are questions and issues we need to face if the work of chaplaincy is to be relevant post-covid. 

What are your thoughts and views on this?  Please let us know what they are. There is a future as well as a present in which the whole range of human need must be addressed, physical, mental, social and spiritual.  Love@Work requires our passionate engagement. 

Tells us about yours and let us share what we know and have for a better future in the workplace. 

 Paul Hills, Vice-Chairman. CWC
Workplace Wellbeing Hub - launching soon!

CWC will very soon be launching a new Wellbeing resource for all. For you. For your loved ones. For your employees. For everyone.

The pandemic has meant everywhere is a workplace, blurred lines, different set ups and stressful situations... we all recognise it's hard to manage whatever your personal situation, family set up or occupation.

This easily accessible site will encourage you to spend a few minutes dipping into different activities or resources to nourish your mind, body and soul.

Our mental health needs looking after - and topping up our wellbeing with helpful strategies can help you at all times. Trying to cut down unhelpful strategies can also help how we're feeling (like not getting enough sleep...and I am very guilty of this one...and I can see how it affects me!)

We're very grateful to Peterborough City Council for some funding towards our Covid-19 response; which also supports our Listening Service (see below).

More information on the Workplace Wellbeing Hub coming soon. We hope all our Chaplains and supporters will find it useful and help us spread the word as we roll this out across Cambs to help as many people as we can.

Jane Thompson, Development Assistant, CWC
CWC Listening service
Our service where you can reach a Multifaith Chaplain when needing emotional support is now an email request service.
Send an email to support@cambsworkplacechaplaincy.org.uk and we will put you in touch with one of our experienced, qualified volunteers. Thank you to all those volunteering their time to CWC.
Chaplains receive free Stop Suicide Training

CWC funded a Stop Suicide training sessions for 19 Chaplains from Cambs and further afield after organising a specialist session with a trainer from CPSL Mind.

The feedback was great from all who attended who found it invaluable and will use their new skills in their day to day chaplaincy work.

After the popularity of the session CWC will fund another session for any Chaplains, counsellors or volunteers who wish to attend. A date will be set for early March but please register your interest by emailing Jane: info@cambsworkplacechaplaincy.org.uk 
Despite Lockdowns the Cambridgeshire Constabulary continue to support Police Officers and the wider staff across the county.

Dharmanatha Porter (Parkside) makes weekly visits one morning per weel while observing safety and social distancing measures in line with the force’s policy. Hopefully, he can also visit Histon Station soon.

Martin Dale (Wisbech), Rob Booth (Ely) and John Minh (Sawston and Cambourne) remain available remotely to police officers and staff by email, phone, Skype, and MS Teams.

From December Allison Hector (Huntingdon Police Station) started visited Huntingdon one morning a week, while Lynda Taylor (Force HQ in Huntingdon) continues to visit HQ once a week.

Thank you to you all for supporting our Police Force.
A reminder that there are spaces available on various courses run by Christians Against Poverty including their Job Club in Peterborough and the CAP Money course in Cambridge and Peteroborough.

To find out more contact the relevant people below or visit https://capuk.org/i-want-help where you can enter your postcode and see what services are offered near you.

Peterborough: Ken Pullen 07847 354155

Cambridge: Tox Koyi 07903 282006
St Neots based Social Enterprise ABC Life Support have Mental Health Awareness courses coming up which may be of interest to you:
  • Tuesday 2nd March & Tuesday 8th June 2021, 10am to 12pm - Mental Health during the Covid–19 Pandemic workshop both Free of Charge
  • Thursday 15th April 2021, 9:30am to 1:30pm - Adult Mental Health Awareness Workshop
  • Monday 17th & Wednesday 19th May 2021, 9:30am to 1:30pm each session -  1 Day Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace
Please contact caroline@abclifesupport.co.uk to secure your place.  

Mental health in lockdown: Friendly Places Online

Credit: Posted by Jeremy Simmons, Policy and Programme Officer, FaithAction.

Perhaps it is unsurprising that the past 12 months—a time of so much change, uncertainty and tragedy—has seen an increased concern for the mental health of our population. We’ve all experienced alterations to our normal routines, national lockdowns limiting in-person contact with one another, and the threat—or reality—of the loss of our loved ones to disease. Whilst it seems that the younger generation have been hit particularly hard—the Prince’s Trust and Tesco Youth Index recently reported that 1 in 4 young people have admitted to feeling “unable to cope with life” since the pandemic began—in one way or another, the mental health implications of COVID-19 concern all of us.

So what can be done? If the full impact of the pandemic on mental health remains to be seen, faith-based organisations can certainly play an important part in supporting the nation’s recovery. At FaithAction, we’ve long been aware of the ways that faith groups can help people struggling with their mental health, and our Friendly Places pledge—a commitment for faith centres and places of worship to become safe spaces for those struggling—is a useful tool to this end.

Read more about Friendly Places, including examples and tips here. 

Workplace Chaplaincy Mission Uk’s Mini-Conference takes place next Wednesday afternoon. This one includes guest speakers on the subject of "Supporting those made Redundant”. 
The online mini-conference will be held via Zoom and you can find the access details below.
Topic: WCM UK Mini-Conference
Time: Feb 3, 2021 02:00 PM London
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87509053827?pwd=R01GazJwWURSNk5oUjE2eTVTdGIydz09
Meeting ID: 875 0905 3827
Passcode: 988637
Multifaith Prayer Diary - February 2021
Prayer Diary - February 2021
Download our prayer diary to give focus to each day. Featuring different faith festivals, national awareness days and thoughtful prayers.
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