What is a Community Chaplain?
Probably, one of the questions we get asked most often is "what is a Community Chaplain"? For some, the word 'chaplain' is a known, for some 'community', and for some, the combination of both words is a bit confusing. Chaplains are people (often with a faith) who spend a lot of time engaging with people on the edges of society or church, and listen to their stories. We try to be a friendly face, a known person, and approachable, so when the challenges of life sneak up, as they so often do, we can be there to support you at your time of greatest need, and where appropriate, refer you to the best place to get the help you need.
We're community chaplains, because unlike most chaplains in the country, we're not based in a specific school or statutory agency, but are chaplains to all who "live, work and play" (to borrow Taylor Wimpey's strapline) at Great Western Park in Didcot. In practice, this means we regularly visit schools (both primary and secondary), shops, pubs, uniformed groups and statutory agencies that operate in this new-build area.
We're also community chaplains because without the support of the wider church and secular community, we don't get anywhere. We need your prayers, your encouragement, your sharing of the emerging chaplaincy story, and for those of you with a bit of time on your hands and a passion to serve the people of GWP, your offer of an hour a week or fortnight to come alongside us and share God's love with those who need it most.
Libby & Sarah