Pastoral Care and Home Groups
Pastoral care is an essential part of our church life, not least because we are a gathered congregation.
During the pandemic a scheme of ‘phone-buddies was organised’, through which each pastoral helper kept in touch with a group of people, particularly those living alone, our senior church members and those who were unwell. On Sundays we had Zoom coffee sessions after the streamed Eucharist services, a midweek Zoom coffee session and Zoom breakfasts with readings and prayers. This helped in the caring of one another at that very difficult time.
These initiatives were built on post-pandemic and we still have an ‘invisible’ congregation joining us for streamed services, some also sharing their needs with us via email. This year we have formed a new Pastoral Care Team, who have oversight of others’ needs, particularly if someone is ill or housebound, and who organize home visits by a wider group of visitors. This keeps people connected to the church family, and the Ministry Team and some of the laity administer home communion as requested. A group of Home Intercessors regularly receive a list of those who have asked to be included for prayer, some due to long-term needs and others due to ill health.
Much pastoral care is also done informally, and monthly men’s and women’s breakfasts are held in Michaelhouse, with Holy Communion, prayer and conversation. A small social events group has recently been formed and are planning social occasions, such as seniors’ and Parish lunches, a ceilidh, and Parish refreshments during the Coronation celebrations.