TWUK Working with Chaplaincies
Early in April I was able to attend the Alliance of Town and City Chaplaincies (ATCC) 2019 Conference in Luton. The aim was to find out how TWUK can better work together with Chaplains across the different professional sectors around the country and how the mission of TWUK dovetails with the work of Chaplains.
ATCC’s vision is to collaborate with existing chaplaincies and networks, and grow and develop new ones in towns, cities and village across the UK, enabling chaplains to share Jesus Christ amongst all areas of society.
The ATCC Conference theme was “A Celebration of Chaplaincies” as it highlighted the breadth of chaplaincies that have been established over the years, showcased those that are new, and revealed the emerging chaplaincy possibilities across society.
It was good to hear about ATCC’s developments and vision for the future as they seek to develop a national chaplaincy strategy in the UK and Ireland for the 21st Century.
Chaplains are generally commissioned to work in institutions such as a school, hospital or prison, a factory or office, a government department or within the armed forces, and , as with ATCC, in the public arena. Their activities – sometimes known as pastoral care – can include counselling, staff support, worship, or help in ethical decision-making.
Chaplaincies play a big role in promoting the Christian faith in a practical way within the workplace and in the public arena. In the workplace, they can bring employees and management together to help resolve disputes and they can also provide pastoral care for those going through tough times.
Chaplains are typically non-denominational, although they may be financially supported by a particular faith. They fulfil the role of the church at work or in public places and bridge the gap between the local church and the place where people spend a great deal of their time, whether at work or in a public space.
At the Conference, there was ample opportunity to ask questions during the different sessions. It was also very encouraging to hear different Chaplains from across the country share their “good news stories”. There was also lots of opportunity to network and have some good conversations with the chaplains over coffee and lunch, and at the book-stand where we were able to showcase and display TWUK resources.
TWUK’s vision is to inspire Christians to transform their workplace and, ultimately, the nation. We encourage Christians to do this by developing Christian Workplace Groups (CWGs) that reach out to all staff and work with management to create a work environment that is beneficial both to the employer and to employees.
As part of this process, CWGs may want to engage the services of a Chaplain to work through disputes and to offer counselling and other pastoral services.
TWUK supports the role of chaplains and seeks to join with them in supporting Christians as they follow the Lord's calling to transform their workplace and the nation.