Pastoral Care Team at All Saint’s Church, Kenton.
“When I ask you to listen and you start giving me advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me – strange as it may seem.
Listen! All I ask of you is that you listen, not talk or do, just hear me. Advice is cheap. God listens and gives us the power to work through things for ourselves, but I need you to be with me too.”
This anonymous piece of wisdom is the corner stone of the Acorn Christian Fellowship’s Learning to Listen course. It should be so easy to follow, but it’s not! Try it with a friend!
Our Pastoral Care Team believes that the art of listening is vital in helping anyone who is lonely, bereaved, housebound, unwell or suffering in any way. We are not trying to convert anyone, and only pray with someone if they make a request. It may take a few visits to build up trust and an understanding of someone’s needs. We always telephone before the first visit to make sure that we are welcome. It is a serious business. Jesus made it clear that he relies on us to do his will. What a responsibility! We can never do enough and we make lots of mistakes!
We are a group of semi-retired parishioners who visit those in need of company or support with every day tasks. We are not a taxi service, as we have a good local service available and the Westbank League of Friends organises a vast array of help and health measures for all age groups in the community. Hopefully, we bring a little “sunshine” to those we visit. A sense of humour is as important as empathy. I hope we manage to leave everyone knowing that we care about them. At the moment most of those we visit are elderly, but it would be good to help mothers with young children, as we are all DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked and many young families have no grandparents living near.
We meet together to assess our work and arrange visits, but do not gossip about those we see. Privacy and confidentiality are paramount. We are adaptable and would love to hear of any ways we could improve. We are very aware of all the wonderful care given by those in the village who are not Christians. Perhaps we could work together. Do let us know. We would like to hear from you.
Mary Quine, Pastoral Care Co-ordinator.