St. David's has a team of 10 volunteer Pastoral Assistants, all of whom have received training and are DBS checked. They will all take part in further training over time.
Every individual/family in the wider church family is offered a Pastoral Assistant, who will support them in a way which is agreeable to all.
Carolyn Burley is our Pastoral Care Coordinator and she works with the Vicar, Assistant priest and team of volunteers to provide wide ranging care
What is Christian Pastoral Care?
Pastoral Care is part of the shepherding of the flock. (1 Peter 5.2 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care…)
Pastoral Care is the responsibility of all Church Members and not just the Church leaders. In the Church today we are challenged to move from a model of ministry in which Pastoral Care is the responsibility of ordained ministers to one in which Pastoral Care is the vocation of the whole people of God.
Christians, committed to the belief that God loves us all unconditionally, seek to reflect that love in their care for others. Pastoral Care happens when Christians help others by listening, responding, praying and providing caring support.
The goal of Pastoral Care is to help people live life in all its fullness in the strength of and according to the example of Jesus. (John 10 .10-11 … I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd.)
The values of Pastoral Care are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5.22-23), together with compassion, humility, tolerance, forgiveness and thankfulness to God (Colossians 3.12-17).
They are practised with an emphasis more on listening than speaking (James 1)
Formal/Official Pastoral Care and Informal/Unofficial Pastoral Care
Much Pastoral Care occurs in the Church in an informal and unofficial way as Christians seek to help in practical ways and to encourage one another in the faith.
Formal or official Pastoral Care is Pastoral Care carried out by Church representatives (The Pastoral Care Team) on behalf of the Church community.
Those who are part of the Pastoral Care Team are acting in an official capacity when they are asked to undertake care of a number of individuals and families. They would not be acting as official representatives of the Church if they decided of their own volition to visit one of their friends within the Church community.
It is important to remember that many Church Members will expect someone official to visit when they are ill for a significant period of time. Some may be disappointed if they do not receive a visit from the Vicar; however, the reality of the church in the 21st century is that this will not always be possible. Pastoral care will and should be a shared responsibility and everyone will have to learn to accept this. Clergy will of course want to visit those who have been ill for more than a short time, and those who are suffering in life changing ways.
Our Pastoral Care team, commissioned on Easter Day 2014 are committed to providing care to our wider church family