Team Leader: Chris Barnsley
Team Members: June Haywood, Joyce Cox, Karen Harley, Sue Furness, Shirely Harley, Thelma Sharpe, Jo Marcetic, Elaine Woods and Edward Furness.
The Care Team is headed up by Reader Chris Barnsley. Chris and Team have been providing Pastoral Care in the Pype Hayes parish for over 10 years. This includes a range of hospital and home visits, cards and telephone calls, tea, prayer and lots of care. All the team are DBS checked to insure the safety of those being cared for. This aspect of the heart and life of St Mary's is one that has grown into a truly beautiful part of church and parish life.
Our Pastoral Care Team includes members of many and different skills, each one feeling called to offer his/her individual gift(s).
Our vision is ‘to serve wherever needed in response to Jesus’ command, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” reaching out in word and action to members of our Church family, our immediate neighbours, our parish community and beyond.’
The Team all take a full part in keeping in touch with church family members through telephone calls, visits, cards, emails during times of illness and bereavement and with those permanently housebound or living in care and nursing homes. Team members also give time and practical care - offering lifts, sharing meals and garden centre visits!
We try to maintain a regular pattern of visits to our nearest neighbours – older residents living in the 30 bungalows around the perimeter of the church - building caring relationships and, thanks to generous donations from church members, sharing gifts with them during the year at Christmas, Mothering Sunday and Easter.
My own funeral ministry is growing all the time. It is a privilege to work with Nigel, our vicar, and the funeral directors, supporting families in our parish, walking alongside them at their time of loss and sharing with them their feelings of deep sadness and of pride in their loved ones, and, together with other Care Team members, to continue that support with post-funeral visits and at our annual ‘All Souls’ Service.’
In autumn 2015, five Care Team members answered God’s call to be part of St. Mary’s ‘Vision Team Trip’ to South Africa and Mozambique – to take St. Mary’s care to distances and situations those of us involved had never before imagined possible. I think I speak for us all in saying it was an amazing, life-changing, humbling experience. We all returned emotionally drained and very aware of the significance that our ongoing input into small projects, supporting the work of Mercy Air and the school and community of Mucombeze in Mozambique, is making to those communities.
This is just a brief insight into some of the ways in which we work to put our vision into action - “Love your neighbour as yourself,” reaching out in word and action to members of our Church family, our immediate neighbours, our parish community and beyond.’ There is always far more that we have the heart to do, but not always the time and the energy. If you would like to find out more, please contact me via the church office: 0121 382 3585.