Pastoral Care Policy
Tend My Flock:
Sustaining Good Pastoral Care at Christ Church
Christ Church takes pastoral care very seriously, especially the desire to provide a high quality of care and to meet the requirements of confidentiality.
The Role of the Clergy
In many churches, the pastoral care of the church family rests solely with the clergy. At their ordination, clergy promise to fulfil the following responsibilities:
Priests are called to be servants and shepherds among the people to whom they are sent. With their Bishop and fellow ministers, they are to proclaim the word of the Lord and to watch for the signs of God’s new creation. They are to be messengers, watchmen and stewards of the Lord; they are to teach and to admonish, to feed and provide for his family, to search for his children in the wilderness of this world’s temptations, and to guide them through its confusions, that they may be saved through Christ for ever. Formed by the word, they are to call their hearers to repentance and to declare in Christ's name the absolution and forgiveness of their sins.
In fulfilling their duty of care, the clergy at Christ Church welcome the Church of England Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of Clergy (2003). A copy is available here.
Provision of Pastoral Care at Christ Church
At Christ Church pastoral care is shared. Our Pastoral Care Team comprises the Clergy, the Churchwardens, Ministry Heads and trusted lay individuals. Additional members of the Pastoral Care Team are appointed by invitation only. They are required to be established members of the Church. All members of the Pastoral Care Team undergo appropriate safeguarding checks in line with the Diocesan Safeguarding Handbook including a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for those working with vulnerable adults.
The Pastoral Care team operates an explicit policy of corporate confidentiality. Where appropriate, confidential information is shared within the team. This protects against the possibility of members of the Pastoral Care Team being manipulated or divided by any individual with a pastoral need or concern sharing personal information with one team member and not another (Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of Clergy) and helps to ensure that individuals with pastoral needs will receive appropriate care.
Additionally, we are blessed with a staff team who between them cover children’s, youth, student and family ministry. In the course of their duties, these staff members are likely to encounter pastoral care needs. There are occasions when they will need to seek advice, and so that an individual receives appropriate care, there will be times when they cannot offer absolute confidentiality. Where appropriate and especially when faced with ethical dilemmas regarding confidentiality, individuals at risk and the law, they will seek guidance and support from members of the Pastoral Care team.
There are also other gifted members of Christ Church who are involved in providing pastoral care, such as those visiting the elderly, visiting the sick in hospital and those serving as home group leaders. Their contribution is valued and without them we would be unable to provide the level of pastoral care which we seek.
Pastoral Care Team members are Stephen Sizer, Ulla Joseph, Anita Whitehead, Wendy Jackson and Dave Thomas. If you become aware of anyone within our church family who is in special need please contact Stephen or one of the Team in confidence.
A Biblically Functioning Community
In Matthew 18 Jesus has instructed us on how to handle conflict or disagreement within the Church family in a way that honours one another and glorifies God.
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven… For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:15-20)
As we seek to be a biblically-functioning community, let us encourage one another and hold one another accountable to live out these principles as Christ-followers in the power of the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father and the extension of his Kingdom.
Our Pastoral Care Policy was re-endorsed by the Parochial Church Council on 14th May 2013