Why have a Chaplain?
For some a chaplain is a friendly face and a listening ear, someone who is in the workplace but not of the workplace. Another may see the chaplain as someone who will listen to them, not judge or criticise, who is able to keep what is said confidential and may be even suggest somewhere to find help.
When a chaplain starts working with an employer the first priority is getting to know the workforce and the workplace. Thereafter regular visits mean the chaplain will be able get to know individuals better and be available for everyone.
Integration into the workforce is important and we have found that the more a chaplain mixes with the people, the better the service works. We know that there may be individuals who do not wish to engage in conversation with outsiders and we respect that, our service is offered and not imposed at any stage.
In an age of increasing isolation there can be a real sense of loneliness even in a busy working environment. Statistics from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation predict a reduction in people per UK household over the next 20 years with an increase in the number of households. Into this the chaplain injects genuine care and concern, looking out for the welfare of others and extending the hand of friendship.
Regular, normally weekly visits are always planned in consultation with managers and last as long as convenient. We are acutely aware that the function or profitability of the organisation must not be hindered in any way; in fact the added support of a regular visit will contribute to the welfare of the staff, the most valuable asset in any enterprise.
Each workplace is different and we do try to be flexible when arrangements are first planned. It is important that the staff know that visits happen and the chaplain is easily identifiable. The distinctive Taunton Team Chaplaincy logo can be used on store uniforms or adapted to show on workplace ID badges. All chaplains carry one of our own credit card size ID badges.
Our main concern is to care for people and spending a short while with each member of staff in most cases will be sufficient to catch up. If a more in-depth conversation would be helpful arrangements can be made to meet at break time or over lunch.
There is no cost to the workplace; the service is given as a gift to the community by the Christian churches of Taunton. We aim to avoid gaining any benefit from working with an employer; the Chaplaincy’s focus is on giving.
Workplaces that have the support of a Chaplain are encouraged to monitor the scheme and let us know how it is going. We will strive to make sure that any improvements to arrangements are implemented quickly and satisfactorily.
Maintaining a happy, positive and committed workforce is invaluable for any organisation and the regular visit of a chaplain contributes to that. Results from elsewhere indicate Chaplaincies can:
- Help people to cope with important personal and social needs at work
- Reduce stress and anxiety, keeping people healthy and efficient
- Reduce progression to chronic psychosomatic symptoms and breakdowns
- Provide care in the workplace unlike any other agency, offering impartial friendship and support
If you would like to know more a member of the team would be pleased to visit and explain in more detail our work and, with no pressure or obligation, consider how the Chaplaincy may support your workforce. To arrange a visit see Contact Us.
For a brief leaflet see Employers and Managers leaflet.