CWC March Newsletter

The March newsletter is now available with lots of useful and interesting articles

Welcome to our March 2021 newsletter.

A reminder to Chaplains and volunteer counsellors that we have a support call tomorrow evening (Tues 2nd 7pm) so if you would like to attend please email us for the link.

Our Prayer Diary can be found on our website here.

In this months newsletter: Pause for Thought Lent Talks 2021 – Restored by Grace Let’s Talk Loneliness Webinar Theos Research Report and Webinar on Chaplaincy during the Pandemic Support Session for Managers – build your resilience CWC Listening Service Further funded session: Stop Suicide Training Prayer Diary March 2021


Pause for Thought
Preparing to write this I looked back to see what I’d written about previously. I found a piece from last year describing some of the pressures we experience and their potential effects. I started my article for the March 2020 issue:

The pressures I explored last year (2019) now are now insignificant in comparison to those we are currently experiencing, but these day to day pressures are still there. Covid -19 has added an incomprehensibly large additional layer. We all know the consequences of adding  pressure to pressure, physical and mental illness, relationship problems, money difficulties, uncertainty, job insecurity, companies failing etc.  It is no wonder we are finding current times extremely stressful.

Who would have thought I would be saying the same a year later. We are certainly finding current times extremely stressful, nearly everyone – my social contacts and those I speak to in my business life are finding it tougher than previously. I know I am… the day to day problems of living seem much harder to manage, even the day to day things which we wouldn’t think about ordinarily.

We’re hearing, and rightfully so, a lot about the effects on our mental health. I know this personally as depression is never far distant. It’s always perched on my shoulder waiting to catch me, which this time last year it successfully achieved more often than typically, if there is typical. One good thing, we now feel a little more relaxed about feeling able to openly talk about our mental health which is a good and significant change. 

What about the workplace? For everyone, it has changed. You may go to the same place, do the same work, but how you manage your ordinary day to day activities is different. Among many other changes, your interactions with others are limited and different, you can’t socialise during breaks and there may be underlying concerns that colleagues or you could unknowingly infect, in comparison any changes are added and significant.

Working from home sounds easy, the transition often is, but for many it has been and still is difficult. Some of the identified problems include: Technology might not be available, devices may be slow and unreliable, demands from multiple users cause problems Managers may not understand how to manage home working Many of us are finding it a strange environment in which to work and the home itself may not feel like a home anymore And Chaplaincy in the Workplace? This has changed. Effective chaplaincy is based on identifying needs and building relationships. These relationships have always been developed and maintained by face to face interactions. The relationships often become longstanding and very important to the individual who needs support and to the Chaplain too and now suddenly this can’t happen. Chaplains, in every discipline, know they are missing occasions where they are needed. This is extremely challenging and stressful for Chaplains.

What are we doing? Supporting chaplains is of absolute importance Finding ways to keep chaplaincy effective Engaging in the vital work of supporting everyone in work, furloughed, redundant including self employed, directors and partners. CWC has had to change. We know that workplaces value chaplaincy, therefore we are spending significant amounts of time and resource to design and implement revised ways of working to ensure we are as effective in the three areas above as possible. 

The business life of the country and the World has changed. Some sectors will be much smaller, some will grow and there will be entirely new business ideas. Working practices have changed. Home working is now established, there are a significant majority who do not want to return to a place of work, others who would prefer a ‘hybrid’ arrangement and a minority who wish to work full time in a place of work.

Many aspects and attitudes of life are changed, many for the better. Let’s hope we don’t revert completely to what we’ve known as normal. Looking forward we could see a realignment of priorities, recognition that we can’t and don’t control everything and the importance of family and community life. Remaining positive, where possible, is vital.

Keep in touch with us, find things to enjoy and call someone you know who you haven’t spoken to for an age.

Thank you again to all our chaplains and supporters.
  Alastair Ure Reid, Chairman, CWCLent Talks 2021 – Restored by Grace Peterborough Parish Church has a Lent programme of talks around the theme of being restored by grace. The talks look at ways in which God restores us to be resilient, rescues us when vulnerable or oppressed and how poetry can revive and renew us. 

Each talk is offered via Zoom so that there can be an opportunity to ask questions afterwards, and the evening will end with Night Prayer. If you would like to sign up to one, please email office@peterborough-stjohns.org.uk and the Zoom link will be sent to you a few days before the talk.

Below is a summary of the talks, find out more via the button below:

4th March, Carys Walsh
Frequencies of God: Walking through Advent with R S Thomas’ (Canterbury Press 2020) 

11th  March, Louise Hulland 
Stolen Lives: Human Trafficking and Slavery in Britain Today’ (Sandstone Press 2020) 

18th March, Steven Pettican
‘Rough Sleepers: Peterborough Story’
Steven Pettican is the CEO of Light Project PeterboroughFind out more about Lent Talks 2021
Let’s Talk Loneliness WebinarDate: 4th March 2021  Time: 10:30 – 12:00This webinar, open to churches in Cambridgeshire, will focus on loneliness and ways in which we can all respond effectively.It is hosted and run by Linking Lives UK – https://linkinglives.uk/ – who are responsible for all content and arrangements.This interactive workshop is an opportunity to find out more about the impact that loneliness and social isolation can have on the lives of older people (and those of all ages).It will be discussing ways in which churches and individual Christians can make a difference in their local communities and exploring potential informal and more organised approaches.You can find out more and book your place here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lets-talk-loneliness-cambridgeshire-tickets-137938360349
 Further reading:
‘Loneliness is a widespread problem with complex roots’, this is the summary of a recent The Economist article titled ‘ You’ll often walk alone’ that our Vice Chair Clive Morton alerted us too. It gives a lot of food for thought including the way offices are designed, the growth of temporary work contracts, urbanization and the culture around technology. Read more here (subscription account needed): https://www.economist.com/business/2021/01/28/youll-often-walk-aloneTheos Research Report and Webinar: Relationships, Presence and Hope: University Chaplaincy during the COVID–19 PandemicChaplains and faith advisors have been on the frontline of the pandemic. This report from Theos explores the unique contributions of university chaplains during this time. (2021)Throughout the pandemic, chaplains and faith advisors have been supporting the isolated, comforting the bereaved, and providing pastoral and spiritual care to anyone who needs it.This report captures the experience of higher education chaplaincy during the pandemic, drawing on interviews with 16 chaplains from universities across the UK. It explores the unique contributions of chaplains during this time, the challenges they have faced, and what lessons can be learned by chaplains and employers.Download the full report here and read an executive summary here.

There is also a webinar where Theos will discuss their research and implications on all types of Chaplaincy going forward:

Care under Covid-19: Providing spiritual and pastoral support at a distance
Wed, 17 March 2021, 19:00 – 20:30 . Register here: https://tinyurl.com/9ufwte97These two events are for Managers, Owners and Team Leaders, this event is funded by CWC as a support session for those needing support with their own wellbeing and that of their teams: 
https://tinyurl.com/y25b36jaCWC Listening serviceA service where anyone can reach a Chaplain, regardless of any faiths or beliefs.
If you need emotional support please don’t be afraid to use our email request service.

Send an email to support@cambsworkplacechaplaincy.org.uk and we will put you in touch with one of our experienced, qualified volunteers.
Thank you to all those volunteering their time to CWC.Read more about our service hereFurther funded session: Stop Suicide Training
CWC are funding a second Stop Suicide training session with a trainer from CPSL Mind. This will take place 9:30-12:30 on 10th March.

If you are interested in taking up this offer of training please register your interest by emailing Jane: jane@cambsworkplacechaplaincy.org.uk Multifaith Prayer Diary – March 2021Prayer Diary – March 2021Download our prayer diary to give focus to each day. Featuring different faith festivals, national awareness days and thoughtful prayers.