All Saints Church, Ashover, is to launch a new pastoral care initiative designed to complement the informal ‘good neighbour’ work already carried out in the community.
The Rector, the Rev Ralph Lawrence, said: “This is not intended to be merely a bad-weather initiative. We are well aware of the excellent work being done by individuals in many parts of the parish who visit the elderly and lonely throughout the year, but we want to try and ensure that nobody slips through the net.”
Church Reader Celia Kelly, who co-ordinated the first meeting of the fledgling pastoral care team, said that while most people needing care or a visit were elderly, young mums had also been identified as vulnerable to loneliness.
It was not intended to set up a care team burdened by regular meetings but to adopt an informal approach that relied on information received from church members or people in the community.
The All Saints congregation would be asked to identify any regular churchgoers missing from Sunday services for any length of time so that tactful investigations could be made as to their situation. A telephone call would be the first point of contact to ensure that all was well and, if deemed appropriate, a visit would then be made.
Leaders of church groups, such as the choir and Flower Guild, would be asked to take responsibility for the pastoral care of their members. Christine Glossop has agreed to co-ordinate this initiative and can be reached on (01246) 590326. She would welcome being told of anyone who might appreciate a telephone call or visit.
Requests for home communion can be made to the Rector on (01246) 590246.
Celia said: “A meeting to discuss the progress of these pastoral issues will be held in the not-too-distant future.”