Workplace Chaplaincy during the Covid 19 Crisis

With many of the business premises closed until further notice you could be forgiven for thinking that there is no ministry for the Workplace Chaplains, writes the Revd Jo Tatum, who leads the Workplace Chaplaincy team.

Nothing could be further from the truth, its business as usual – though in different ways.

We are talking to managers and HR staff who are trying to work with the new staffing arrangements, navigating the new legislation around furlough and employment law.

Each one of us learning as we go. Our regular visiting patterns are now done over the phone or by video call – whilst we can’t capture the volume of staff in one visit – the calls themselves tend to be more personal, more detailed and in some cases deeper conversations.  It seems there are fewer distractions and people have more time and space to think and reflect.

My guess is that for many this will be a time of evaluation about where, how and why they are at work.  Only time will tell how that eventuates.

Sadly, for others this is a time of heartbreak and grief, the isolation from friends and family acting as an amplifier to all significant life events.  We are speaking to many individuals for whom life is challenging.

The distance from family when a loved one is dying, with no chance to say goodbye or give and receive comfort.

A relationship comes apart in the stress of the moment, leaving broken and lonely people.

The fear for family and friends as they leave the house every morning to go and work on the frontline, as a key worker, in hospitals, schools, supermarkets and driving delivery vans.

The chaplaincy service continues to be there to support them all.

We would love you to support them too. For all the people who are working in businesses, shops, offices and factories in your parish, please pray, that they may know the mercy, comfort and presence of the living God with them in these difficult times.