Church Link July 2015
My husband Barrie and I agreed to take on the role of chaplaincy at the Trowbridge Drop in Centre a while ago. So what is it like being a Chaplain? For me personally it is a challenge. Being a Chaplain means coming alongside people, taking the conversations at their pace, if they want to speak at all, being available for the staff, and being a friend to vulnerable people. I am the type of Christian who is very comfortable standing on street corners handing out tracts and speaking to people about Jesus. I am an Evangelist at heart. I just want the world to know the good news of trusting Jesus as Lord and Saviour. It is hard for me to see people struggling with life, controlling addictions, knowing the Lord is desperately wanting to touch their lives and help them overcome.
Then the Lord reminded me of an incident that happened many years ago. I used to be a Civil Servant working with the MOD. At one stage I was working in Yorkshire in a battalion, I was the only female amongst 800 male infantrymen. It was whilst I was working there I came to know Jesus personally during a very difficult personal crisis in my life. To say there was a difference in my life is an understatement. The guys I worked with saw the difference straight away and I had many interesting religious conversations. I then went to work in Headquarters where I was amongst senior Military Officers, senior Civil Servants and other co-workers. This post was very different and most of the people I worked alongside were very suspicious of my ‘Christianity’, and very hostile to me. One day, Barrie and I were walking on a beach. Barrie was fossil hunting and I was walking along the shoreline watching a flock of birds sitting just offshore on a bed of rocks. I stood watching them for awhile and felt I would love to go sit with them. Then the Lord spoke into my heart. He said, ‘If you wanted to sit with those birds, you would have to act very slowly, take a long time to let them see you are not a threat. You would have to sit very still for a very long time and let them come to you. One quick move and they would all fly away afraid. That is how it is with the people you work with. They are afraid of you, or at least, who you represent. Take it very slowly, let them learn to trust you and don’t make any sudden moves’.
So, that is what it is like for me being a Chaplain amongst very vulnerable people. Hurting people. Some days I feel like I am doing nothing of any significance. Some days I wonder what I am doing there. Then, suddenly, one day I have a conversation with someone who needs a listening ear, someone who needs to bounce something off, wants to know more of what I believe and sometimes I get an opportunity to pray with someone. That is what makes it all worthwhile…….. and I am learning patience.
Armed Forces Day
Alabaré are out in force for Armed Forces Weekend (27 & 28 June), please come and see us on our Homes for Veterans Stands at the celebrations and learn more about our work with homeless Veterans. We're at Bristol, Gloucester, Plymouth, Salisbury, Trowbridge and Cardiff . Thank you.
New Homes for Veterans in North Wales
David and Chloe, our North Wales team, welcomed guests to an open tour of one of our newest Home For Veterans on 19th June and presided with Chaplain Kieran over a commissioning event. Special guests at The Commissioning included Falkland's and Sir Galahad veteran, Maldwyn Jones from the Welsh Guard's Association, Bryn Knowles MBE from SSAFA and seven local clergy. David shared an emotional poem by the famous Welsh hymn writer, William Williams Pantecelyn, which was read in the original Welsh at the burial service of a Welsh Guardsman after the Sir Tristram and Sir Galahad were lost in June 1982. Williams is called Pantecelyn after his home farm and was known as Y Per Ganiedydd, "The Sweet Singer", after his powerful moving poetry and hymns.
James and Volunteering
James volunteers every Tuesday helping out with just about everything at our Old Sarum Development Centre. A former IBM employee he has helped with our plans to improve the information for our Plant Centre customers by creating templates and assisting our clients to update this information. He has also helped research the best suppliers to buy from. In preparation for our delivery of NOCN qualifications James assisted by recording the clients’ abilities making the process of delivering NOCN’s that bit easier. If you'd like to volunteer at Alabaré email Mandy Herridge.