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Chaplaincy Initiative: Sneak Peak

One of the main thrusts of what IBEX is about is Chaplaincy. This was brought home to me on the first Sunday of Lent when I was preaching in a local Methodist Church (I mentioned the job I started in 1993 with what was then SHIM). Afterwards, the chap doing the sound desk asked me if I had known Julian Eagle: who had been the inspirational Chaplain to the Port of Southampton for many years. “What a terrific guy he was” he said. “I had the good fortune to have him as a colleague for about 5 years,” I replied.

People like Julian were “Church” to loads of people who would never darken the doors of a Church on a Sunday, but they mattered to him, and he mattered to them. It wasn’t about evangelism. It was - and still is - about being interested, about caring what goes on in the big bad world for people where they work.

When I retired, Lisa Thomas started as part-time Chaplaincy Coordinator just as the pandemic struck and lockdown started. She concentrated on coordinating, encouraging, sharing, enabling and supporting chaplaincy teams who were trying to keep going in very trying circumstances and this has been very much appreciated.

It is also obvious that Chaplaincy is all the more relevant to those who receive it in these times because life is difficult out there - lockdowns, uncertainty, restrictions, economic devastation - and among it all some businesses that have prospered - places allowed to stay open as essential services, places that also operated on line, carpet shops and others staying busy because people turned their minds to their homes while they were forced to work from home.

At IBEX we want to encourage this vital part of what the Church does, to encourage, support, enable, train and do whatever else is needed to show the Churches care about those who work for a living…. Or perhaps who volunteer as well.

Hence a Chaplaincy Initiative.

We are beginning to plan a conference for October 2022 - perhaps even one of those face-to-face things where people could talk to each other. But joking aside, a real conference, a Zoom conference if that becomes a necessity, or maybe a mixture of the two. Our next newsletter will have more details about this conference and how you can take part.

As one of the Canons of one of the local Cathedrals said in a meeting recently “chaplaincy is a vital part of Church life in the 21st Century”.

IBEX wants to work with the Churches and support you to make this happen.


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