St Albans, United Kingdom (PressExposure) March 12, 2012 -- Some 70 ordained and lay people from the Christian community in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, along with others from the Sikh, Muslim and Jewish faith, have been officially commissioned as Workplace Chaplains, serving organisations in these two counties.
The special commissioning service, which was held at Vauxhall Motors' Recreation Centre in Luton last week, was organised by Workplace Matters, a charity which has over 50 years' experience providing chaplaincy to a wide range of organisations within the private, not-for-profit and public sectors.
Both Cherie Denton, Vauxhall Motors' Community Relations Officer, and Rob Weir, the company's Unite Union Representative, paid tribute to the work that WM's chaplains do within the company. Then Major John Thompson, of the Salvation Army and a former member of the Board of WM, conducted the Commissioning Service.
Conducting the Commissioning, the Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Rev Paul Bayes, said: "In providing chaplaincy to workplaces and communities, you're called to develop a partnership with those to whom you minister, sharing in their joys and difficulties, standing alongside them in the stresses, achievements and routines of life."
The chaplains give up between two and four hours each week to visit people at their places of work, offering friendship and a listening ear.
All of WM's chaplains are drawn from practising Christians, either lay or ordained, who are connected to a recognised church. However, Workplace Matters also work with and/or coordinates the work of chaplains of other faiths such as: Jewish, Muslim, Humanist and even Interfaith workplace chaplains - to cater for the diversity of faiths represented in today's workplaces.
These chaplains operate anywhere where people work but, primarily, they operate within the emergency services - in police stations, among fire and ambulance teams and so on - in the manufacturing industry; especially at Vauxhall Motors in Luton; in the 'town centre retail' environment; with those living and working along the Grand Union Canal, and at London Luton Airport.