Chaplain

Are you or anyone at your church involved in town or city chaplaincy?

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This event coming up soon in Luton might be of interest to you.

2019 ATCC Conference - "A Celebration of Chaplaincies" by The Alliance of Town and City Chaplaincies.

Having had two very successful national conferences in April 2013 and 2015, the Alliance of Town and City Chaplaincies are hosting another on Thursday 4th April 2019 at Central Baptist Church, Luton.

Please find out more information here.

Calling all education chaplains...

Do you or someone you know in your church serve as a college or school chaplain?

Chaplaincy Central is conducting a survey.

At the Free Churches Group over the last few years we have been working hard to gather information and raise the profile of educational chaplaincy work. You can read about the FCG work in education HERE and the recent work done in the field of further education and chaplaincy HERE. .

Chaplaincy Central is undertaking a survey of current chaplains in school and FE colleges. It will take just a few minutes of your precious time to complete and they hope you will forward the link to other chaplains you know, so they can complete it too.

The aim of the Chaplaincy Central survey is to gain a better understanding of the work of chaplains and of chaplaincy in education which in turn can help in recruitment, resources, training and support, all things we are passionate about in Chaplaincy Central. Complete the survey HERE.

Perhaps in the coming weeks, at your church, you would like to pray for the work of chaplains who work in education?

Loving God

We pray for the chaplains who serve ain our schools, colleges, universities and learning providers,

We pray that they have the courage, wisdom and stamina to support the children, students and staff.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20

In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen

Christmas Reflection by Stephen Mugglin

Photo credit:  Freely Christian Photos

I came across the following when seeking out some words of wisdom for a carol service. Stephen Mugglin has captured the essence of ‘peace on earth’ and how there are times when we need to go and find that peace amid the busyness that is a constant presence in our place of work – the healthcare system, and times when we need to create that peace for those in our care.

Debbie Hodge

Christmas Reflection by Stephen Mugglin

High in the woods of Pengrove Pass, where the water and the sky seem to sing the same song, there stands in a clearing beside the lake a little log cabin built by a friend. It stands empty most of the year now, for the children who once played and laughed there have long since moved on. Still there isn’t any sadness, for each morning the dawn catches its own reflection in the stillness of the lake, and peace covers all.

Photo by  Charl van Rooy  on  Unsplash

I was scheduled to spend Christmas in Pengrove Mills, a town further down the river, but an unexpectedly busy autumn and fall had made me long again for the solitude of the mountains, at least for a little while, and so December found me in the cabin by the lake.

Mountains seem to have a wisdom all their own, and trees growing along the slopes in the pure air whisper their thoughts together in the silence. It’s a world of enchantment far and near, for the same snow that paints the distant hills also spreads a blanket over the cabin. Here earth and sky seem so close, mountain peaks just a snow-breath away, and time a cousin of eternity.

Photo by  Ngoc Lan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ngoc Lan on Unsplash

This was the year I celebrated Christmas twice - once in the cold loneliness of the hills, and later in the warmth of the town - once by myself in the calm of the night, and again with the sound of friends all around - once with the stars shining deep in the lake, and then with bright lights in every window. But much as I enjoyed the time in town, it was the silence around the cabin that reminded me most of the Song of the ages and the Light of the world. Alone on the hillside, I knew the peace that had come to earth.

Are you and your church based in the West Midlands?

As you may already know, the Free Churches Group have been developing ways in which our member churches can get involved in Further Education and the life and work of chaplaincy in our local colleges…. you can read more about our work in general in this arena HERE.

If you or your churches have connections in the West Midlands, you may wish to know more about the WMCFEC….

The West Midlands Churches’ Further Education Council exists to:

  • Support colleges in the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students and the training and resourcing of staff in matters of faith and spirituality

  • Support churches in valuing FE and lifelong learning as part of their wider involvement in education, and providing resources and training to partner colleges in their work

There are lots of links and resources to check out, whether you are in West Mids or further afield… Many colleges in the West Midlands are looking to developing their work and engage chaplains - perhaps there are people in your churches who would be able to use their gifts in local colleges…? Find out more and get involved HERE.

Free Churches Group welcome the appointment of Revd James Ridge

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It is with great pleasure that the Free Churches Group welcome the appointment of Revd James Ridge most warmly into his new role as Chaplain General of HMPPS. Having worked with Revd Ridge over a number of years in the context of Chaplaincy leadership I know that his wisdom, skill and developmental rigour will be hugely appreciated by all who serve those living and working in the prisons of England and Wales as Chaplains. As Free Churches Faith Advisor I look forward to working with James collegiately and supportively as we strive to maintain the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Services of HMPPS, a service which I believe to be a world-leading example of multi-faith co-operation and transformational engagement.

Bob Wilson
Free Churches Faith Advisor to HMPPS & Secretary for Prison Chaplaincy