Selsdon Baptist Church is a Registered Charity No. 1126971          Copyright Selsdon Baptist Church 2009 - 2016

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Pastoral Care at Selsdon Baptist Church

As part of our care for one another we operate a pastoral care network at Selsdon Baptist Church. This network is coordinated by Ruth Manson and includes some thirty people who share in pastoral care. The idea is that everyone who is part of our SBC family is under the care of a pastoral carer. The overall team is under the care of Rev Mike Elcome, the minister, who meets regularly with the Pastoral Care Coordinators.

Where a person is a member of a homegroup the pastoral care will usually operate through that homegroup, either by the leader(s) or by others who take on pastoral care duties within the group.

We are well aware of the fact that the pastoral care network is only part of the caring that goes on within SBC, and that a lot of informal care and help is given outside the network. That is not seen in any way as a problem, as all caring relationships simply serve to enrich the fellowship and to show Christ's love in different ways. Our pastoral care network does not prevent the ministerial team from being involved in pastoral care themselves. The network serves to supplement their work and do what they are not able to do. If anyone at any time wants to talk to, meet, or have help from anyone in the ministerial team, then all they have to do is ask. Similarly the ministerial team will be glad to receive information about people who are ill, in hospital or otherwise in need of help, encouragement or a visit.

If you are a member or a regular attender, you will have been allocated a pastoral carer. If you are new to the church you may be asked if you would like to be included in this scheme. If you are included then you will know who your pastoral carer is. You will be able to contact them if you have a need or if you feel that there is something that can be done to help you. They can be your point of contact if that is helpful to you, but that does not in any way prevent you from exploring other avenues of help.

Your pastoral carer will try to be aware if there are any particular circumstances of pastoral need in your situation and where possible will make sure that you are being supported or helped. You may find that you get to know your pastoral carer and that a friendship develops between you. This is all to the good when it happens, but it does not matter if it does not. Your pastoral Carer will have a number of people to care for, so will not be able to give any one person exclusive attention.

If you feel you have not been allocated the right person as your pastoral carer, then a change can easily be made. You might feel that you would like to suggest someone who knows you better, or you may leave it up to us to decide. If you want to change your pastoral carer, then the Pastoral Care Coordinators can arrange this for you. It may be, for example, that you decide to join a homegroup, or that you change homegroups and if you think that such changes will affect your pastoral care please do not hesitate to let the Pastoral Care Coordinators know.

Your pastoral carer will make sure that you are visited if you need that, and will bring your needs to the church for prayer where this is appropriate. They can help you with information about the church and can put you in touch with a homegroup, if you have not already begun to explore this.

The pastoral care network is not a counselling service, nor are those who offer their services as pastoral carers trained as counsellors. You may come to a situation in life which requires more professional or trained help and at such times you should talk with the Pastoral Care Coordinators or the minister who will try to make appropriate arrangements for you.

Our pastoral care network is not perfect, and sometimes people do 'slip through the net', and pastoral carers themselves can have their own problems. However, imperfect though it is, it is an attempt to experience love, care, support and encouragement for all who are part of the SBC family. The system works best when people are prepared to share needs and to communicate with each other, even if some of the things they share they ask to be kept in confidence.

All our pastoral carers are volunteers and we are grateful to them for the service they offer. In the end, each of us has a responsibility to show love and care for others and we trust that the pastoral care network will help us towards being a church that practises the new commandment to 'love one another as Christ loved us'.

If you want to talk about pastoral care please see :-

Ruth Manson (contact through the Church office)

Jesus gave us the commandment to “love one another as I have loved you”, and one of the ways we try and work this out at Selsdon Baptist is through our system of pastoral care.

We try and ensure that everyone in the fellowship has a pastoral carer assigned to them. This simply means that the carer tries to be a friend to the person, and to be available should they be needed.

To support carers we have a pastoral care coordinator who allocates the carers and also arranges evening training sessions on how best to offer care in particular circumstances.

Our system of housegroups, whilst primarily aiming to deepen our understanding and our faith, also provides a network of people ready to look out for each other.

We have a prayer chain network, where individual needs can be brought to God in prayer by people throughout the church connected mainly by email.

If you would like to be supported in any of these ways, do speak to the ministry team.