Sarah Welply writes…

Question: What do you get when you bring 120 Local Pastoral Ministers together? Answer: A lot of chatter.

Thus observed Bishop Tim during his talk at the Changing Lives event for Pastoral Ministers held recently at the Eden Project.

The day was organised jointly by the Diocese of Truro, Volunteer Cornwall and Age UK Cornwall to enable some constructive ‘networking’, positive sharing of information, and to begin to explore ways in which pastoral teams can begin to work effectively with the voluntary sector in order to generate mutually beneficial partnerships.

This was reflected by the different speakers and activities on the programme for the day. Referring to John 10: v10, Bishop Tim encouraged delegates to use the skills that we already have – including the ability to listen and talk – to enable others to live life to the full.

Some of the people working on different projects run by Volunteer Cornwall & Age UK presented a brief outline of their remits; and there was an opportunity for interested people to find out more in the ‘market-place’ of stalls.

We heard from Pat Walton (St Columb Oasis Centre) and Canon Rob Dickenson (Week St Mary) who related how their work had been enhanced by collaborating with other agencies from both the statutory and voluntary sectors. There was also a chance to share information about what groups were running in different areas – from ‘Knit & Natter’s through to gardening clubs.

At the end of the day, the pastoral ministers went home full of inspiration having enjoyed the chance to be together, find out how other groups worked and seen a few of the ways in which their work in their communities could be enhanced.

Andy Brelsford from Volunteer Cornwall commented that the day had been one of the best and most positive events he had ever had the privilege to be part of in his 16 years of organising events in Cornwall.

But the final word should go to Terry Twitchell, one of the pastoral ministers. “I enjoyed the day very much indeed,” he said. “The programme covered many of the points that are essential in our daily lives when talking to people about pastoral care.

“We were able to assimilate much knowledge from experts who spend their lives dealing with people through Healthwatch, Memory Cafes and Cognitive Simulation Therapy, Home Support and so on – the very people with whom we are also closely involved.”

We shall be back in touch with pastoral teams once all the information that was gathered at the event has been collated. Everyone seems to be very keen to see the day repeated and to make sure that the good work begun is continued.

Link to Pastoral Ministry