​Chaplaincy to the waterways

Think of the word ‘chaplain’ and we immediately think
of schools, tertiary education, hospitals, prisons and
the armed forces. Probably not the waterways, rivers
and canals. Yet Britain is crisscrossed by an amazing
network of canals and rivers, on and around which
live and work thousands of people.

Inland waterways people may be involved with
maintenance of its marinas and other service providers – or they may be recreational
day boaters, canoeists, anglers or towpath walkers. One thing is certain: they all share
a powerful connection with the rivers and canals which, beautiful though they are, can
conceal human need as effectively as any suburban street, hospital ward or college. 

“Chaplaincy to the waterways is expanding and
being appreciated by the major national managing
bodies,” says the Revd Mark Chester, Senior Chaplain
Waterways. “There are chaplains working in many
regions already, providing pastoral support to waterways
people but I am very keen to recruit more to work with
me in the Midlands and Black Country where many
canals and rivers converge. 

“These chaplains are pastoral figures who, just as they might in a parish setting, keep
their ears to the ground to provide support for those whose waterway related lifestyles
isolate them from mainstream resources and cut them off from other pastoral support.
Chaplains can be ordained or lay and might work for between half a day to two days a
week, on ‘their own’ stretch of waterway.”

For more information email waterways@workplacematters.org.uk 

Pray for all those who live and work on the UK’s network of canals and rivers and for
those who support them as chaplains. 

Kingswinford Deanery – Rural Dean: David Hoskin; Lay Chair: Helen Jones 

Diocese of Bristol: Bishop Michael Hill with Bishop Lee Rayfield (Swindon) 

Diocese of Helsinki (Finland): Bishop Irja Askola 

The Church of South India (United): Archbishop Dr Govada Dyvasirvadam

About Diocese of Worcester - Prayer diary

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