All in a week's work

The Diocesan Link newspaper has interviewed a number of chaplains over the last year or so. Some of these interviews have been reproduced here to give you a flavour of the diverse and interesting roles that occupy some chaplains around the Diocese of Rochester.  This is not an exhaustive list and some of the chaplains featured here may have moved since their interview was completed. Although there may be several chaplains in similar roles – for example, a hospital chaplain, we have only interviewed one person from each category.


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Ambulance
Ambulance Chaplain - the Rev David Jones

Army
Rev Canon Paul Kerr has been a chaplain in the military for 20 years, with his ministry spanning across the Territorial Army, the Royal Engineers and the Army Cadets

Bluewater
Bluewater Chaplain - Malcolm Cooper Down in the chalky basin that houses the award winning Bluewater shopping centre there is a sanctuary and Place of Quiet amongst the commercial enterprise.Born in South Africa, Chaplain Malcolm Cooper arrived in Bluewater in 1996 whilst the site was still under construction and he now provides general oversight to the team of 13 workplace chaplains that look after Bluewater.

Burrswood
Burrswood Chaplain - The Rev Christine Garrard Burrswood Christian Hospital nestles in its own picturesque, wooded grounds in Groombridge, about 4 miles away from Tunbridge Wells. It is the only independent hospital in Britain registered with the Care Quality Commission and integrates medicine with Christian ministry.

Heart of Kent Hospice
The Rev Mike Hayes has been working with patients of the Heart of Kent Hospice for six years.While working at the hospice Mike has noticed the different needs of people. He said, “In palliative care work there is a concern for meaning and looking back over life. Sometimes, when people are quite isolated and a bit confused, there is also a need for connection. When someone is with them they can remember who they are. There can also be a need for reconciliation. In a religious sense, that might be confession.

K College
College Chaplain - The Rev Sue Brooks The Rev Sue Brooks is passionate about her ministry at K College in Tonbridge. After being a teacher for 40 years Sue was ordained in 2003 and knew college chaplaincy is where she wanted to be.

Kent Police & Sea Cadets
Kent Police and Sea Cadets' Chaplain - The Rev Nigel Bourne As former naval weapons engineer, the Rev Nigel Bourne, tells me about the images of HMS Bristol and HMS Intrepid hanging on his wall, he is interrupted by Bouncer, the house rabbit, scratching at his slippers for a nose rub.

NHS.
NHS Trust Chaplain - The Rev Canon Tim Mercer In the South London Healthcare NHS Trust Chaplaincy Team, this week, 1.8 chaplains work for 18 sessions of 3.75 hours and share an on-call rota for 24/7. Twelve chaplaincy volunteers work with the chaplains across this week. A sub-team of Roman Catholic chaplains and volunteers work similarly.

Pilsdon Community
The Rev Peter Barnett developed the Pilsdon Community in West Malling in 2004. He said, “We community planted! We took four Community members from our previous Community in Dorset - my wife and I and two others - together with three of our long stay residents. 7 years on, we are full to capacity and are looking to develop and grow the Community by creating more accommodation and facilities on the site.”

Prison
Prison Chaplain - Mother Susie Simpson. There are 3 prisons on the Cookham Wood site in Rochester: Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution (HMYOI) Rochester, which takes male inmates between the ages of 18 and 21, HMYOI Cookham Wood, for young men aged between 15 and 18 and Medway Secure Training Centre which is run by the Health Authority for male and female offenders under 15.

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