Funds passed on as Norfolk chaplaincy charity closes 

Ecumenical Norfolk chaplaincy charity, Good Work, ceased to exist at the end of June 2021 and passed on its remaining funds to further other chaplaincy work in the county.

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In a statement, the trustees (Barry Capon, Gareth Phillips and Andrew Rouse), said that they were delighted to pass on funds to Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN) and the N&N University Hospital Chaplaincy to further their chaplaincy work within the county and its communities.

Charity Good Work (formerly the Norfolk and Waveney Industrial Mission) has funded and supported inter-denominational workplace chaplaincy in a number of organisations around Norfolk and Waveney area, seeking God’s love and Justice in the world of work and the economy for many, many years. It has provided pastoral care for employees and was an example of faith at work.

Good Work chaplains have worked in places as diverse as the Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Norwich, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Mission to Seafarers, the Coroner’s Court, Great Yarmouth Port, Asda, British Sugar, Camplings Laundry Co. and several other industrial workplaces.

The role of the Good Work chaplains has been to meet people where they worked, giving comfort and support to peoples of all faiths or none, when encountering problems or concerns in their lives, whether physical, emotional, financial or related to work, family or other relationships.

During the early part of the 20th century, most large industrial organisations in and around Norfolk had the support of an Industrial Chaplain and part of the charity’s funding came from the Norwich Diocese as well as several of the main stream non-conformist churches such as the Baptists, Methodists and the United Reformed Church. In later years, both Ipswich Road and Princes St URC supported Good Work.

After a lengthy review, the Trustees of the charity have now decided, following so many changes in the workplace, to wind down Good Work. The work of chaplains is as important as ever but others are now better positioned to promote chaplaincy and provide networking and training.

Rev Canon Chris Copsey, as well as being Norfolk’s first Coroner’s Chaplain, will for example, have a focus on chaplaincy through a Diocese of Norwich role funded by Good Work for the future. Also, the Trustees are delighted to donate £20,000 as it winds down, to Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN), a Christian charity which supports men and women leaving prison as well as agreeing a donation of £5,000 to the work of the chaplains at the N&N University Hospital.

Rev Adrian Woodbridge, Lead Chaplain at the N&N, said patients may be medically well for dis-charge, however for many they are still anxious, afraid and need ongoing pastoral support. Relatives and loved ones will frequently feel alone and afraid, feeling tired and unable to cope.

For patients and loved ones who have a faith group in the community, they will re-engage with the group on discharge and the hospital chaplains can support this transition. For the many who do not have faith attachments in the community, it is important that the pastoral support is extended to the community on discharge and that the chaplains support both patients and loved ones on dis-charge, maintaining the relationship that they have developed so that patients and loved ones do not feel alone. The chaplains can link with appropriate faith groups / non faith groups in the com-munity and transfer the support of the patient following discharge. Currently, the limited chaplain resource will not enable this essential discharge support to take place and so this donation will help.

Rev Matthew Hutton, Chair of Trustees of CCN has said that the generous donation of £20,000 to the work of the charity will both come as a huge encouragement and make a substantive impact on the ability of the charity to develop its ministry of working with ex-offenders.

CCN is now beginning to move beyond its initial stages of creating firm foundations of both management and relationships within the community with a large number of both statutory and charitable organisations which together are working to give ex-offenders the best possible chance of leading a new life post-release. What CCN does is to train and provide mentors for its clients as they look to rebuild their lives, with a view to seeing those clients become integrated, confident and fulfilled members of the community. Mentor training courses are held two or three times a year, with one just completed.

CCN’s Manager, Mel Wheeler, is responsible for ‘mentoring the mentors’ and ensuring that they have the fullest possible support to enable them most effectively to help their clients. The grant from Good Work has enabled CCN to add a third member of staff, Abby Erwin, as a Mentor Co-ordinator working half time in managing with Mel Wheeler the critical interface between mentors and clients. The grant will provide nearly two years’ salary.

The Trustees of Good Work would like to thank all those who have supported the charity over many years, either by working, volunteering or donating funds to support its aims including all the current advisors. The Board are indebted to the considerable support of the Finance team of the Diocesan Office and also NWCT church leaders.

We hope and pray that Good Work will thrive through these new and exciting initiatives of chaplaincy which is such an integral part of God’s work in our community.

Published: 25/06/2021