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Parish Pastoral Team

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
     
 

A lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do you read there?' He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.'

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?' Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, "Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend." Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?' He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' Jesus said to him, 'Go and do likewise.'

(Luke 10.25-37)

 

Who is my neighbour, and what is my response? Our Pastoral Team was formed to answer this question and to set up those strategies that would enable us to meet people in their need.

Pastoral care is an integral part of living the implications of the Christian faith. Our readiness to see in others the likeness of Christ, and to respond to the infinite worth associated with such recognition, is a primary motivation for all pastoral ministry. It is the responsibility and privilege of all the baptized, not only a chosen few, and should be freely offered to those with whom we come into contact. Pastoral care in this sense is about listening, supporting, encouraging and befriending.

St Matthew’s has a dedicated team of people who in specific and often discrete ways participate in the on-going pastoral ministry of the parish and thereby advance our mission to the local community. The Team is ‘porous’ in that others with specific gifts and experience are called upon and encouraged to participate. The nature and extent of the care offered varies and is under the guidance of the Parish Priest who has the cure of souls.

Some Pastoral Team members have backgrounds in nursing and the caring professions, and all have from time to time received appropriate training on courses and from guest speakers. We endeavour to develop our understanding of the precious ministry entrusted to us. The Team meets regularly in order to support and encourage one another and to share pastoral ‘intelligence’. All aspects of our work are treated in confidence.

Areas of responsibility encompassed by the Team

Baptismal anniversaries
At baptism the newly baptized receive a lighted candle which is decorated with the imagery associated with the sacrament. In the case of infant baptism, for example, parents are asked to relight the candle on the anniversary of the baptism to help remind them of the vows they made for themselves and for their child and, when the child is old enough, to use the candle as a teaching focus with a challenge to Christian commitment. On anniversaries the Pastoral Team sends a card to the family assuring them of our prayers and renewing the invitation for them to join us as a family, especially for All-Age services.

Visiting the sick or housebound
Pastoral Team members together with others within our congregation regularly visit a range of people at home or in hospital. Our aim is to bring to them the assurances of faith mindful that in our visiting we bring Christ in human form to these encounters. This gift of time and attentive listening, of care and compassion, can transform even the most difficult situations, and is often of lasting benefit to general well-being.

Holy Communion - administered at home or in hospital
Most members of the Team have been licensed as Eucharistic Assistants by the Bishop to administer Holy Communion both in church and out in the community. As catholic Anglicans for whom the sacramental life of the church is central, this is something we take very seriously.

Those who are unwell or otherwise incapacitated often experience isolation and aloneness in particular ways. They may experience separation from the worshipping community. At the end of Mass, Pastoral Team members are commissioned and sent out to take the Blessed Sacrament to those who are genuinely unable to get to church. They conduct a short act of worship culminating in the giving of Holy Communion. The service makes clear our understanding that, whether in church, home or hospital, we are united as ‘members together of the Body of Christ’ and that spiritually we are made one with God and each other.

There follows a specimen of the service conducted by our Eucharistic Ministers:

 

 

The Communion of the Sick and Housebound [shorter form]

The licensed Lay Minister of Holy Communion greets all present

His/her greeting proclaims the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ with the community gathered here


Order of Service
 

   

All

 

In the name of God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Our Christian brothers and sisters
at St Matthew’s send you their greetings,
and offer you the assurance
of their prayers as members together
of the Body of Christ.


The Greeting
 





All




All

(either)

Peace to this home
and to all who live here.
and also with you.

(or)

Grace and peace be with you.
and also with you.


Prayers of Penitence
 

 

Come to me,
all who labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

God shows his love for us in that
when we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Let us then show our love for him
by confessing our sins
in penitence and faith.


There may be a time for silent reflection

Confession
 



All



All




All

Lord Jesus, you heal the sick:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you forgive sinners:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you give yourself to heal us
and bring us strength:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.


Absolution
 





All

May the God of love and power
forgive us † and free us from our sins,
heal and strengthen us by his Spirit,
and raise us to new life in Christ our Lord.
Amen.


The Collect

One of these, or another appropriate prayer is used
 






All











All

Father, you raised your Son’s cross
as the sign of victory and life.
May all who share in his suffering
find in this sacrament a source of fresh courage and wholeness,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

(or)

God of compassion,
you take every family under your care
and know our physical and spiritual needs.
Transform our weakness
by the strength of your grace
and confirm us in your truth
so that we may grow in faith and love.
We ask in the name of Jesus Christ.
Amen.


Scripture Reading
 




All

At the end

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


The Prayers

Appropriate prayers may be said. Then…

The Lord’s Prayer
 




All

Lord, remember us in your kingdom
as we pray in the words you gave us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


Giving of Communion
 






All

(either)

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Happy are those who are called
to his supper.
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word
and I shall be healed.


(or)

This is the bread of life.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


The licensed Lay Minister gives Holy Communion to the people

Prayer after Communion
 











All

God of all compassion,
by the dying and rising of your Christ
you restore us to yourself
and enfold us in your love.
May we who have been fed
with the bread of life
be renewed by your healing Spirit
and made ready
for the coming of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


The Grace

The Lay Minister uses these or other words appropriate to the season or feast-day
 





All

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
be with us all evermore.
Amen.


Preparation of the room for Holy Communion

It is helpful if a clean white cloth is spread on a small table or surface, preferably in front of the sick person(s). Also, for there to be a small bowl containing water and a towel, for the Lay Minister to wash his/her fingers.


Community Party
From time to time the Pastoral Team organizes an afternoon tea for those of riper years. Often there is music and entertainment - for example, provided by students from a local school. Through a network of contacts the Team invites those living alone and asks nearby residential or nursing homes to put forward the names of residents who they think would benefit from such an occasion. Our aim is to provide a stimulating and happy environment where an enjoyable afternoon might be spent recalling past memories and common experiences in company with others. Where possible we help provide transport, though many are accompanied by their own carers.

Christmas Gifts and Dinner
No-one likes to feel forgotten and no more so than at Christmas. At a time of year when people often gather together, others may experience heightened feelings of separation and loss. Each year the Team gives a token gift to those it feels might appreciate the gesture. Typically the gift is practical in nature and intended for those with whom we have had pastoral contact. The gift also serves as a modest reminder that they continue to be remembered and valued.

As a congregation we have also tried to ensure that no-one need spend Christmas Day alone. In past years, parishioners have given over their time on Christmas Day to provide lunch for those who wished to share a festive meal in company with others and who might otherwise be on their own. The practicality and need of this initiative is kept under review each year.

Areas for future development
The Pastoral Team is currently considering ways through which it may broaden its brief and better serve the community. These ideas include the observance of birthdays, the aftercare associated with baptisms, weddings, first communion and confirmation, and a scheme for assisting enquirers during worship.

In all of this there is abundant evidence that the Holy Spirit is renewing a church in its desire to serve and, in the words of St Paul,
 

 

"there is a confidence that God who began this good work will see it brought to completion."

(Philippians 1.6)


 

 
  About Our Parish  
 

Learn about the parish of
St Matthew's and how the church serves as a spiritual and cultural hub.
 

 
 

Parish Pastoral Team

 
 

Discover the areas of responsibility encompassed by the Parish Pastoral Team.
 

 
 

Caring For Our Heritage

 
 

Read about the remedial work that was carried out at
St Matthew's church in aid of securing the future of this Grade II listed building and spiritual home.
 

 
   

Caring For Our Heritage Gallery

 
   

View photos of the remedial work currently being carried out.
 

 

 

Views of St Matthew's

 

 

Browse through our photo gallery of interesting views of
St Matthew's
 

 
 

Floodlighting & Flowers

 
 

Celebrate an anniversary or remember a loved one with flowers or by floodlighting the Church for the evening.

 
 

 

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