Commissioned as ‘companions alongside’

Eight new people were movingly dedicated on 19 February by retired bishop John Dennis. They join a team of 20 visitors who already support anyone in need in the parish of St Matthew with St Paul. ‘Your service is a pastoral one’, said Bishop John, ‘Especially to the unwell, the frail, the bereaved, the lonely and the troubled. I encourage you to see them with Christ’s eyes of love.’

The new Parish Visitors had just completed an excellent training course covering such topics as end of life and bereavement, visiting those with dementia, addictions, safeguarding, confidentiality and establishing boundaries. Speaking powerfully at the commissioning service, Canon Peter Seal said, ‘Our local pastoral challenge is to meet people where they are, affirming all that is good and beautiful and true. The calling of our visitors is to be alongside people in their life journey, as a companion on the way.’