Does workplace chaplaincy make a difference?
The full Survey Report, and an Executive Summary, are available to download.
Chaplaincy has always been at the heart of Faith at Work in Worcestershire (FWW), but we have never tried to measure what difference it makes. Until now. In making plans for the next three years (2021 – 23) we decided to do just this, through a survey of three key groups – those whom chaplains visit in workplaces, the chaplains themselves and their churches.
Using a standard set of questions for each group, through January and February, we spoke to more than 100 people. The feedback has provided real insight into what people think about chaplaincy, most of it very positive. We found that having a regular visit from a chaplain is welcomed and valued. Those at work feel supported and cared for and that, in their chaplain, they have someone they can confide in. As one person said, “The chaplain puts a smile on our faces, a lovely person. It is good to have someone to listen. We all need a chaplain.”
From chaplains we discovered how much chaplaincy helped them put their faith into action, and pushed them to find new depths and meaning of that faith. The conversations with our partner churches likewise showed how chaplaincy is a critical way of being outward looking in mission, engaging with people where they are.
We have learnt where and how we should improve our training and communication, and gained real insight into how partnerships with congregations and workplaces might be further developed. The survey has given us a new vision for expanding our chaplaincy into new sectors of the economy, and a new confidence that chaplaincy is our calling from God, and also something valued by all involved. Above all we have learnt that we should celebrate what chaplaincy achieves and that, though chaplaincy is very difficult at the moment because of COVID-19, when the economy does resume, however different it then is, chaplaincy will be even more needed – and valued – than it ever has been.
Dick Johnson, FWW Development Officer April 2020