Spirituality and Chaplaincy
All of WLM’s work is rooted in our inclusive Christian ethos.
We believe that that our Christian ethos is dynamically relevant to our professional social work and are committed to an integration between the two.
A key aspect of this is the work of our Chaplain, Revd Ruth Bottoms. Ruth has been a Baptist minister for 25 years and has experience of working across many Christian traditions.
She works for WLM four days a week and spends most of her time in each of our social work services, talking and meeting with residents and users of our services.
What is the purpose of Chaplaincy?
One of the values of WLM’s work is to promote wholeness for all the users of our services. This includes seeking to address people’s spiritual needs. Through Ruth we offer spiritual, religious or pastoral support to people.
Homelessness, imprisonment, addictions and other challenges often leaves our residents and users with all sorts of questions. Ruth is available to support people as they search for meaning.
In keeping with our inclusive ethos Ruth offers support to people of all faiths and none. Where support from a minister of another faith is requested then Ruth will connect them to the appropriate people and places.
How does it work?
Ruth regularly visits the West London Day Centre, the Haven, Katherine Price Hughes House and Big House. Whoever someone is, whatever their background or beliefs, the chaplain has time for them – be it for a friendly chat, a confidential conversation, or time to pray with someone.
At the West London Day Centre the chaplain facilitates a Spirituality Discussion Group open to people of all faiths and none. The group devises its own programme and meets for two hours on Tuesday lunchtime from 11.45am – 1.45pm. After an initial time of arrivals and chat, a moment of stillness follows with the lighting of a candle and a meditative reading. Then the discussion of that day’s topic is introduced and all are invited to contribute.
Ruth also works with clients and residents to find appropriate ways to celebrate religious festivals (such as Christmas and Easter). She can assist with marking life’s major events, such as the death of a loved one or moving into a new home. She will also lead memorial services and funerals to mark the passing of our service users where appropriate.
Other chaplaincy activities can include discussion groups, trips and outings.
The Chaplain has a network of contacts in a number of different church traditions and will try to put people in touch with someone from their own denomination as requested.
For those of other world faiths, Ruth is able to put people in touch with representatives of faith groups in the locality.
Values and approach
All our chaplaincy work is done within the framework of the Charter for Christian Homelessness Agencies
You may also be interested in the 2013 report on spirituality with homeless people by Lemos and Crane – Lost and Found by Carwyn Gravel
We are seeking to develop our capacity in our provision of chaplaincy through recruiting, training and supporting volunteers. If you are interested to know more about this, please contact the Chaplain.
Please see our current advert for Chaplaincy Volunteers HERE.
Please see the latest article by our Chaplain, Revd Ruth Bottoms HERE
The chaplain can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org