How About Health Ministry?

Our research shows that there are approximately 60,000 Christian nurses in the UK, yet so far, only about 100 Parish Nurses.

Health and healing were very much part of the ministry of Jesus and of the early church. Monks and Nuns formed our early hospitals, and Florence Nightingale was a theologian as well as a nurse. In the nineteenth century churches employed deaconesses who originally had to be nurses and often went about in the community in nurse’s uniform. This was seen as part of the mission of the church, and today we have the opportunity to engage in that aspect of God’s mission more fully.

Is there a nurse in your church? If there’s not, there might be one in a nearby church and you could work together with them. Or you may have other registered health professionals who would be interested in forming a team health ministry, or supporting the parish nurse.

We have found that the appointment of a parish nurse encourages volunteering in the congregation and community; results in more time spent with people who don’t attend church; increases the profile of the church in the neighbourhood; enhances the church’s relationships with other voluntary organisations and health providers, e.g. GP practices; increases the range of interventions offered by the church, not only around physical wellbeing, but also mental, social and spiritual health; and provides a very natural way of integrating spiritual care with everyday life. Some clients find good company, a sense of belonging and eventually a path to faith through the church. Some become volunteers with health ministry themselves. Some will never make that journey, but appreciate the care that the church is able to give in the name of Christ.

If you’d like to know more, one of our team is willing to come and talk with your church and maybe others in the area. If you don’t have a nurse, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who is looking to do parish nursing. Or if you have funding to appoint a nurse, paid or volunteer, as part of your ministry team, even for only a few hours a week, we can help you to recruit a registered nurse, we will train them, and support you as you develop this ministry. We now have a step by step process to help you towards a safe, effective, person-centred parish nursing service.  Email us for the first step, which is a free enquiry pack with no strings attached!

See this review by Bishop Sarah Mullally, published in the Church Times in October 2015: Church Times review 18 October 2015