New chaplaincy service on offer to Spalding town centre businesses

Rev William Ruddle, South-East Lincolnshire Industrial Chaplain, is waiting to hear where a new Spalding Town Centre Chaplaincy Team will win the support of businesses, traders and retailers.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Rev William Ruddle, South-East Lincolnshire Industrial Chaplain, is waiting to hear where a new Spalding Town Centre Chaplaincy Team will win the support of businesses, traders and retailers. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Traders, shop workers and other people with jobs in Spalding town centre could soon have “a listening ear” to turn to with their problems.

Plans for a Spalding Town Centre Chaplaincy Team have been unveiled to retailers and other businesses in the town after the service’s success within Lincolnshire Police and Boston College,

Chaplains are welcomed guests into a business and the service needs to be something that businesses in Spalding are willing to welcome and facilitate

Rev William Ruddle, industrial chaplain for south east Lincolnshire

The team would be led by Rev William Ruddle, industrial chaplain for south east Lincolnshire and part of a network involving more than 40 volunteer chaplains across the county.

Mr Ruddle said: “Lincolnshire Chaplaincy Services (LCS) is looking to provide pastoral care and support to people of all faiths and none across all areas of the working life.

“The team will seek to provide a team of authorised and trained chaplains to visit the shops and retail outlets in Spalding town centre who would offer a confidential listening service where the needs of staff and managers would be listened to and taken seriously.

“It seems to us at LCS that the retail sector is growing despite very difficult times economically and people working in this sector need support and a listening ear in times of stress.”

The chaplaincy service idea has been put to members of both the Spalding Town Retailers’ Association and Crescent Traders Association for their responses, as well as Spalding Town Centre Manager Dennis Hannant.

Mr Ruddle said: “LCS has ten volunteer chaplains operating in south east Lincolnshire and I am a chaplain for Lincolnshire Police, a service provided to all officers and staff that has been really well received.

“We’re hoping for an extension after the pilot year of the service, but we’re also looking to extend chaplaincy services into every sector where people are engaged in the workplace.

“After having talks with the Spalding town centre manager, he was supportive of the chaplaincy idea but chaplains are welcomed guests into a business and the service needs to be something that businesses in Spalding are willing to welcome and facilitate.

“This is an example of people of faith wanting to love and support their local community because, to God, there doesn’t need to be a choice between people’s wellbeing and profitable businesses.”

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