Pastoral care is how all members of the Cathedral congregation, including the clergy and lay ministers, provide support, help, and care to one another and to the wider community, especially in times of crisis, illness, or grief. Such pastoral care is natural, informal and often unnoticed by those not directly involved. It is a normal and essential part of being a disciple of Jesus in community.
More formal pastoral care is offered in a number of ways
Praying for one another
Every day we pray for people who have specifically asked for prayers, for themselves, for someone else, or for some other need or concern. Some Cathedral members pray these prayers privately at home. Those leading services also pray these prayers publicly at Morning Prayer, the weekday Eucharist and at Evening Prayer every day of the week.
How to request prayers
If you would like the support of prayer for whatever you are experiencing, you may request prayers in a number of ways:
- please call the Cathedral Office and ask for your concern to be put on the prayer list
- please add your concern on the prayer request sheet available at the entrance of the Cathedral each Sunday morning. (speak to one of the stewards)
- please write your concern on a piece of paper and add it to the small prayer box by the candle stand.
Names usually remain on the prayer list for a month. Note that due to privacy issues, the person must give permission to have their name on the prayer list.
A personal prayer ministry is also available on some Sundays during the 10am Eucharist. Please go to the Chapel of St John of Jerusalem immediately after receiving Holy Communion.
Home or hospital visits
A pastoral visit is one way for the congregation to include those whom are not able to attend the Cathedral on a regular basis. Visitors are in contact roughly every month, either by telephone or personal visits through the P2P programme. They bring news of the congregation and, with appropriate training, provide support for the circumstances which the person being visited may be facing. If you know of someone who is no longer able to come to worship on a regular basis, please let us know by contacting the Cathedral Office, and we will arrange for someone to pay them a visit.
The Church offers a number of sacramental ministries to assist people through stressful parts of life. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of God’s inward and spiritual grace, and these ministries are beautiful, specific ways in which the timeless love, healing power, and forgiveness of God are spoken and heard in particular times and places. It is the distinctive role of a priest to celebrate these sacraments and so it is always a joy and a privilege to be invited to do so. Please do not hesitate to make a request for any of these ministries if you feel they would help you.
Holy Communion can be brought to people who are shut-in at home because of chronic or acute sickness or disability. This may be a minister who brings the consecrated sacrament from the Cathedral to your house, or it might be a priest who celebrates a whole Communion service in your home.
The holy Oil of the Sick is blessed by Bishop Barry each year on Maundy Thursday and is kept in the Cathedral. This is a centuries-old ministry of prayer for healing which is particularly appropriate before or after surgery, as well as during any acute sickness.
Confession and Absolution
The Anglican Church offers private Confession and Absolution to those who would like to unburden their conscience and hear the words of forgiveness spoken through a priest. Its context can be simple and informal, sitting in a home or office, or can be more formal at the confessional in the Meditation Chapel in the Cathedral.
Is pastoral care appropriate for you?
The Cathedral pastoral team ask for you to help us know when we may be of service. Please let us know:
- When you are anticipating or have experienced the death of someone near to you.
- When you or someone in your family is ill or has been hospitalized or is going to have surgery.
- When a child is born. We’d like the opportunity to make a visit to welcome your new member of the family.
- When you are struggling with decisions about health care and faith.
- When you lose a job, or your home, or significant relationship, or are going through significant changes in your life.
- When you are having a crisis of faith. Contact us for an appointment to explore your situation and needs.