Chaplaincy Central: ‘Inspirational Chaplaincy’
The final conference in which SCALA was involved (SCALA is a sponsor of Chaplaincy Central, and Paul carries out much of its administration) took place in Birmingham on June 15th and brought together some 75 delegates in order to reflect on the diversity of school and FE chaplaincy. It included showcase presentations from individuals in specific chaplaincy contexts and discussion groups in which issues that were of significance to primary, secondary or FE chaplains were aired. What the conference affirmed was the very great diversity of both chaplains, their roles and contexts and the continuing need for networks in which their professional practice can be shared and enhanced. The showcases included the views of a ‘new’ chaplain and what had been discovered about the role as well as its relationship to the wider church and the expectations of the school. There was a presentation on teenage mental health – one of the most pressing issues that impinges on chaplaincy today. There was also a presentation on how spiritual support was given by a chaplain to school staff (including the head and his wife) and a very wide range of children, both individually and collectively. Talks on the actual and perceived nature of chaplaincy were given by Garry Neave and your Director. The event was judged as most successful and the need for more regional networking affirmed.