Faith at Work V
Most Tuesdays find me at the Science Park just north of the Wolverhampton City Centre acting as a chaplain to those who work there. I go armed with a leaflet that asks "Have you got FAITH in your business?" and unfolds to show the various chaplains in the Black Country Urban Industrial Mission (BCUIM) team and what we seek to do. And "what exactly are your aims?" is a question that I am frequently asked. It's not an easy question to answer because it derives from the situation I find myself in.
I looked up "chaplain" in my dictionary the other day and discovered that I could be a "minister of a chapel" – well, that's not much help because there's no sign of a chapel at work although it has been suggested that it would be good to develop a quiet (or sacred) space somewhere on the site, but of course that would need to be sensitive to the variety of faiths and none present. I could also be a "clergyman who conducts religious services" in one of a number of places – that's a definition that is rather too narrow for the workplace. Service there is thought of in a much broader way, whether providing support internally for the people who work there or contributing externally for the market at large.
The BCUIM leaflet speaks of our "connecting church and economy" and being alongside folk in the workplace at times of significant change in their working environment, celebrating successful reorganisation and new life but offering advice, care and friendship in times of stress and rejection. But we also bring an understanding of work back into our worship place so that we might engage more fully with the issues of the world and offer them in our prayer and praise.
As we prepare for worship each Sunday morning we remind ourselves of the two great commandments, to "love the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength" and to "love our neighbour as ourself". Our faith may be founded clearly in the cool light of our religious tradition but it is challenged and expressed in the heat of everyday life. We are reminded at Christmas time that Jesus, the Son of God but also of Mary, came to live amongst us. If we are to follow his example, we must live out our faith in the workplace as well as the chapel. Have you got FAITH in your business?
may your will be done, Lord,
here on the earth
as it is in heaven
This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2004-11-11