Fulfilled living in later life

Wednesday 24th May 2023

Christians in Care

Pilgrims’ Friend Society has launched a new network, Christians in Care, to unite Christians in the care sector as they live out the gospel and to encourage more Christians to consider taking on a role in care. Our HR Director Joshua Field explains

Nearly 1.6 million people work in the UK’s social care sector so we can say confidently that thousands of them are Christians. As I have talked to various Christians working across the sector, I have heard how they have brought God’s love to the people they support.

Pilgrims Friend Christiansincare Josh

Working in social care can bring unique challenges, and opportunities, to those who are Christian. In secular settings it is often mandated that the faith of carers must be unseen and unheard, but I was inspired to hear of how one carer agreed with a Christian colleague that they would pray silently in their hearts for an individual that they were both caring for. They believed God was working in this person and delighted in the opportunity to share their love for them with one another and with their Heavenly Father.

I have heard of others who have felt compelled to speak of God’s love with those they are caring for and have faced disciplinary action as a result.

Pilgrims Friend Christiansincare logo

One reason we want Christians in Care (CIC) to exist is to connect Christians working within care so burdens and opportunities can be shared with each other in prayer.

As well as sharing such burdens, through connecting Christians, we also want to support those working in the sector with expertise and guidance. There are many challenges that come with working in a sector that faces chronic under-funding and huge shortages in staff.

This brings me to a further reason why we want CIC to exist, which is to encourage Christians and churches to view this sector as part of the Lord’s harvest field, to pray for those who work in it, and to consider coming to work in it themselves. Paul in Galatians 6:10 encourages us to ‘do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.’ Social care provides wonderful opportunities for thousands of Christians to provide love, support, and care to the most vulnerable people in our society. To share God’s love with those who need it.

The level of need is acute. There are currently around 5.4 million people in the UK aged 75 or over, a number that is set to grow as our population ages. With older age comes the increased likelihood for a need for care. Already there are not enough people to fill these caring roles. According to a recent report by Skills for Care, there are 165,000 vacant posts in our sector. Christians have an opportunity to respond, as they have throughout history, to our society’s biggest needs, sharing God’s love in word and deed.

So far CIC has connected a handful of managers and trustees, the majority from independent Christian homes and care providers. It has already provided encouragement as we meet monthly with one another to pray and use our WhatsApp group to share immediate prayer requests with one another.

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However, CIC is at an embryonic stage. We would love to connect Christians from the wider sector, and as we grow we hope that groups will become regional, and specific organisational based groups will exist for Christians to meet to pray for the particular issues and needs in their context. We desire to provide engaging, useful resources and events that equip and inspire Christian to be more effective in their work, and we want to be a hub of support for Christians.

We need Christians working in care to hear of CIC and to catch the vision of the mutual blessing that it can be. We need wisdom in how best to grow and connect with more Christians. We need creativity and guidance in creating useful resources and support for people.

If you or people you know are Christians working within care please consider joining CIC and help this to become a reality.

If you are interested in partnering with Christians in Care or would like more information, email Joshua Field on ChristiansInCare@pilgrimsfriend.org.uk

Prayer Points:

  • Christians working in care
  • A growing impact of Christians in the UK’s social care sector
  • God’s guidance and wisdom in practical decisions
  • Christians to catch the vision for CIC and help to make these ambitions a reality
  • The right people to help take CIC forward
  • Our new part-time lead coordinator Lucy who starts in July
  • God to be glorified

Update: Our Christians in Care web page is now live.

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