Fulfilled living in later life

Thursday 30th November 2023

Lucy shares the vision for Christians in Care

Launched by Pilgrims’ Friend Society, Christians in Care is a new network designed to support Christians working across the whole care sector. Lucy Honeysett, Lead Coordinator of Christians in Care, shares why she’s passionate about leading this initiative

Pilgrims Friend Society Christiansin Care Lucy Honeysett cropped

I’m a palliative care nurse and have worked for most of my career in hospice care. But working life for me began as a carer and this was an amazing experience. My first care role when I was 17 was at Leonora Home, Pilgrims’ Friend Society’s former home in Chippenham [this home has now been closed and replaced by Middlefields House].

I will never forget the people I cared for and worked alongside. God showed me that caring for vulnerable people was precious and important work. I watched Christian carers do their work with such compassion and kindness. They treated people with deep respect and I learnt so much from them. How they cared for people pointed me to Jesus and was an example of how He treated people who were, perhaps otherwise, forgotten by society.

The manager of the home was a lady called Brenda Kyte. She was a very godly lady who cared deeply for those she was looking after. There were times when she stayed up all night to sit with someone who was dying, and read the Bible to them. She consistently showed compassion, kindness and respect to those she cared for, no matter how tired she may have felt!

My role as a carer inspired me to go into nursing. I worked at the care home all through my nursing training until I was 21. Those years shaped me and inspired me, personally and professionally. When I started at Leonora there were three lovely ladies called Florence, known variously as Florence, Flo and Florrie. They made such an impression that we named our first daughter Florence, Florrie for short.

As I have cared for many dying people over the years, I’ve worked with many carers and have always valued and known the importance of their work. Yet I know we need to do much more to encourage those providing care who may not always feel the full recognition they deserve.

I therefore want to do all I can to connect and encourage Christians working across all care sectors.

We have a Christians in Care frontline staff WhatsApp group where we share encouraging Bible verses, prayer needs and testimonies. We meet virtually to chat, provide resources, encourage one another from God’s word and pray together. We also have a WhatsApp group for Christian care home leaders and trustees, and we meet on Zoom to pray for and support one another.

If you’re a Christian working in the social care sector and would like to be a part of this network, please get in touch via the form on our Christians in Care page.

And if you don’t work in social care yourself but know someone who does, please do share the link to this page with them.

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Encouragement for carers:

1) What carers do is precious and noticed by God. In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus says that if anyone feeds someone, provides a drink, clothes them and cares for them, they are doing this for Him. So, before you think you need to do more, remember you are placed where you are by God and are bringing Him glory.

2) How you care can convey God’s love. The tone of your voice, the words you use, the way you use your hands, can all express the value of someone made in God’s image. We can be instruments of God’s love and uphold dignity and respect for each person.

3) We know it isn’t always easy. Working as a carer can be emotionally and physically testing. We’re here to share and acknowledge the highs and lows, the impact this can have on our faith, and the opportunities we have. We’re here to pray for one another and learn together.

Alma

Alma is a live-in carer whose demanding schedule requires her to spend four weeks working in the client’s home in one stint.

Alma says, “The pressure of live-in care can be intense. You are a guest in someone’s home, and I give all my energy to the job at hand. Sometimes it can be difficult to give your best without your church and Christian fellowship available to you.

"To be connected with Christians in Care is so important for me because I have people who can pray for me, listen to me and remind me of who I am in Christ. I feel connected to a Christian community that cares for me.”

Pilgrims Friend Christians in Care Alma
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