Pastoral Care

Our Mission for Pastoral Care at St James’ is

“To be guided each day to the people we may meet and, as necessary, help them by our own actions and suffering”

With this in mind we aim to:

Commit to meeting the needs of the sick, lonely, bereaved and housebound
Attain of the highest standards in listening, confidentiality and response to the needy
Respect for those being supported regardless of religion or faith values
Encourage by example, members of the congregation to make St James’ Finchampstead a Pastoral Parish


Working alongside and supporting the Ministry Team, our Pastoral Care can be understood as the Ministry of the Church that is concerned with the well-being of individuals and communities within the Parish of St James’ Finchampstead. In considering this, we take a responsibility in responding to the needs of our congregation and community, by being a sensitive and listening Church that can engage with people whether they subscribe to religious and faith values or not.

The heart of Pastoral Care is effective listening – sometimes simple but often not easy. It is an active process that does not just require skills in communication, but also sensitivity. It is acknowledged that Pastoral Care takes place within our Church and community all the time, and is part of what might simply be called being a good neighbour. The Pastoral Team recognises and works with our congregation who already do much to support others in their day-to-day lives and often this takes place spontaneously, quietly and anonymously, and is of great value.

So the benefits and values of a Team include a strengthened sense of identity, focus and shared ministry along with opportunities for mutual support, learning and the utilisation of different skills and talents. We do not aim to be, or practise as, a counselling service. Our Pastoral Caring uses listening skills, and is not the same activity as that known as counselling.

People often join our congregation as a result of bereavement, sickness or indeed because they are seeking spiritual help. Because of this our Team is constantly aware that this area of worship at our church is an important part of our welcome service.

We are not and do not aim to be a substitute for, or compete with, the support and care of professionals working within our communities e.g. doctors, nurses or health visitors.

There are members of the Parish who, for whatever reason, are unable to attend Church Services for extended periods of time. These are usually the elderly in care homes, the sick in hospital or at home. The distribution of Holy Communion by the Clergy is supported by the Eucharistic Lay Minister who is licensed by the Bishop of Reading and approved by the PCC.

If you or anybody you know could benefit from Pastoral Care or who would like Holy Communion please contact the Parish Office.

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