Most working-age Christians spend far more time at their place of work than at Church. And it is in the workplace where the reality of our faith is most often tested - in the challenges of business and working practices and negotiating relationships with colleagues of other faiths and none.
Made in the Black Country
The Black Country Urban Industrial Mission (BCUIM) is a team of chaplains from a number of Christian churches offering support to businesses and their employees through regular visits to workplaces in the Black Country. Led by Revd Bill Mash, Diocesan Officer for Mission in the Economy, the team seek to connect the church with the economy of the area. In communities of rich diversity, they are there for people of all faiths and none.
The working world is continuously changing, but the Black Country still has a higher proportion of people employed in advanced manufacturing than any other area of the country. Much of the heavy industry of the past may have gone, but work has a vital place in the lives of the people of the area.
Drawing alongside people in their work expresses our faith that God is to be found in the creativity and the interactions of the workplace. Faith helps many people lead fulfilled and meaningful lives. That’s what guides the team as they seek to contribute to the sustainability and development of the area, seeing hope for the future, and encouraging people to play their part in realising it.
Managing the Creative County
As noted in the video above, chaplaincy isn't just about serving employees. Business leaders regularly have to take difficult and stressful decisions knowing they can affect the lives of numerous staff and their families. And it can be a very lonely position to be in.
Mo Trudel, herself an entrepreneur as well as theologian, heads Ministry at Work, a chaplaincy supported by the Bishop of Stafford that works across all business sectors listening, supporting, encouraging and equipping people at their point of need. Situated in the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce building, Ministry at Work is centrally located to serve the business community of Staffordshire.
According to the charity MIND, in any given year one in six workers experience depression, anxiety or stress. This costs the UK economy £26 billion a year. In total 70 million working days are lost every year due to mental ill health, with 10 million working days directly caused by work-related problems. On average we spend 10.5 years of our lives at work it’s our aim to make those years happy and fulfilled.
Our chaplaincy team are here to journey along with you through the working week offering that confidential support which can often mean less time taken out of work. We are business people too, trained in pastoral ministry and able to understand the dynamics of the working environment and the ever elusive work-life balance!
We operate across a diverse range of age groups and nationalities, welcoming all, regardless of faith or no faith. Our involvement is tailored to the need of the business and individual concerned.
“On average we spend 10.5 years of our lives at work so it is crucial that this time is spent as positively as possible. Workplace wellbeing has a strong link with increased productivity and job satisfaction. Therefore, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce is committed to supporting its members and the wider business community to embrace a healthy workforce.
By working with Ministry at Work, we are able to offer support to those who are in need or experiencing depression, anxiety or stress. People from all backgrounds and walks of life can confidentially speak with the ministry and the support is tailored to the need of the business or individual concerned.”
Sara Williams, Staffordshire Chambers’ Chief Executive
Mo is the Director of Ministry at Work and completed her ministry training at St Johns College in 2012. She is an experienced Design Management Consultant and has worked with both public and private sector organisations over her 25 year career. A board member of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Mo is part of a wider Creative Industries programme. In 2012 Mo was appointed as the Bishop of Stafford’s Chaplain to Business.