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What is Pastoral Care?

Pastoral care recognises that all people, without exception, are made in the image of God and are therefore as much spiritual beings as physical beings.  

Pastoral care is grounded in the uniqueness and value of each person and is inclusive of all people whether or not they have a religious affiliation.

Pastoral care attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of people through a ministry of presence, companionship and support.

Pastoral care is respectful of and is offered with sensitivity to a person’s needs, feelings and beliefs.

Pastoral care is about being with someone as they seek meaning, purpose and hope on the journey of life; it is not about imposing easy answers.

Pastoral care is listening with the heart and honouring the spirit; it is not about analysing with the head and focusing on the intellect.

Pastoral care is about walking alongside and sharing the struggles of others; it is not about leading or directing those struggles.

Pastoral care is praying for someone when they can’t pray for themselves.

Pastoral care is holding the hand or stroking the forehead of a person who is dying and whose family cannot be there.

Pastoral care is about being still, giving the gift of silence and being present to another person’s pain; it is not about filling every moment with words or taking away the pain.

Pastoral care is fulfilling, joy-filled and life-giving; challenging, demanding and at times heart- breaking.

Pastoral care reminds people that they are loved and conveys the greater love of God.

Being a pastoral carer is an immense privilege.
Pastoral care at Kirkbrae lives by the biblical imperative:


Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
(Colossians 3:12)