My husband really likes the following joke. I can’t think why- but it gives me a useful lead in to an important piece of news for Braunston so I’ll give him his moment:
A certain woman went into hospital for a minor operation. After her surgery she was in quite a lot of discomfort so she was given some strong medication for the pain. Very soon afterwards her husband arrived to visit and as he walked in he met a nurse just leaving his wife’s room.
“How is she?” asked the concerned husband in hushed tones.
“Well, she’s a little dopey,” said the nurse.
“Oh, I know that!” said the husband. “I mean, how is she health-wise?”
Ever since I arrived here almost five years ago I have been aware that health-wise there are a lot of people in Braunston who struggle with physical, mental, social and spiritual health issues. Cancers and low level mental health problems loom large as do bereavement and family problems. Some people have supportive neighbours and families. Others do not. Because Braunston is only part of my ministry I just about manage to fight the pastoral fires- the urgent things- but my ability to love and care for the chronically ill, the lonely, the long-term depressed, even among the regular church congregation let alone in the wider village, is pitiful. I prioritise those without close family but I find this distressing because my calling is to show God’s love to ALL God’s people and I barely scratch the surface.
For two years the church has been trying to suss out how to serve the community better- how to love and support those in need at any given time. The café and car initiatives are part of that response and the glory of those is that they are delivered and owned by the whole village.
We are slowly building a visiting team but it takes time. So I am delighted that All Saints’ has been given a grant to employ a Parish Nurse for two days a week for three years. We hope to recruit the right person for Braunston at the end of the summer.
Our parish nurse will spend time with those with health issues and look at all dimensions of human health. He or she will be a practicing registered nurse, who is also an active Christian, so in a great position to help people access mainstream healthcare provision while providing practical and prayerful care and a listening ear. This is unapologetically a church initiative and prayer may be offered (but may also be declined! This is for everyone not just church people.)
Whatever your feelings about church and faith I hope you see this as good news for Braunston. I’m really excited by it (albeit a little dopey!) and will keep you posted on progress
Every blessing, Sarah
PS. If you want to know more about Parish nursing look online at www.parishnursing.org.uk and here