Outreach & Pastoral Care

A ministry of welcome and hospitality

The church is open between 10:00am and 4:00pm every day, during which we offer a welcome to all visitors – with the opportunity to look around our historic building; enjoy some peace and quiet in the centre of town; have the opportunity for silence, quiet prayer and to light a candle; or find friendship, hospitality and a ‘listening ear’ from our Church Welcomers.

Our Pastoral Assistant is in church on Sunday through to Thursday, and is often the first point of contact for anyone who has a pastoral need. His ministry is augmented by other members of the congregation who have a professional background in care and support. If the pastoral concern requires the involvement of an ordained minister, then the Vicar or one of the Honorary Priests will be contacted.

We can offer hospitality – teas or coffees as required. There are opportunities for listening and some counselling. If specifically requested, we will offer prayers, the encouragement to light a candle, and a welcome to our Sunday and weekday services. Practical help includes the use of a phone to the social services, photocopying, and internet access. We can give support and introduction to specialised agencies or advice centres.

Liaison With Other Agencies

Our central location means that those who are homeless or passing through
Bedford often visit us. The privilege of being accessible to all allows us to
respond in the first instance to immediate needs, and then to contact specialised agencies and organisations as appropriate. When appropriate we will work (in conjunction with specialised agencies) with long term clients who have complex needs and require continuity and sustained pastoral support.

We are pleased to be involved with other agencies in a regular rough-sleepers forum, co-ordinated by the Bedford Borough Council, that monitors those who have been identified as having complex needs.