Our new Community Chaplain
Introducing Helene Tame, who’s been appointed on behalf of Churches Together in St Neots as the Love’s Farm ‘Community Chaplain’. Helene is married to Jonathan and has five children, one away at university the others still at school and home.
Hello, over time I will write other bits for the website but let me start by giving an introduction to the idea behind Community Chaplain!
We’ve become used to having chaplains appear in a variety of places: hospitals – schools – town centres – prisons – airports, but why on a community like Love’s Farm? From the very beginning those responsible for physically building homes knew that a community was more than just a collection of houses. The BPHA have been a major force behind helping to establish and support the Love’s Farm Community Association (LFCA) which itself works hard at nurturing community here on Love’s Farm through its many and varied initiatives aimed at drawing people together, addressing community needs and providing something of a voice for the community.
How will the role of chaplain compliment all that’s already happening?!
It’s probably true to say that although many of us wouldn’t describe ourselves as religious, we might describe ourselves as spiritual, and feel there's more to us than our daily routines. And if that’s so it’s good to ask how we care for ourselves spiritually. We know that we take care of our bodies by diet and exercise, our relationships by giving them time, our environment by stewarding our resources well but how might we care for our spirit and the spirit of our community?
That’s not an easy question to answer but I take care of my spirit by taking time to do the things that make me feel most alive and that help to keep me connected to the people that matter to me. I take care of my spirit by paying attention to what and who is around me. I also take care of my spirit by saying thank you for the things I’m grateful for – by being quick to say sorry when I’ve messed up and by not holding on to resentment when someone has let me down. I take care of my sprit when I look for resources beyond myself – which for me is a part of what prayer is and may involve saying thank you, sorry, asking for help, listening or simply being quiet, or meditating, or just finding a few minutes in the day to reflect on what's important. Praying, in the variety of forms that it takes, is something else lots of people do even if they don’t consider themselves religious. So as well as join in with the things already happening within the community one part of my job as community chaplain is to pray and if you ever think I could ‘say one for you’ then please let me know! But either way I hope that that we’ll get to meet as neighbours; perhaps at a Quiz Night or SMART day, or football match or school assembly or queuing in Tesco or over a coffee or all the other places we go to build community and take care of ourselves body, mind and spirit!