The Diocese of Chichester with Together in Sussex are launching Hearing You, a new pastoral phone line to enable the people of Sussex to feel connected and supported.
It is a phoneline that will provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. It will be staffed by volunteers who are trained in pastoral care and listening skills: clergy and licensed lay ministers.
All volunteer listeners will
• have an active DBS and have completed safeguarding training with the Diocese of Chichester
• be able to point callers to their parish clergy
• direct callers to other organisations offering specialist support if appropriate
• offer to pray for the caller or for their concerns.
NB This is not a substitute for the emergency services (111 or 999) or a counselling service. It is a human, Christian response to anyone who turns to the Church in this time of need.
Hospital chaplains within the diocese will also be able to direct people to the service. The phonelines will be open to anyone living in Sussex whether they currently attend a church or not.
The service will initially run from today to the end of May, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 7.00pm.
The Hearing You number is: 01273 425047
At the same time the diocese, in consultation with hospital chaplains, has launched a simple card for people to print and take into hospital with them. This will state they are a Christian and agreeing for a chaplain to visit them in hospital These will be distributed via churches and the hospital chaplaincy.
You can download the card here