Multifaith Chaplaincy Proposed by The Fire Fighters Charity in the UK
At the recent UK Fire & Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association (FRSCA) of the Conference at The Fire Service College in Gloucestershire, The Fire Fighters Charity asked the FRSCA chaplains to consider how they may be able to offer pastoral support to beneficiaries of the charity accessing its residential services.
The first FRSCA chaplain to offer to provide this pastoral support is Cumbria resident and Theravada Buddhist Jacquetta Gomes, who also serves as a fire chaplain to Fire and Rescue Services. Although Gomes is a Buddhist, she is available to serve all, of any or no faith. She is also an adviser on interfaith and multi faith to the CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association Lead on Diversity and Inclusion and to their Equality & Diversity Group.
The Fire Fighters Charity multi-faith chaplaincy was launched during National Inter Faith Week on 18 November at Jubilee House near Penrith in Cumbria, which is the charity’s first center to introduce multi-faith chaplaincy support. Gomes is working closely with Sharon Bailey, director of Beneficiary Services at The Fire Fighters Charity, and Andrew Waterfield, operations manager at Jubilee House, to embed the availability of this service at the center. Working with the FRSCA chaplains, The Fire Fighters Charity hopes to introduce a similar service at its other centers in the near future.
The Fire Fighters Charity
The Fire Fighters Charity provides life-enhancing rehabilitation, recuperation, and support services to members of the fire community across the UK at Jubilee House and at their centers in Devon and West Sussex. Queen Elizabeth II is the charity’s royal patron. Visit their website here: http://www.firefighterscharity.org.uk.
FRSCA Fire & Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association of the United Kingdom and Islands
The FRSCA Fire & Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association of the United Kingdom and Islands is the organization for anyone who fulfils a chaplaincy or faith leader role in the Fire and Rescue Services of the United Kingdom and Islands. FRSCA has a Facebook page, UK Fire Chaplains.
Faith and Fire
Faith and Fire is a partnership between the CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association, FRS Fire and Rescue Services, and faith communities to develop mutual respect. It also increases the awareness of faiths among FRS staff and volunteers. See http://faithandfire.co.uk/.
Buddhists Engaged with Emergency Services (BEWES)
Buddhists Engaged with Emergency Services is an informal group of Buddhists working with or who have worked with the emergency services (Fire, Police, Ambulance) and possibly related organizations, like coastguards. BEWES is for advisers, chaplains, mindfulness teachers, volunteers, and others. Find out more here: http://bewesbuddhists.weebly.com/.