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Spiritual Care

It might seem obvious that spiritual care should be part of our website but it is not obvious what should be said.  There was a time, not so long ago, when most people would have understood the idea of spiritual care.  It would have included some shared understanding of the meanings of the word ‘spiritual’, including a traditional approach to human beings as body, mind and spirit, a more or less general acceptance of a life after death, a reasonably widespread belief in the existence of (a) God, and acceptance of a connection between all of these and the moral life.  It is extraordinary how quickly approaches to the spiritual have changed over the last fifty years.  It is no longer necessarily considered to be a religious concept; many, many people now feel able to speak freely about the spiritual element in life, even in their own lives, without benefit of any religious allegiance or background.  This has affected the ordinary Christian and the expectation s/he might have of the Church and the care it offers, including spiritual care.

Spiritual care  covers a wide range: support for communal worship, private prayer, moral guidance, exploration of theological and philosophical ideas and beliefs, scriptural exegesis, individual counselling – and, in some Churches, sacramental engagement in many important stages of life.  The emphasis in each of the Churches is different, reflecting their traditions and development, and the demands made on Church leadership will vary from almost total obedience to accepted forms to complete freedom of expression.  Clearly, there are many ways of providing and receiving spiritual care, but there is no single right way.

Christians on Ageing will provide links to substantial treatments of the subject and will illustrate different approaches for different situations.  For example, the website includes selections of prayers and reflections published regularly in our magazine; a section devoted to people who find it difficult to sleep at night; help for those who can no longer get out and about much; and commentaries on ways of worship – and more.

The information on our website will be even better if we hear from you.   Tell us what has worked in your life.

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