About Us

Find Out More About Parish Nursing Ministries UK

Parish Nursing is all about supporting people and communities towards whole person healthcare. It can happen through a local church of any denomination, and people can be referred to their own faith community if they so desire. Click here for more information about the nature of parish nursing.

Whole person healthcare is about the person’s overall well-being, which includes spiritual, physical, mental and social aspects of health.

All Parish Nurses are registered nurses and are appointed or employed through a local church or Christian organisation. Most of them continue to work for the NHS and we value our links with all NHS and other relevant professionals.

Parish Nursing Ministries UK promotes this exciting concept and helps churches and nurses to develop it.

Lesley BP

 

Whole person healthcare is about a person’s overall well-being. It is care for their body, mind and spirit. Rooted in the Biblical concept of ‘Shalom’, we believe that these areas of well-being are integrated and often have an impact on each other.

Our nurses support people of all ages and backgrounds towards whole person healthcare. Whether it’s simply giving moral support during a medical crisis – giving general health advice or educating for health – “signposting” people to various support or medical services – praying for people – clarifying medical procedures or issues, etc – or simply listening (which they do an awful lot of!) – they focus on the person, rather than just a specific medical condition.
If prescriptions, dressings, injections, or help with personal care are needed, they are provided by the health and social care services, but the parish nurse can be the link, ensuring that people use the health services appropriately, and understand their medication, care and condition. They can help to prevent hospital admissions by following up people who have been discharged from care, are at risk, or have early signs of health problems. They train and coordinate volunteers to provide extra support during times of crisis. They encourage exercise and healthy nutrition, so that preventable diseases are less likely to ensue.
This integration of the different aspects of health is the main reason why we believe our ministry is so special.

The work can vary tremendously depending on the community needs, the nurse’s vision, time available, strategy, competences and gifting. Some parish nurses are mental health trained, others have paediatric or midwifery qualifications. All have worked in the community, either in a voluntary or professional capacity. Visit our case stories section for further examples.

We encourage churches to employ/appoint registered nurses as part of their mission in the community. This can be on a part-time, full-time, paid or voluntary basis, depending on the church’s circumstances.

Our Regional Coordinators are available to work with the church and the Parish Nurse to think through how the nurse’s skills, competences and experience can best be deployed. Together they will develop a plan based on the church and nurse’s vision, strategy and gifting, guided by the Coordinator’s experience, ideas and knowledge.

Are there specific and common health issues in amongst the congregation and local communities? Are there any groups or communities that the church is trying to serve and reach out to? How can the nurse help them achieve this? What ideas have worked with other Parish Nursing projects and how can they be used for this church? And so on…

Parish Nursing Ministries UK provides training for the nurse including a residential course, with particular emphasis on integrating specialist nursing skills with spiritual care, as well as various other aspects of the role. We also offer study days, seminars and a regular symposium.

Crucially, this is backed-up by ongoing support from the Regional Coordinator. This includes advice for the church and the nurse, professional updates, ideas from other projects, cluster meetings, seminars and retreat days. We have a quality assurance scheme for each church that has a parish nurse. And downloadable resources such as sample policies and documentation.

We are a registered charitable company with nine  Trustees who between them contribute a variety of skills. We have also recently been privileged to welcome Fiona Castle as a patron and look forward to working with her. Fiona Castle

Fiona was a contributor at our tenth anniversary celebrations in November 2013.

In addition we have a Council of Reference…leaders in their field who are willing to give us advice when we need it:

Our CEO is Dr Ros Moore, who was previously Chief Nurse for Scotland and a member of the Methodist Church.

She leads a team of ten regional coordinators who work an average of two to three days a month, and is supported by two part-time staff: a PA and a finance officer.  We are recruiting volunteer advocates to help us promote the ministry of Parish nursing and would be pleased to hear from anyone who would like to help us do this.

Revd Dr Helen Wordsworth, who was a founder of Parish Nursing in the UK and is a registered nurse educator with health visiting qualifications, now works part-time in an advocacy role, liaising with church leaders about developing health ministry, helping with the education programmes and developing the international links. She was previously employed as a regional minister with the Central Baptist Association, working with church leaders in a variety of denominations. Her doctoral research was on parish nursing and may be accessed in  “Rediscovering a Ministry of Health”, published by Wipf and Stock,2015,  and available online or to order from bookshops.  We have recently begun to develop a European network for Parish nursing, building on the links we already have with nurses working from churches in Finland, Ukraine, Germany and Georgia.

100_1879

[tab title="Benefits of Having A Parish Nurse"]Impact on people’s lives – You just have to look at a church’s prayer diary to see how many prayer requests relate to individual health issues. Having a knowledgeable and practical professional to advise, guide and pray into people’s health-related situations can have a remarkable impact on people’s lives. This in turn can bring a focus to church life and an authenticity to what it does.

 

Impact on communities – Whatever activities they do, Parish Nurses always help the church to reach out to communities in a real, practical and professional way. Health clinics for people near the church building – working alongside food banks and church coffee shops – providing medical advice to drug addicts – regular healthy eating meal events (these work really well with elderly congregations who often invite their friends!) – baby care seminars (ideal for a new parent to bring their friends along to) – men’s health – even ‘Balance’ sessions for stressed workers – Parish Nurse activity is an excellent way of strengthening and building community, both within the congregation and beyond.*

 

Parish Nursing can really can light up a local church!

*Please note these are just examples of projects we have worked on, which can vary tremendously depending on the church’s and nurse’s vision, strategy, competences and gifting. Take a look at these profiles for more information about what our parish nurses actually do:

Meet a Parish nurse:  GillyHelenJulieAlison

Visit our case stories section for further examples.