YMCA Horsham’s chaplaincy has been operating for several years. There are currently four YMCA volunteer chaplains led by Judi Cox who visit the Horsham residents each Thursday evening 9.30pm-11.30pm, usually bearing doughnuts! They are happy to listen or chat; they are there for everyone, no matter what spiritual beliefs are held.
Their quiet consistency has won the respect of both staff and residents.
Being a Chaplain, for me, is about the church journeying with the residents, through the ups and downs of their lives. Supporting them.
On the whole, we are known as the ‘Doughnut People’, and are there to chat, get to know the residents and staff, serve drinks and doughnuts, and be a listening ear to those who come to see us.
I pray that Chaplaincy sessions also enable the residents and staff to know and feel that they are a valued member of our wider community. I have learnt so much from being a chaplain, about how building relationships with others leads to a better understanding of each other. We’re building a stronger community together.
Judi Cox, Volunteer Chaplain Coordinator
If you would like to explore becoming a volunteer chaplain contact Lucy McGrath, our Lead Chaplain at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The YMCA Horsham Chaplaincy Team – (from left to right) David, Judi, Alex and Angie
Feedback about the Chaplaincy
Chaplaincy was the first thing that helped me settle into the Y Centre socially. It was a nice common ground to speak to other residents. The team are lovely and non-judgemental. They have never forced Christianity on me which is a big relief to me. Also they are accepting of people who aren’t heterosexual so that makes me feel a lot less on edge when I am around them. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned their doughnuts yet – their doughnuts are amazing! When I have a difficult week it’s often chaplaincy I look forward too. Some of them I see also as mentors. If I am having a rough time I can vent to them and they are always happy to see me and are welcoming.
Their being so welcoming also helps break down the barriers between the ‘them and us’ sort of thing. I was shocked when they said they actually enjoyed working with us. I think it makes us feel more wanted.
I think the Chaplaincy provide a very warm and welcoming, friendly evening of vibrant conversation, hot drinks and doughnuts. It is a valuable opportunity for residents to meet and socialise in a safe friendly environment.
YMCA Staff Member