Volunteer Chaplains retreat day - YMCA DownsLink Group

Volunteer Chaplains retreat day

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On a sunny Saturday, some of our volunteer Chaplains from across the YMCA DLG patch gathered together for the first time in over 2 years for a Retreat Day organised and lead by our Chaplains Lucy, Elly and Samantha. Samantha Burton, West Sussex Chaplain, shares more below.

In the beautiful setting of Worth Abbey, our volunteers had a chance to meet other volunteer Chaplains from different areas – Eastbourne, Brighton & Hove, Crawley and Horsham – and to hear each other’s experiences, to share thoughts and words of encouragement, and to pray together.

The day gave space and time for reflection on what it means to be a volunteer chaplain, and what the respective Chaplaincy sessions across YMCA DLG bring to all those involved. As for everyone, the past 2 years have not been easy, with much separation, loss, illness and anxiety, and many of our volunteers did what they could to continue to support the residents and staff of our housing projects despite not being able to come in – pizza deliveries, thoughtful cards, homemade take-away meals and cakes.

The day was enjoyed and hugely appreciated by all who were able to make it. Those that felt like what they did was a ‘drop in the ocean’ came to see the larger ocean that their drops are creating/contributing to!

One of our volunteers said afterwards “Thank you for a lovely day. It was a real pleasure to meet other volunteer chaplains, have some time to reflect and also to enjoy the beautiful grounds. I feel really valued by you doing this.”

With all that they do for us Chaplains, and for all they do for the young people we support, it was a pleasure and a blessing to us to be able to give our volunteers this opportunity, especially after such a long, trying time.

By Samantha, on behalf of the Chaplaincy Team


YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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