Pastoral Assistants Ministry
Pastoral Assistants work on a voluntary basis in their parishes. They seek to make a more informed and effective contribution to the total pastoral ministry of the church. Working with the direction of the Priest, they support many areas of parish life. They may be involved in supporting and visiting the housebound and those in hospital, bereavement visiting, or meeting the specific pastoral needs of men and women of all ages in a variety of circumstances. Pastoral Assistants, in discussion with their Priest, formulate a specific role appropriate to their own gifts and skills and to the identified needs of the parish.

Who are Pastoral Assistants?
Pastoral Assistants are commissioned and authorised by the Bishop at a special service. They are licensed to administer Holy Communion to those who are unable to attend church for any reason.

Many people today are finding life extremely challenging, so how can we help?
They are people who are trained to walk alongside others and keep them company when they are in need knowing that confidentiality is paramount. They also are Christians with a certain amount of life experience and a mature faith who have a flexible approach and are able to be sensitive to problems that are presented to them, have the support of their Priest and Parochial Church Council and are able to work collaboratively as part of a team.

Who do they serve?
The Parishioner. Take a look at any Parish, you will see many people who would like someone to talk to. Listening to people when they want to talk whether that is about happy or sad news and in the knowledge that unless they say otherwise, what they say is confidential.

The Clergy, who often need someone to assist with Pastoral work.

Who trains Pastoral Assistants?
The diocese trains those who feel called to Pastoral Assistant Ministry. The Pastoral Assistants have also enhanced their training with The Pastoral & Spiritual Care Dept. at Derriford Hospital. Both Pastoral Assistants are involved in outreach at Derriford Hospital. To enhance their development as Pastoral Assistants they attend annual training courses at Buckfast Abbey.

Pastoral Work
When appropriate Pastoral Assistants assist at the laying on of hands during liturgical celebrations of the Sacrament of the Sick. Amongst the things which they do are, holding a monthly service at Brake Farm Sheltered Housing Complex and keeping in touch with those who are not able to attend church.

The pastoral activity is integral to the work of mission in our parish. People in our parishes are rich and poor, young and old, fit and frail. We value every single human person, especially those least noticed by the rest of the world.

Pat Beale & Patricia Brenton
Pastoral Assistants.