Clients have been mistreated by others, by institutions, and by faith communities, so they are living miserable lives. The Chaplaincy sees this as a miscarriage of injustice and so asks the question “How can we put this right?” How can we translate the stories of people who have been offended by these institutions so that the perpetrators will listen and hear the stories, becoming aware of what they have done and, through remorse, change the way they treat others.
- We try to enable clients to communicate with themselves.
- We try to enable clients to communicate with their own lives.
- We try to enable clients to reach a conclusion for themselves.
- We try to enable clients to find an appropriate way to communicate with institutions that have offended them.
- We try to enable clients to communicate with the wider world.
Clients are still isolated, so the Chaplaincy attempts to engage with their stories. The Chaplain is not a father figure and is not there to fix it for them, but will listen without any pre-conceived ideas or remedies. In order to listen and to be taken seriously the Chaplain has to empty himself of any ideas, theologies etc and allow the client to solve their own problem(s). In the words of Ken Leech “You go into the urban into the silence”.
We have found that institutions do not want to listen to what the client has to say and so they, the institution deflect what they hear by remaining in their own world of preconceived ideas; they deflect the story they are not hearing, avoid and sometimes become quite hostile to the client’s story, even abusing the client. So the Chaplaincy wants to put things right; we have seen the misery caused by such behaviour and are determined to do something about it.