Pastoral Care

Like everything else, pastoral care at Yearly Meeting Gathering will be rather different this year. Supporting each other is an important part of our community's witness. We know that many Quakers have had to face difficult times in the last year, and underlying issues can make the Gathering daunting, especially as we approach challenging topics in the theme. Pastoral care will be there to help. The team of ten Friends, plus volunteers, seeks to provide a listening ear. There is a pastoral care 'desk' where Friends will be present to greet you at certain times (available in the Yearly Meeting planner). At other times, please leave a message to request support; the Pastoral Care Team will read emails promptly and respond urgently if needed.

We are aware that some Gathering sessions, particularly those dealing with racial and gender inequalities, will be challenging for some Friends and might require specific experience. We will strive to offer support and access to pastoral care Friends who can provide this. In all cases we will provide a listening ear and seek to signpost longer-term support where relevant.

Holding Gathering online is new to all of us, and the Pastoral Care Team will do our best to respond to your needs and help make our community a loving and inclusive one.

How do I access Pastoral Care support?

  • Access Pastoral Care directly from your Yearly Meeting Planner.
    When you log into the Planner, there is a section titled 'Help, Pastoral Care & Contacts'. Click on the title, and choose the Pastoral Care box.

    The Pastoral Care team can be reached during drop-in hours and by email during the Gathering hours. At other times, please leave a message to request support; the Pastoral Care Team will read emails promptly and during drop-in and gathering hours. If your request is urgent, please see the section on urgent support.

When are the Pastoral Care drop-in times?

  • View all of the drop-in times in the Yearly Meeting Planner. When you log into the Planner, there is a section titled 'Help, Pastoral Care & Contacts'.
    Click on the title, and choose the Pastoral Care box.
    Click on 'View Pastoral Care drop-in times' to show the drop-in times.

I need support about the theme

  • We are aware that some Gathering sessions, particularly those dealing with racial and gender inequalities, will be challenging for some Friends and might require specific experience. We will strive to offer support and access to pastoral care Friends who can provide this. In all cases we will provide a listening ear and seek to signpost longer-term support where relevant.

    The following long-term support sources may be helpful:

    Pink Therapy, gender, sexuality and relationship diversities
    Black, African and Asian Therapy Network

I need urgent support

  • The Pastoral Care team can be reached during drop-in hours and by email during the Gathering hours. If you need urgent support outside these hours, the following services may be able to help:

    Shout, a free 24/7 mental health text service. Text 'Shout' to 85258
    Samaritans, a free 24/7 telephone, email or text service.

    In an emergency and another person is at immediate risk of harm, please call 999.