Face to Faith – Stephen Andrews

Published on: 1 November 2017

Stephen is a workplace chaplain in Great Yarmouth to Asda, NORSE, Camplings Linen Services and the Borough Services. He is also a Trust Chaplain at the James Paget University Hospital and is an associate priest in the Great Yarmouth Team Ministry.

How did you come to faith?

I grew up a few doors down from the local vicarage and, after catching me and a few friends messing around in the vicarage grounds, the newly-arrived incumbent encouraged us to think about our wrongdoing. That was it, I was on the journey!

Soon I was attending the church’s Saturday-club, as well as being an active member of the church choir at St. Margaret’s, Great Ormesby.

The vicar and his family were a great inspiration to me. Inevitably, there were times when I would drift back into that casual life of imperfection and brokenness, however I always came back to the belief that God is there to offer support and guidance, even during those times when I was arrogant enough to think that I was the one in control; or in no way in need of his help.

What impact do you think you have in your role as a workplace chaplain?

Primarily, my role as chaplain is about listening, about understanding what stage people are at in their lives, wherever that might be.

As a workplace chaplain, I have come to appreciate how one can have a truly positive impact by showing Christ’s love in each of the places I visit. Make no mistake, Jesus has an amazing way of providing opportunities for people in all sorts of environments, of asking questions that help people make sense of their lives.

I still often encounter people who make it very clear to me that they have no belief in a living God, and they are totally open about that from the very beginning. I, of course, don’t need to say a word; they know I’m a man of faith and so there’s an openness right from the start.

I still feel I make an impact because these same people seem to hang around to see what I’m about, they become friends, and then the barriers begin to come down. I baptise their children in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I’m sometimes asked to conduct weddings, and most of the funerals I conduct come through the
chaplaincy service.

We don’t always do or think the right things but, when people ask us for help, I’m convinced they’ve been watching and have hopefully seen something of Jesus at work in the ministry He has entrusted each one of us with.

Have you ever doubted?

Of course Faith is about having complete trust in something we cannot see, touch, or even understand. I would gently challenge anyone who says that they haven’t doubted in one way or another.

Our doubting should lead us towards something more positive; towards further enlightening truths. Be it a considered maturity or spiritual growth, there is great benefit in reasoning with oneself, in searching for reasons to believe, and ultimately in understanding the true benefits of faith.

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Articles in this issue...

God at work

We spend most of our waking hours interacting with other people: at home, in our workplace, in a volunteer role, taking part in sporting or other activities. Biddy Collyer takes a look at how we share our faith outside of our "Sunday lives"


Loitering with Godly intent

Archdeacon Karen explores chaplaincy in the workplace.


Loving and serving the Lord in the workplace

Audrey Sharp discusses the challenge of living out our Christian faith actively and intentionally in the workplace.


God in children’s work at school

Just like many adults, young people spend a large proportion of their day 'at work'; school, A place where, similarly to adults, they attend for set hours, meet and interact with peers, complete tasks, learn skill sets, are encouraged to develop and undergo regular review. We asked four people from across the Diocese to share what they do as Christians in supporting young people in schools.


Making Christ present – Being chaplain to the police

Fr Christopher Wood talks about his roles as Chaplain to Norfolk Constabulary and to people bereaved by suicide.


Spiritual health in times of illness

Helen Garrard is Lead Chaplain to Colman and Norwich Community Hospitals. The role has grown to incorporate providing and managing chaplaincy care in 10 community hospitals within the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust.


A night out with Norwich Street Partnership: City Pastors

8.30pm on a Saturday evening in mid-November. No glitzy shoes or sparkly top for my night out: solid walking boots and layers of warm clothes. Then it's time to go through the city, looking and listening to the hustle and various groups who are setting off for celebrations.


A very modern ministry: chaplaincy

At a time when our society seems increasingly dominated by secular habits and assumptions, and when religious attendance and affiliation seems to be in decline, chaplaincy remains a public face of faith in a variety of situations. Chris Copsey takes a look at this diverse ministry in Norfolk and Waveney.


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