The Christian Gospel can be summed up as God in Christ coming to meet people where they are, as they are, seeking to meet their fundamental needs, and enabling them to achieve their God-given potential. He met them as much in the market place as he did in the synagogue. It is therefore very appropriate to establish a town-centre chaplaincy and critical that that such a ministry should be exercised ecumenically. The Luton Deanery welcomes this bold initiative taken by a partnership of Town leaders and Church leaders.
Since joining Luton Council and witnessing first-hand the work of the Town Centre Chaplaincy Team, I have been impressed by their selfless devotion, drive and energy in support of the town and its many visitors. The service they offer is unparalleled, offering not only solace and encouragement, but a model of good citizenship, embodying the true spirit of Harmony, on which our multi-cultural town thrives.
The Mall has over 400 000 customers each week, and 2500 very busy staff. I’ve been working in The Mall for 11 years and have seen the difference the Chaplains have made for us – as retail chaplains working with our staff and customers ….Thank you!
I think, as human beings, we live in exceptionally stressful times. In the UK, those of us lucky enough to be in work, work longer our than our European colleagues. There are more people living on their own than ever before and not all family life is perfect. Even if we recognise the need to change we often feel it is beyond our ability to even impact on, let alone control what's happening to us. The stigma attached to counselling still exists and people delay seeking help and advice, feeling that they should be able to cope on their own. I am not religious but I believe that taking a moment to opt out of the rat race for a few minutes, in a quiet calm place can work wonders. Add to this the chance to talk to someone if you want to; someone who doesn't know you and can offer empathy and support in a non-evangelising way. I think this may be the chance to catch some people before they reach the brink.
I believe this is one of the most significant mission initiatives for Luton in a long time. We have to connect better with our community and there's nowhere better to do that than right in the heart of our town.
Bedfordshire Police are dedicated to working closely with the community. I and the Town Centre team look forward to the opportunity of working more closely with the Christian community in Luton, through the Town Centre Chaplaincy.
The Luton Drug and Alcohol Partnership welcomes initiatives that offer people from all backgrounds the time to talk and support to improve their lifestyles. Many people visit the town centre during the day and this service will be welcomed. ..........
Luton Town Centre is often the focus for many of the highs and lows of life in Luton. To have a Chaplaincy operating on its streets and in its businesses and retail outlets would be a real bonus. It will provide opportunities for the people of Luton to receive support.
Industrial chaplaincy has always been one of the best examples of churches acting together to build the Kingdom of God. The chaplaincy for Luton Town Centre is needed now more than ever as people come to realise that they can no longer rely on the old man-made economic certainties. As someone who has previously been involved in town centre management, I warmly welcome and support this initiative.
It’s great to see this new initiative up and running in Luton – supporting people of any or no faith who work in or visit the town centre. Since January 2011 they have been invited to provide Chaplains to The Mall Shopping Centre and the staff who work at the Town Hall and Barclays Bank – and many people are already beginning to feel the benefit. I am also delighted to see them connecting with the Council, community and other faith leaders and the police as they work together to improve community cohesion by getting involved in local issues. I look forward to seeing how this project develops in the future – Luton needs organisations such as this!
A Magistrates' Court can be a very worrying place - not only for those who are subject to criminal proceedings, but also for victims, witnesses and relatives. It can also be stressful for the staff who work there, and other Court users. So it is good that we have the benefit of a team of Court Chaplains who are ready to offer a sympathetic ear to those who need it, and who can provide advice and reassurance when required. The Court Chaplaincy is a valuable resource, which is very much appreciated.
I am writing to thank you and your team for your work in the town and in particular within the Town Hall. The addition of Chaplain support for residents and staff within the Town Hall has been fantastic. I know from speaking to residents that they very much welcome a listening ear and advice from people outside the 'officials'. Equally, staff welcome the chance to have a sounding board on both professional and personal issues. Your team are always warm and welcoming and are a very real and welcome addition to our welfare provision, for which we are immensely grateful. June 2013
At a Reception at the Town Hall to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Chaplaincy in October 2015, a number of civic and business leaders endorsed the work of the Luton Town Centre Chaplaincy. You can watch them here .... https://youtu.be/hHQJSb8yfZo
“I would like to single out and praise the work of the Chaplains in an unfailing and unstinting way – and that’s in ‘Community Mediation’ …. When we have had real times of crisis and trouble in the town and there are major policing operations, they are always there giving comfort to people who are disorientated and just want to know that they will be safe …” (October 2015)
I am particularly grateful to you for the work you do at Luton Crown Court. Court users are often facing anxiety and stress. The young person awaiting sentence might not know whether he will be allowed to sleep in his own bed that night; a defendant will be anxiously awaiting the jury’s verdict and victims of crime have to re-live a nightmare and face cross-examination on behalf of a defendant who says he is being untruthful. These are just a few examples. And as well as the parties there is the stress suffered by police officers, jurors and court staff – not forgetting also the judges.
I can think of no other place where your ministry is so essential. And serving as we do a multi-ethnic community you are there not just for Christians but for everyone of all faiths or none.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do. (October 2015)
Dear Luton Community Chaplaincy
Just wanted to say thank you for the Chaplaincy presence at the Magistrates Court this morning.
I was rather nervously waiting for a family court hearing, when a Chaplain appeared with chocolate!
But seeing that he was a Chaplain just reminded me that God was there with me!
Which together with the chocolate eased my nerves.
Thank you again