DO I CALL YOU FATHER?
REFLECTIONS ON HOSPITAL CHAPLAINCY IN A TIME OF TRANSITION
Keywords:church work, women, healthcare
The author writes as an Anglican woman, ordained by the Scottish Episcopal church as deacon and later as priest, at a time when the controversy over female ordination was at its height. She describes the spectrum of reactions which she encountered, as church people, often painfully, reviewed their often deeply held beliefs and attitudes. The story is told largely in the light of the author’s experience as a hospital chaplain: a ministry which can sometimes be viewed by some as less complete than that of the parish clergy. And so, as a woman, ordained, and a chaplain, she understands well the feelings of being on the margins. She describes coping with the tensions between perceived pastoral need and ecclesiastical correctness which can arise in hospital, complicated by her own peculiarly exposed situation. The hurt, the anger are there, but the tone is ultimately positive and hopeful. Her ministry has been as liberating and affirming as it has been costly and challenging.
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