Parish nursing at West Leigh Baptist Church
Baptist Insurance grants support a wide range of ministries - such as the Parish Nursing Service at West Leigh Baptist Church
In 2014, West Leigh Baptist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Southend, in partnership with UK Parish Nursing Ministry, employed a registered nurse from its congregation and began to care for its community with support and practical love.
The service, supported by grants from Baptist Insurance Company, has flourished over five years and now employs an Assistant Parish Nurse, Family Support Worker and Health Nutritionist, supported by a dedicated group of church volunteers.
Lorraine Lawrence, Parish Nurse since 2014, meets weekly with the minister and pastoral team to review those with health needs or referrals, and to arrange home visits where needed.
'We accompany people to hospital, provide healthcare support, medicine management, screening and GP and hospital follow-up,' Lorraine said. 'We help those with referrals for our services or residential care and offer clinics for operation preparation, blood pressure, well-being and diet.'
Parish Nursing is how we show we care
Aside from Lorraine’s 280 registered patients, the service provides a weekly drop-in nursing clinic for children and babies; one-to-one support and courses on health, parenting, lifestyle and faith.
On Wednesdays there are fitness classes, a walk-in nursing clinic, and drop-in sessions with outside community health professionals. These busy mornings are followed by an all-welcome lunch, cooked by volunteers, and have led to the formation of a new Wednesday congregation, with 70 members.
'Friendships form, loneliness is overcome and discussion about faith happens over shared meals. The professional advice, support and practical care of our clinics, courses and team has formed a new mid-week life in our church. For some, church now happens on Wednesday.
'We’re thankful to the Baptist Insurance Company for supporting the unexpected blessing arising from our Parish Nursing Ministry.'
To read more about the inspiring ways that Baptist churches are benefiting from Baptist Insurance grants, or to submit an application, visit: baptist-insurance.co.uk/grants/.