June 12th, 2017 CIGB

Love Your Neighbour: Cross–Cultural Engagement in Voluntary Retail Chaplaincy

Many of us get to know and love our local corner shop staff. They are may be from a different culture, but the shopping habit can give us a basis to explore more about each other. Retailing is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of employment, and a chance for us to Love Our Neighbour.

Churches and Industry Group Birmingham-Solihull has over 20 volunteer Retail Chaplains who go out regularly in the name of the Churches to befriend and support the multi-cultural staff of the shops of Birmingham and Solihull. Many of the chaplains describe this as an exciting and revealing ministry: they find themselves growing in holy relationship with people of different faiths and cultures.

There are proportionately more non-white people working in Retail than there are by proportion of the general population. Research has shown that migrants tend to be nearly twice as entrepreneurial than ordinary UK residents: 17.2% of non-UK nationals have started their own companies, compared to just 10.4 % of UK Nationals. Perhaps they are more prepared to take the risks: in Great Britain, on average, a non-UK migrant starting up their own business is only 44 yrs old; the average UK resident starting their own business is 52 years. Indeed 1 in 7 of British companies was founded by someone who has migrated to this country. With their relationships to all parts of the world, these businesses may become even more important in post-Brexit Britain.

There are further vacancies for Retail Chaplains in Birmingham and Solihull.
CIGB is offering another training course in the Autumn for those who may be interested in doing voluntary workplace chaplaincy – including chaplaincy to shops.

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