Chaplaincy to the annual Frankfurt Christmas Market

Birmingham City Centre Retail Chaplaincy ‘be.friend’ is making plans for its ministry to the staff and stall-holders of the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which will be held in the city centre from Thursday 4 November to Wednesday 22 December 2021. Many of the Christmas Market staff work long hours and are away from their homes in Germany, Romania and Poland for several weeks. The work can be stressful, alternating between quiet times and extremely busy times. Although the stalls operate under the title ‘Christmas market,’ it can be hard for workers to remember what Christmas is all about. Chaplains provide a listening and befriending service, and can provide pointers to further assistance.

be.friend team leader Revd Elaine Hutchinson has offered chaplaincy to the Christmas Market for the past two years. It has been welcomed by stall-holders, workers and managers. The chaplaincy team distributes leaflets which have been translated into Romanian, Polish and German, so that the workers understand the intentional listening presence being offered by the chaplains. Elaine Hutchinson is currently looking for chaplaincy volunteers able to give a couple of hours a week during the six-week period beginning on 4 November. Polish-, Romanian- and German-speakers would be especially welcome! be.friend will provide introductory training for volunteer chaplains not previously involved with the Christmas Market. The compulsory training will take place between 12noon and 3.00pm on Tuesday 21 October at The Church at Carrs Lane, Carrs Lane, Birmingham B4 7SX. Refreshments will be provided.

be.friend is an established ministry which provides chaplaincy and a listening presence to the retail sector of Birmingham. The chaplaincy has a team of eleven volunteers operating in the major shopping centres, in markets and with independent retailers, but is always looking for more help! be.friend is co-sponsored by the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. It is authorised by the Churches and Industry Group Birmingham-Solihull (CIGB) and works in conjunction with all major faith communities in Birmingham.

For more information about chaplaincy to the Frankfurt Christmas Market, or about chaplaincy to the city centre in general, contact Elaine Hutchinson via this E-MAIL ADDRESS, or by phoning 0121 643 6151.

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