Pastoral care and counselling in the black churches in Britain : with special reference to those in Leeds
The purpose of this thesis is to explore various aspects of pastoral care and counselling in the black churches in Britain. The first aspect of caring that has been explored is acceptance. When people are genuinely accepted by others there is the possibility for personal growth and development to take place. Such acceptance can be therapeutic. It contains health-giving qualities and is a means towards greater self-acceptance, especially by those who may be affected by a sense of poor value in the way they see themselves. The second aspect is understanding. Part of what is discussed here is that people who are connected by and share similar life experiences, are equipped to care for each other in ways that those who are detached outsiders may not be able to. In other words, caring which is based on understanding is enhanced when the relationship is between persons who are party to the same difficulties. The third and fourth categories consist of an examination of pastoral care within the context of housing and unemployment conditions. Aspects of care which are featured are those that entail sharing, support, and the promotion of self-help endeavours such as repairs done to the homes of church members. There is caring through the personal presence of individuals in the form of visits to homes, prayers offered and encouragement given. Ways in which such responses contribute to the affirmation of worth and the empowering of individuals so that they are able to take control of the adverse circumstances which affect them, are caring factors which have been explored as well. The fifth area looks at the black family. Caring under the aegis of a network of support systems that nurtures and sustains individuals is featured. The sixth category is worship. Most of the ritual aspects and component features which combine to make worship a fulfilling and satisfying experience are assessed. Finally, the conclusion points to other related areas which might be looked at.