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News from a Chaplain at Rolls-Royce plc

Some short stories from a chaplain's work

By Miles Mitson

'I didn't feel alone'

He was desperately unhappy and felt trapped in a work situation that offered no visible means of escape. I listened as he poured out his heart. Some days later, looking as though the weight of the world had been lifted off his shoulders, he thanked me for being there as a friend and companion in his loneliness.

'I'm desperate'

Today wasn't one of my days at Rolls Royce. The phone rang, "Are you on site this morning, I'd really appreciate seeing you today." I told him that I didn't expect to be at Rolls Royce until the following week, but that I could be with him in half an hour. After agreeing where to meet I asked how I'd recognise him. "Don't worry I know who you are." later that morning he sobbed his way through the hour that we spent together.

"I've been at RR for 35 years and until six months ago I've enjoyed every minute, but not now."

I was in the Costa Coffee Lounge, one of my many "offices" at RR, I smiled and passed the time of day with her, eventually sitting down beside her as she moved from the mundane niceties of polite conversation into an emotional disclosure of a deeply painful work related situation, compounded by her domestic life with a much loved husband in a deteriorating life threatening condition.

"The next time you're in............please give me a ring and I'll come down for a chat."

We met this week. He told me he had seen me in the coffee lounge on previous occasions and felt that he wanted to encourage me and also share some of the things that had been happening in his life last year.

Passenger on the Inter-site bus.

I was on the bus this morning travelling between sites when an unknown fellow passenger, told me that it was a great help seeing me in RR.

The RR Leisure Association has several hundred members.

The General manager has agreed for our chaplaincy notices to be displayed on all the staff and member's notice boards and to include it on the next news-letter that's sent to all members each month. Additionally we have permission to visit all the venues and activities at any time. He has also made a private room available should we be unable to find any other suitable vacant conference room for one to one confidential conversations.

We hadn't spoken for at least 18 months.

He first contacted me because of his manager's unrealistic productivity targets. He'd been moved into anew department of which he had little or no experience, his confidence had been severely dented and the stress was becoming more than he could cope with. We'd talked around the issue and prayed. Following several telephone conversations and updating meetings over coffee he rang to thank me, he'd be returning to his old job.


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