Recently fully licenced WWC, the Rev. David Owain Sheppard is celebrating becoming the incumbent of an Anglican Parish.
Till now, he was Curate at St Mary the Virgin, in St Albans Diocese, now he is to be Priest in Charge of Buckden with the Offords, and will be licensed on 27th July, 2021. So, the River Lee’s loss is the Great Ouse’s gain, and the chaplaincy does not lose a chaplain through David’s job change. Praise the Lord!
David has previously written about his experiences as a Probationer WWC on the River Lee, as below….
He said, “I have been wearing a gilet that clearly states ‘Waterways Chaplain’ in large letters for a proportion of my weekly walks along the Lee for some months and have really felt the difference in the opportunities it gives to have conversations along the river; as a parish priest this is really exciting”.
Chaplaincy in this area involves a simple, weekly act of walking an area along a particular stretch of river or canal. The aim is to talk to and assist others as opportunities arise. The organisation has a particular aim to especially support those who are vulnerable and marginalised and who ‘live aboard’ (as well as those who seek a quieter life). To be “pastorally proactive and spiritually reactive” is our aim.
David continues..”To go from a probationary chaplain to fully licensed Waterways Chaplain requires attendance at a range of training courses and completion of a logbook whilst being mentored. I have completed the training and am now fully licensed! Waterways Chaplaincy is a national UK charity (with some oversight from Workplace Matters, an umbrella organisation for a variety of chaplaincy placements). The aim of the chaplaincy is to “Act justly, love mercy , walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Many more chaplains are needed. There are hundreds of waterways miles where there is no pastoral help. If you know of anyone in England who lives near a river and would like to exercise Christian ministry to those on and along a river (or other body of water) please do send them a link www.waterwayschaplaincy.org.uk so that they can find out more.