Preston Bethany Care (PBC) has its roots in the Christian community of our city and was set up by a group of people who believed that Christians are called to get seriously involved in our society, especially with those in need. After all, that was what Jesus spent his time doing. Putting our faith into practice has always been one of the major motivating factors in the life of this organisation. It is also the case that most of the initial financial support which enabled us to begin our first building project came from local Christians.
Of course, many people seek to make a positive contribution to our society without being motivated by faith and we would not wish to exclude them from working with us. However it is important that people who want to work with us in any capacity, understand who we are and are willing to respect and fit in with the way we work.
The purpose of this Christian ethos statement is to clarify for our beneficiaries, supporters and staff the Christian motivation that underpins PBC, the values that should characterise the organisation and the practical outworking of both. It also provides a point of reference when producing and implementing our policies and procedures.
As a registered charity, our charitable objects set out our purpose and can be summarised as follows.
PBC aims to improve quality of life and offer Christian spiritual support and activities for people in the following groups:
- the elderly
- those with dementia or psychiatric disorders
- their families and carers
We aim to do this by providing residential and community-based services in Preston and surrounding districts at an affordable, but sustainable, cost.
What we believe
We accept the Bible’s authority for setting the principles by which we operate and informing our attitudes towards others in society. We believe that all people are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), whatever their mental, emotional or physical condition. We also believe that faith and actions are inseparable (James 2:17), which leads us to express God’s love for people through compassion and care that helps them to live life to the full.
The foundational elements of our Christian beliefs are summed up in the Evangelical Alliance’s basis of faith.
What we do
The main way PBC fulfils its purpose is through the provision of high-quality residential care at Bethany House. We aim to create a warm, friendly atmosphere, with support for residents’ physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs in a stable and secure setting.
We employ and train staff to deliver this care, aiming to establish an environment where staff feel valued and are enabled to achieve their maximum potential.
Many of our residents have a Christian faith and we help them to continue to follow their faith by providing opportunities to worship, pray and study the Bible. This provision is made by the PBC pastoral team, local clergy and Christian volunteers.
The PBC pastoral team has been developed as an integral part of our service. New care-home residents are made aware of how to access this as part of settling into the home and are offered an introductory visit from a pastoral team member. The team also offers pastoral care to residents’ families and end-of-life spiritual support for both residents and their families. Confidential pastoral support is made available to staff.
After prayer and consideration of new avenues to explore, links have been forged with a local Christian centre to support provision in the community. The director/trustees continue to look for ways to develop current provision and to further extend the work of PBC. As part of this, presentation events are held at churches in the area to raise awareness and to recruit director/trustees and other volunteers.
PBC believes in the power of prayer and aims to encompass all our activities in regular prayer. In practice, this means that the director/trustees meet regularly to pray together and allocate time for prayer in their board meetings. The pastoral team also prays together frequently. We communicate with our supporters about developments in the organisation and matters for prayer. We offer prayer opportunities for our beneficiaries both in groups and individually.
Leadership and Christian lifestyle
Those who lead the organisation, including the director/trustees and home manager, are expected to apply biblical as well as professional principles in their work. They should lead by example, displaying a management style that is consistent with Jesus’ servant-hearted approach and that supports PBC’s Christian ethos.
For these leaders and any other roles for which it is an occupational requirement to be a Christian, it is expected that they will attend and have active involvement with a recognised Christian church for their spiritual development and pastoral support, and that they will live as is deemed appropriate for someone upholding the ethos of the Christian faith and accepting the doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Alliance.
It is the responsibility of the PBC leadership to maintain and develop the Christian ethos throughout the organisation by ensuring clear vision, communication, training and support.
Employment and volunteering
Because of the nature of their role within the organisation, there is a requirement for all director/trustees, the registered manager and certain other postholders to be committed Christians. If a role does not specifically state this requirement, all staff and volunteers are nevertheless expected to work within and support the Christian ethos and values of PBC.
Postholders are appointed on the basis of their competences and character. The former are relatively easily assessed but we believe the latter to be as important and we seek to appoint people who we believe embrace the following practices, attitudes and character traits:
- Going beyond the call of duty for our beneficiaries and their relatives
- Decision-making consistent with Christian values
- Openness as far as is reasonably possible without compromising confidentiality
- No unlawful discrimination on the grounds of protected characteristics
- Accountability throughout the organisation, ultimately leading to the accountability of the director/trustees to God and to the state’s legal and regulatory framework.
Volunteers are vital in facilitating the provision of Christian activities and pastoral care for our beneficiaries. They are largely drawn from local evangelical and Protestant churches who accept a similar basis of faith to that of PBC. It is important that the PBC leadership enthuses and supports volunteers, and recruits to maintain a continued pool of volunteers.
Occupational requirement to be a committed Christian
Faith and prayer underpin PBC and characterise the work of its leadership. The organisation is committed by its charitable objects to ensure that its work is carried out with regard to the ethos and principles of the Christian faith and, in particular, the doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Alliance. It is, therefore, essential that employees in certain roles share a belief in the power of prayer and aim to live by these Christian principles. Active involvement with a recognised Christian church for spiritual development and pastoral support is considered an integral aspect of this.
In accordance with employment and equality legislation, each role is assessed to determine whether an occupational requirement to be a committed Christian applies. Our recruitment procedure explains how this is carried out.
Christians aspire to reflect God’s nature in all that they do, which establishes a culture of high standards. This understanding permeates the way PBC manages its business. Our policies, and the practices that implement them, reflect our understanding of biblical principles so that the Christian ethos underpins both. Our policies, procedures and guidance documents are regularly reviewed and developed in accordance with new legislation, current professional practice and regulatory requirements.
We reinforce the importance of our culture and standards with all our staff, focussing on the impact of these on the services we provide to our beneficiaries, the nature of our communications and marketing, and our relationships with our professional colleagues, supporters, suppliers and regulatory bodies.
“We give thanks to God for Bethany House which provides such loving care for so many.”
— LW (family member)
Issue 2 . 16/09/2021