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Welcome to Middlebrook

Middlebrook Angels Retail Chaplaincy covers the whole of the Middlebrook retail and leisure site, nr Horwich, adjoining the Macron Stadium (home of Bolton Wanderers), which trades almost 24/7 and includes a cinema, bowling alley and several restaurants.  It was originally part of a vision by Churches Together in Horwich and Rivington and came into being in 2008.

Working in the retail and leisure industry can, at times, be very demanding as staff deal with the pressures of meeting targets and deadlines; making profits; dealing with customer’s issues; as well as coping with  the stresses of  personal and family matters.

The Middlebrook Angels are a dedicated team of volunteer chaplains who visit the shops, restaurants and leisure facilities, as well as  maintenance, cleaning and car park staff on a regular basis.  Our aim is to provide a listening ear to those who work there so that  they have someone who they can talk to, who will get alongside them and help share their burdens.

The Chaplaincy is co-ordinated by Keith Armstrong and is supported by a dedicated team of volunteer chaplains Chaplains drawn from local denominations and Church communities.

The service is free, and is  available to anyone working at Middlebrook, of all faiths and none, regardless of age, gender, sexuality or race.

Our chaplains offer support by being available ….

..to listen

Day-to-day life can be very stressful both at work and at home. Having someone to talk to in confidence can make a difference. We are an    independent,  confidential listening ear and we can talk through problems, dilemmas and life choices with you. You may see us as impartial friends seeking to work alongside you to support and encourage you in your daily life.

Throughout the year we are available to shop staff at all levels, seeking to be beside them, offering friendship and a listening ear.  It is a quiet ministry which the staff on site have told us they value.  We aim to match each chaplaincy volunteer to a small group of shops so they have a real a chance to get to know staff – but as ever – we are always on the look-out for new recruits as we would love to be able to extend the service into the adjoining business park.

…to help

During the more difficult moments of life such as  bereavement, relationship breakdown, illness etc. we are here to help. We are not a counselling service but, where agreed, can signpost people to professional bodies.

At  times during the year we organise events in the various shopping areas in the town  centre such as carol singing and children’s activities in order to support staff by increasing footfall. And, on occasions, we assist shop and businesses with their own events.

… to pray

We are  able to pray  privately  for individuals and we regularly  join with the faith communities in Bolton to pray for people and situations locally, nationally and worldwide.

We work in partnership with a range of other agencies

The chaplaincy works under the banner of the Greater Manchester Industrial   Mission (GMIM– charity no: 1091274), in partnership with the Churches Together in Horwich and Rivington.The team receives training and support from GMIM and is part of a network that visits many workplaces and town centres across the  country.

We are a multifaith chaplaincy working closely with the ‘Bolton Christian Community Cohesion’, Bolton Interfaith Council and representatives from the Muslim, Hindu and other faith communities. We encourage understanding and respect between people of all faiths and none.

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