Welcome to Middlebrook
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 based at Middlebrook retail and leisure site, nr Horwich, adjoining the University of Bolton Stadium (home of Bolton Wanderers), which trades almost 24/7 and 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.
It was originally part of a vision by Churches Together in Horwich and Rivington and came into being in 2008. The Chaplaincy is co-ordinated by Keith Armstrong and is supported by a dedicated team of volunteer chaplains drawn from local church 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.
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 staff at all levels, seeking to be beside them, offering friendship and a listening ear. Each of our chaplains has a small group of stores and other businesses which they visit once a week to offer support. This often involves an informal chat but gives staff a chance to offload. If any of the staff are going through a time of illness, bereavement, worry or concern of any kind our chaplains are there to listen.
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 such as carer’s support, welfare rights, counselling services, addiction support groups, health and well-being support, jobs clubs, debt advice, faith groups, workplace training, redundancy support etc.
At times during the year we organise events across the retail park such as carol singing and children’s activities, such as Treasure Hunts and Lego Building events, 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.