All of WLM’s work is rooted in our inclusive Christian ethos

We believe that our Christian ethos is dynamically relevant to our housing and community services and are committed to integration between the two.Faith and spirituality

A key aspect of this is the work of our Head of Faith & Spirituality, the Revd Ruth Bottoms. Ruth is an ordained Baptist minister with many years of experience, not least in working across many different Christian traditions.

She works for WLM four days a week and has a team of chaplaincy volunteers to assist her. Between them they spend time in our housing and community services,  listening, talking, meeting with residents and users.

What is the purpose of Chaplaincy?

One of WLM’s values is about empowering people to take responsibility and to lead fulfilling lives. We recognise that for many people a faith commitment can be a part of this and others have their own value systems they seek to live by. WLM takes this faith/religion/spiritual side of life seriously and wants to offer people support in this area as in others.

Homelessness, imprisonment, addictions and other challenges can all lead people to ask big questions Through chaplaincy we offer spiritual, religious and pastoral care to people as they seek to find meaning in their lives.

In keeping with our inclusive ethos, Ruth and her volunteers offer support to people of all faiths and none. Where appropriate people are connected to different denominations and faith traditions.

How does it work?

Ruth has a pattern of regular visits to WLM's services. Whoever someone is, whatever their faith background Ruth has time for them- be it a friendly chat, a more searching spiritual conversation or time to pray with someone.

In addition, some of our services have Chaplaincy volunteers who regularly visit and are similarly available to people.

At WLM Seymour Place, the Head of Faith & Spirituality facilitates a Spirituality Discussion Group as one of the several groups available to clients. The group chooses its own topics for discussion and meets from 11 am – 1 pm. After initial arrivals and a cuppa, the group shares a stilling moment around a candle with a reflective poem. Then the group moves into a lively discussion of that day’s topic. At 12.15, we continue the conversation more informally whilst sharing a meal together. 

At the WLM The Haven, there is a weekly Bible discussion group. This involves looking at a particular Bible passage, accompanied by a picture related to the story and discussion about the ideas it raises. The meeting concludes with a short time or prayer when people mention the particular concerns they have.

Ruth also works with clients and residents to find appropriate ways to celebrate religious festivals (such as Christmas and Easter). She can assist with marking life’s major events such as the death of a loved one, or moving to a new home. She will also lead funeral and memorial services to mark the passing of our service users, where appropriate.

Wider Links

Ruth has a network of contacts in different church traditions and will try to put people in touch with someone of their denomination if requested. Likewise, for those of other world faiths, Ruth is able to provide information to enable people to connect locally.

Values and approach

All our chaplaincy work is done within the framework of the Charter for Christian Homelessness Agencies.

You may also be interested in the 2013 report on spirituality with homeless people by Lemos and Crane – Lost and Found by Carwyn Gravel, which amongst other things found that people who are homeless felt this side of their lives was not taken seriously enough by those working with them.

Chaplaincy volunteers

We are seeking to develop our chaplaincy capacity in our provision of chaplaincy through recruiting, mentoring and supporting chaplaincy volunteers. If you are interested to know more please contact our Head of Faith & Spirituality.

Please see latest articles by our Chaplain, Revd Ruth Bottoms


The Head of Faith & Spirituality can be contacted HERE