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ss triple helix - summer 2016,  Rediscovering a ministry of health

Rediscovering a ministry of health

Parish nursing as a mission of the local church
Helen Wordsworth

Wipf & Stock, 2015, £16.00 Pb 208pp ISBN 9781498205955
Reviewed by Steve Fouch, CMF Head of Nursing

The role of nurses as part of the ministry of the local church is nota new idea. It has been practised in the UK in one form or other since the start of the church and later by 'Bible Nurses'. However, with the advent of the NHS, the UK church has largely neglected its ministry in the health arena.

This book, adapted from the author's PhD thesis, is by the founding director of Parish Nursing Ministries in the UK. It explores whether parish nursing(as it is now most commonly called) actually has any impact on the mission of the local church.

Her research shows that while parish nursing itself may not be evangelistic, it does open the doorway for sharing the gospel, greater engagement in social action by the whole church and an integration of all areas of mission. It is one of a number of ministries of the local church, and one that needs to be rediscovered.

While some aspects of the book are quite academic, the historical context and key findings make interesting reading for anyone concerned to see the local church become more effective in its outreach.

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