Norfolk chaplain Chris provides a listening ear 

ChrisCopsey4502014: Building relationships is key to the work of Rev Chris Copsey, chaplain to Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Coroner. Kevin Gotts reports

Based in West Norfolk, Chris commutes into Norwich most days ready to meet with and support others. For one and half days a week she is visible in County Hall

“Chaplaincy has changed, where once there would be time to chat with people at their desks, now everyone is so busy.  The role is being an independent listening ear, as I am independent of the Council, providing pastoral care, encouraging, supporting, signposting to other services, and being there for those who are in any kind of need. I am there for everyone, of any faith or none”

The “Quiet Space” room provided offers a place to meditate, pray or just sit, as does a “Peace Area” outside.  “A small and faithful group of Christians’ meet weekly, where we hold the building, people and activities in prayer, believing that prayer in a building soaks in. There are a lot of balances to hold in the working place especially.  It is important to promote dignity, respect and grace”

Every two months the Full Council meets, when Chris prepares and leads the prayers relevant to the moment

 “Often Councillors will ask for prayers for their areas” she says

Chris is able to coordinate/lead particular reflection times such as Remembrance Day, Holocaust Day and other occasions that the Council or members of staff might wish to mark publicly. They are accessible to people of all faiths

Chris is a former teacher, an Anglican and was ordained as a Deacon in 2007 and as Priest in 2008. Before ordination training she was a Reader for nine years across seven rural parishes. She was also a curate at a Parish in King’s Lynn

Her other main role is three days weekly working with the Norfolk Coroner Jacqueline Lake at the Coroners court in Thorpe Road, Norwich or the King’s Lynn County Court

“This is a fascinating and rewarding ministry to have, where law and grace come together.  It is a legal formal process but people are met with sympathy and empathy and there is support available at this difficult time,” Chris explains

Not only is she supporting the Coroner and her six officers, but also family and relatives at and after inquests. There are also strong relationships with the police and contribution within a Suicide Prevention Group

A number of workplaces, including Norfolk County Council and the Coroner’s Office, are specifically supported by Good Work, an ecumenical industrial mission. Chris works with them as a Development Worker fostering chaplaincies across Norfolk.  Good Work supports everyone from janitors, grass cutters and dinner ladies to seafarers, shop workers, laundry workers, wheelie bin collectors, hospital workers, sugar producers, engineers and chief executives

Chris can be contacted on or 07947 559845

Published: 05/12/2014