David McCoulough, Commercial Chaplain

David McCoulough began work as Chaplain to Commerce and Industry in Nottingham and at Boots plc Headquarters on 3rd April 2001. He wrote this article to introduce himself to us.

The Revd David McCouloughAs I start to prepare for my move to Nottingham I have to say I am filled with excitement about the new opportunity for ministry which awaits me. At present I am Chaplain of the Ripon Campus of Ripon and York College and Minor Canon at Ripon Cathedral. I have spent three interesting years in Ripon and am delighted to have the opportunity to continue in chaplaincy work, albeit in a very different set of circumstances, and also to be rooted in the life and worship of St Peters.

Before moving to Ripon I was Incumbent of an urban parish in Bolton, after curacies in Bury and inner city Manchester. I feel very privileged to have worked and ministered in a wide variety of contexts and hope this experience will be of value in Nottingham.

I have always thought it essential for the Church to look outwards and be involved and interested in all aspects of life. Chaplaincy is one way the Church tries to connect with people in the places where they spend so much of their lives - the place of work. Having worked in an institution which has seen almost constant structural change over the past five years, including the closure of the campus where I work and the resulting redundancies (including my own), I feel I have some awareness of some of the dynamics and pressures of the work environment. The exciting opportunities that change can bring, the difficult decisions that senior managers and executives have to take, the dangers of poor communication in terms of morale, self esteem and results, and the anxiety and anger that redundancy so often brings, all these have part of my chaplaincy experience of the past three years.

Offering pastoral care, friendship and neutral advice, and being around where people are and yet outside any formal structures, I hope can be a useful way of ministering to many people who might not normally feel they could turn to the Church for support and encouragement. Feeding back issues from the world of work to the Church and helping the Church understand the dynamics of business life and workplace issues is I hope another useful aspect of this post.

I am very much looking forward to working with the clergy and people of St Peter’s and meeting the Chaplaincy clients. I hope I can continue the highly regarded work that Wally Huckle has been doing since establishing this post. I am also looking forward to introducing my children, William (7) and Lucy (5), to the delights of Nottingham when they are with me at weekends and during the school holidays. I’m certainly very happy about the prospect of living in a vibrant city like Nottingham with the opportunity of watching professional football again and taking full advantage of cinema and theatre facilities.

David McCoulough

© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 17th March 2001