As part of our social justice ministry the Jesuits in Britain place adults (aged 18+) in direct service or in advocacy roles for a few hours a week with those who are materially poor, vulnerable and marginalised in our inner cities.
We provide a regular opportunity for volunteers to reflect on the experiences they have had, to share their feelings and reactions. The insights gained through this exchange are a source of personal growth, which in turn nurtures the service we offer in our volunteering. And since volunteering may also involve us in stepping outside our comfort-zone, this time together – rooted in the Ignatian practice of seeking God in all things – helps the group to build community and to support one another. Each group is facilitated by a Spiritual Reflector who is trained in Ignatian spirituality.
St Ignatius regarded social action as one of the fundamental foundations of Christian life, and so his spirituality - Ignatian spirituality - is at the heart of the reflection programme.
Our volunteers represent a wide diversity of cultural and international backgrounds. Some are students. Some are full-time professionals with family, work and study commitments. Some are making various transitions, including moving towards retirement. The combination of a volunteering placement with the opportunity to reflect upon that experience has proved to be a powerful magnet, and meets a deep need to make modern living meaningful. Volunteering raises vital questions for the whole of volunteers’ lives – about how to embody Gospel values in relationships, in prayer, in the home, at work, and with the people we accompany and serve.
As many roles involve contact with young people or vulnerable adults, you will probably need a Disclosure and Barring check or Scottish Disclosure check. This may have to be done by the placement, and this will introduce some delay in starting. We offer these opportunities in association with a range of Jesuit and other charitable services.
Three Jesuit Volunteers Commitments, Rooted in the Ignatian Value of Finding God in all Things:
1. Commit to volunteering:
offering your love and your service to those who need it - for a season (minimum of one year), part-time for 2-8 hours a week or comparable hours monthly.
2. Commit to reflection:
on an individual basis (through personal prayer, scriptural reading, and keeping a journal of your volunteer experiences); through monthly peer group reflection meetings (sharing with other volunteers your various experiences).
3. Commit to community:
both to Jesuit Volunteers as your sending community (by prioritising monthly peer group meetings); and to your volunteering placement as your receiving community (by your care for those in need).