The networks are now being established across the country and offer those working in the medical profession to support each other in the workplace, and carry their faith into their work.
Organiser, Dr Karen Flood, a vascular radiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, said: "The carol service was fantastic. There was such a sense of community. There was such a mix of people pulling together."
The network in Leeds has burgeoned from just 10 members to 113 during the pandemic. New groups are being established in the north of England, with the aim to see networks started across the whole of the UK in time.
"The need for the network has been all the more clear during the pandemic," said Dr Flood. "It’s been a really, really hard time.
"Within the medical profession, we are all fairly exhausted and have been for a few months.
"There is a greater vulnerability of all of us through the last year. We are suddenly aware that we are mere mortals. It hits home. Eighteen months ago, none of us knew what would happen. We were all worried and scared, if we are honest.
"There was an increased awareness of our need for God and each other and to look out for each other."
She added that prayer had been a particular focus of the fledgling networks. "At the end of a prayer meeting you feel filled-up and ready to work again," she said.
Churches are helping encourage members of their congregations to join the networks, raising awareness of their existence and the benefits to those who work in health care.
- The Church of England is working with a range of organisations to encourage local Christians to better connect their faith with their work through resources and projects that promote Everyday Faith, part of the CofE’s Vision for the 2020s to be a church where all God’s people are released to live the Christian life.
- The project is promoting opportunities to volunteer with support services offered by chaplaincies. It is also linking people with networks that serve different professions and sectors through diocesan events, and encouraging churches to work with regional ambassador teams from Transform Work UK and professional sector groups such as the Christian Medical Fellowship to help people find or start formally recognised Workplace Fellowship Groups.
- For further details on this work contact [email protected]