A broad approach to chaplaincy

10 March 2021

The Norfolk Broads are among the more unusual places to find faith encounters being shared.

norfolk-broads-briant-smithBriant Smith uses photography, Twitter and spiritual reflection in his role as Broads chaplain.

He’s inspired by the Celtic Christian understanding that God speaks through the ‘little book’ of the Bible and the ‘big book’ of creation and by Martin Luther’s quote, “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds.”

He helps people engage with God as Creator and shows those who live, work and relax around the Broads that the Church cares about them. For the past four years, he has volunteered in various ways, including chaplaincy.

“The aim was for the Church to be seen to be contributing,” said Briant, “showing interest and concern for those things that were most important to local people and businesses.” Briant has also set up Broads Spirituality, helping people to reflect on the area’s riches.

“I’ve developed photography courses on searching for God through the lens and led monthly Catch the Spirit courses and walks.”

Briant’s local links have led to opportunities to present materials about the Broads to local workers, and there are conversations about a joint venture between local wildlife trusts and the Broads Authority. He is now working to form a team of chaplains. His hope is that those who encounter the Broads Chaplaincy’s work will have their interaction with nature reawakened and then be prompted to engage with God.

This article originally appeared in the connexion magazine, issue 2.
Banner photo view of the Broads: © Ancilla Andrew, TMCP
Photo of Briant Smith: © Ancilla Andrew, TMCP