22 February 2021

We have appointed our new chaplain, Natalie West, to YMCA Wirral. Much like Nigel, Natalie is a vintage wooden boater. Here is what she has to say as we welcome her to the YMCA Wirral community…

I am delighted to have just been appointed as Chaplain to Birkenhead YMCA, so I thought it would be good to introduce myself. It may be that you have already spoken to me or seen me around in the past month or so. Hopefully, I will get to meet more of you over the next few months.

If you have met me you will have noticed I am not from these parts, I grew up and went to university in Edinburgh. After a few years working in Scotland, I moved to Merseyside to work as a bereavement counsellor at Alder Hey hospital. I also worked as part of the chaplaincy team and was a chaplain to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. I remain an on-call chaplain at a hospital on Merseyside. In June, I take up a full-time position at St Giles church in Aintree and already have plans to create links between the church and the YMCA.

One thing I hope you will find is that I am around and available for anyone to have a chat to about anything. I see my role of one of support, a listening ear and a helping hand when needed. I will be in the building at least once per month, but I can be contacted through the admin staff if anyone needs me. As chaplain, I am also available for any of the tasks performed by a minister of religion, should this be needed by anyone. This might include, prayer, conducting services such as – blessings, memorials, funerals, and (subject to certain conditions) baptisms and weddings.

I also hope to be involved in some of the activities which take place in the YMCA. As a boat owner myself, I am keen to be involved on both the canal and Norfolk Broads. My own boat is kept on the Broads, so I am familiar with the area and would like to see an increase in people enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this environment.

If you see me around, please say “Hello “and introduce yourself. I look forward to meeting you and working with everyone at the YMCA. In the meantime, if you want to arrange a meeting with me please get in touch through the admin team Best wishes to you all.