Ministry Description – Shepherd

Amended by St. Stephen's Parish Council September 11, 2017

Qualification, Knowledge, Attitudes

The quality desired in a Shepherd is a mature faith. He or she should be comfortable in talking about his or her faith and have a regular habit of prayer.

To be appointed as a Shepherd, he or she must attend worship and parish activities regularly at St. Stephen’s for at least one year and complete a Police Criminal Record Check (PCRC). The PCRC must be redone every three years and prior to the current one expiring.


A Shepherd is a person appointed by the Incumbent and Church Wardens to visit regularly on behalf of St. Stephen’s for the purpose of providing pastoral care. He or she is appointed annually at the September Vestry meeting and works with the clergy to provide pastoral care to the people of St. Stephen’s.


The ministry of a Shepherd is to listen to the person being visited, encourage the person in his or her faith, and foster the relationship between the parishioner and the parish. The Standards for Pastoral Care will be a guide for the Shepherd. The Shepherd maintains contact with parishioners through phone calls and visits in the home, hospital or other agreed upon place. As required, a Shepherd will be licensed to take communion to the sick and shut-in. A Shepherd may visit alone or with another Shepherd.

A Shepherd is expected to keep the information learned in the course of a visit or phone conversation confidential. He or she is not to use the position of Shepherd or hospital visitor for his or her personal gain.

Specific Duties

A Shepherd should be prepared to:

§         pray with the person;

§         ask if the person wishes to have his or her name put on the parish prayer list; 

§         maintains a private record of the visit; and

§         with the person’s permission advise the Incumbent of problems ,  if a visit by clergy is required or when the person is in hospital.


The Shepherds are accountable to the Incumbent. 

The Shepherds will meet three times a year, or more as requested for the purposes of training and supervision.

A Shepherd Coordinator may be appointed to facilitate communication with the Shepherds and the Incumbent.

The appointment as a Shepherd may be discontinued by the Incumbent and Church Wardens for not carrying out the responsibilities and duties of a Shepherd or inappropriate behaviour with a parishioner.

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