“I love being with people in their lives, I love being available for people.”
Ewen Huffman has been appointed Chaplain to the country’s largest construction site at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. Employed full-time he will be located on-site and will support more than 4,500 workers. Ewen’s appointment grew out of the Churches Together in Somerset partnership and their work with Hinkley Point C. He was commissioned by Somerset Church Leaders on 8 January 2020.
Bath and Wells Chaplaincy Development Adviser Mike Haslam, who helped to create the role said: “It has been good to work with the team at Hinkley Point C who have recognised the value of wider spiritual care in creating the best possible environment for the workforce. It’s wonderful to be able to create a chaplaincy to serve the Hinkley community which will grow to 5,600 people at the peak of construction.”
Ewen has been in ordained ministry for more than 30 years, most recently as Lead Pastor of Creech St Michael Baptist Church. He has also served as volunteer chaplain to Somerset West and Taunton Council. “I love being with people of all faiths and none. That’s what it’s all about. I totally believe the church exists for those outside it, so being a chaplain is what I really want to do.”
“My experience of being a chaplain at the council has shown me that people are sometimes under pressure at work, but when they speak to me often what they want to talk about are the issue of the soul. You talk to them about work, three minutes in and they ask you questions like, ‘Do I have to do this for the rest of my life? Or they ask questions about what life is all about.”
In the long-term Ewen hopes to establish a team of volunteer chaplains to work alongside him. He knows from experience that being visible is a great help in his role. He’s already joined the Hinkley choir and has plans to visit the canteens and coffee bars to meet people where they are.“
You know you’re getting somewhere when people are talking your message for you, when they say ‘there’s this chaplain bloke, he’s religious right, but he’s okay, he listens – why don’t you talk to him.”
It is his faith which drives Ewen’s love of chaplaincy. “We are there in Jesus’ name, and as Christians we carry God’s presence. It’s not surprising that a little bit of listening goes a long way because God so longs to be in people’s lives and help them. I suppose I am a little gate keeper through which he might touch people’s lives.”