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27 September 2011

Jonathan Martin - Market Chaplains

Jonathan Martin - Market Chaplains

Jonathan Martin is European Director for Market Chaplains Europe which contracts with organisations and businesses to provide them with employee care teams. Previously he worked as chaplain to Poole Council, and minister to a couple of URC churches and an Anglican church.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

A county cricketer - one of my father's customer's in the corner shop which he owned was Bob Barber, leg spin bowler and opening batter for England. My first ever cricket bat was signed by Bob.

How did you get involved with business?

I trained in accountancy, but dropped out after four years to take a degree. Next stop found me appointed deputy manager of Daily Bread Co-operative, Northampton, the first worker co-operative established by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act of 1976. Established by a Christian house group we sold whole foods, provided supportive employment for the mentally ill, invested in developing countries, and prayed together daily. Work for body, mind and spirit. Next stop saw the creation of an accountancy co-operative.

What does great employee care look like?

Good organisations look after employees because they recognise that employees who are fit to work make better citizens, and improve the profitability of their company. Great organisations truly identify with the needs and aspirations of their staff, and seek to meet them in a way that benefits the business and the individual.

How do you provide excellent employee care to organisations?

We contract with them to appoint an employee care team who visits the business, is available every day, and serves staff together with their households unconditionally. Using words only when necessary, through great service we aspire to point all we meet to Christ. Our tag line is: 'Enriching business, enhancing lives'.
The verse from the Bible that continually motivates me is: 'Jesus came and pitched his tent among us' (John 1:14).

Care for the elderly is a 'hot topic'. Give us a pearl of your wisdom.

I'm working with the Jubilee Centre and Pramacare to publish a book that looks at the biblical understanding of the role and contribution of older people to society. Is the term elderly a secular concept that legitimises discriminating against a particular group in society? Does the Bible talk about age and wisdom in positive terms that convey a sense of value? Does the Church comply with the former and fail to declare and demonstrate the latter?

How have you enabled GP practices to develop their expertise in this area?

I've been discovering what some GP practices have been up to for 20 years, using chaplains as one tool to invest in patients with medically unexplained symptoms. I've brought some order to their thinking about how to mainstream this concept, and am embarking on the adventure of introducing the concept to primary care through the newly established Professional Association of Community Healthcare Chaplains.

How would you invest a million quid?

£200K to invest in my 4 children.
£200K in Habitat for Humanity programmes.
£200K as a pump prime fund to create new co-operative enterprises in Dorset.
£350K to establish a foundation for work and faith at Moorlands College.
£50K for Sue and I to travel.

What does sustainability look like?

Heaven on earth.

The one thing I couldn't live without.

Music.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in business?

Listen.

Tell us a joke.

A Tommy Cooper special from the time he had dinner with chess champion Garry Kasparov.
So I was having dinner with Garry Kasparov and there was this check tablecloth. It took him two hours to pass me the salt.
He said: "You remind me of a pepper-pot." I said: "I'll take that as a condiment".