Andy Liston has worked at Airbus for 34 years and is also training to become a Pastoral Worker. As part of the course, he wanted to explore the idea of bringing his faith into his workplace at the Airbus factory in Broughton.
Andy is the Site Safety Box Facilitator at Airbus, a role that has responsibility for the safety of workers across the entire Airbus site. Part of this job involves the training of existing staff and also new employees which puts him in direct contact with groups of people who pass through his training facility, called The Safety Box' on a daily basis. In a work environment like Airbus, there's a lot of potential hazards, such as big machinery, chemicals, and vehicles that Andy makes people aware of during his training sessions. How to avoid physical injury is only part of the task in hand. "As we go through the training, a big part of that is on well-being," says Andy. His Christianity in the workplace is not overt, he doesn't preach or try to convert people to his faith. In his words, "They can see the faith through me. I don't have to mention God. They can see and almost feel that I'm there to help."
Andy was first inspired to bring mission and faith into the workplace when a Muslim colleague asked him if there was a room for him to pray. This led to the company introducing their first-ever multi-faith prayer room.
Since then Andy has made great progress in welcoming and facilitating people's faith, across all religions. The introduction of a prayer garden just yards from the reception is a very visual reminder of how Airbus has fully embraced faith in the workplace and recognises that enabling people to live out their faith 24 hours a day, including their time at work, is an essential part of helping people to feel whole, respected and complete.
Jenny Bridgman, Bishop's Adviser for Curate Development and Clergy Transitions says; "I have been really inspired by the creative and innovative approach to mission and ministry modelled by Andy and other trainees for licensed lay ministry. Pastoral Worker ministry is one of presence and attentiveness both within the parish and in wider contexts, sharing the good news of God's love with the 1.5 million who do not yet know Jesus."
In the video below, Jenny speaks with Andy about how he has been living out his faith at Airbus.
Jenny Bridgeman can be contacted by phone or email.
T: 01928 718834 EXT: 267 M: 07546 304644 E: email@example.com