September 2017

Having had the opportunity for Study Leave this summer I thought I would share with you something of how I spent two weeks in July.

As part of my studies which are being supervised by the University of Glasgow, I attended a Practical Theology Conference in Twickenham. There I met a whole range of researchers all of whom are trying to learn and understand more about the work that they do. There were ministers, priests, chaplains, youth workers, educators, nurses, social workers, etc, etc. In fact, it was great to be part of so many professionals all of whom believe that God was central to their work.

I was the only person at the conference who is looking into ways to better support those who have experienced early miscarriage. That said, I was introduced into a new method of analysis (well, it was new to me) which is often referred to as ‘I Poems’. This involves extracting out all the ‘I’ statements from an interview transcript to create a shorter, very focussed representation of how someone felt (or feels). On returning to Strathaven, I spent the remaining time of leave going through interview transcripts and creating a set of I Poems. These proved to be very emotional and thought provoking. I also spent time laying the ground work for a more traditional analysis of people’s experiences. Once this is complete I will be using ministers’ fraternals (groups of ministers who meet for discussion/support/social time) in order to identify how their  current practice in terms of supporting people who have experienced a miscarriage might change in the light of my findings. This should lead to the end result of producing an educational package which could be used for training ministers and adapted to help inform and educate those who may have an interest.

My analysis is not yet at the stage where I can make generalisations or share my findings with others. To do so would show a bias in my analysis and would leave my research open to the accusation of not being rigorous and reflexive. Even when complete, I will ensure that confidentiality is maintained.

I would like to thank everyone who has encouraged me in my research and in particular those who gave me the privilege of hearing their stories – I feel honoured and humbled! Thank you again.

With every good wish
Rev Shaw J Paterson

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License