The purpose of the project is to evaluate various pastoral care methods which are employed to assist parents whose child has died in traumatic circumstances. In the light of this evaluation, then to propose an alternative approach which the pastor can exercise to support and help bereaved parents. This thesis considered the variety of pastoral care methods by means of a literature review. A questionnaire was then sent to pastors from different denominations. The information gleaned from completed questionnaires was used to prepare a review of pastoral care at “ground level”, that is to form an idea of how the general run of pastors dealt with such cases. In addition, a number of parents were interviewed with regard to their experience of the pastoral care which they received when their child had died in traumatic circumstances. The outcome of the thesis suggests that the perceptions of pastors and parents differed widely as to what constituted appropriate pastoral care. This study seeks to address this discrepancy and to formulate a proposed pastoral care method which can be used by any pastor in the event of the traumatic death of a child. The applicability of this thesis is somewhat limited by the fact that the sample used is relatively small. As a consequence other areas and communities might produce a different result.
Dissertation (MA (Theology) : Practical Theology)--University of Pretoria, 2008.