In the Congregational Church, routine pastoral visitation has historically been optional. I myself would say that it is not mission-critical, but it is important. Here is why: • Visitation is a continual spiritual encouragement to the minister -- the minister receives much. • It feeds the spiritual programme of the Church -- much is revealed in visitation that contributes to the programme. • It keeps a minister in touch with the real world -- particularly in the context of a diverse congregation. • Visitation often represents useful ministry. • And it contributes much towards good-will in the Church.