Chaplaincy and spiritual care in the hospice.
"When the lights of health go down, undiscovered countries of the spirit are discovered." (Virginia Woolf)
"What is the point of you lot, then?" (Hospice patient to Chaplain)
Human beings are complex and fragile things, with a variety of needs. When illness strikes, we may find ourselves in need of a range of physical and emotional support, and also perhaps in spiritual need. For some this will be expressed in terms of a religious faith, but for all of us the search for love, meaning and purpose, for hope, dignity and understanding on the journey of life represent values at the heart of spiritual care.
Within the Hospice movement, an exciting recent development has been the recognition that everyone contributes to spiritual care on different levels, from informal acts of kindness and consideration, to the caring attitudes and practice of volunteers and staff, to Chaplains who are generally available to all, as well as ensuring people have the support of their religious belief.
Hospices aim to be places responding to those with progressive or terminal illness, with an immense pastoral and human care, mixed with enormous optimism about life and the future. Within the geographical area covered by the Diocese of Wakefield are 5 Hospices, each of which make provision for the services of Chaplains.
Chaplaincy teams are available to patients and Day Hospice visitors, to relatives and friends and staff, regardless of whether or not a person would see themselves as religious. It is also possible to make contact with representatives of other World Faiths.
In-patient and Day Hospice areas are visited regularly, and chaplains are often asked to respond to requests, which may range from helping to plan a funeral to sitting and having a chat about the football.
If we can help in any way, please do get in touch details of who to contact at each one of the 5 Hospices follow below.
Cancer is so limited-
It cannot cripple love, erode faith, eat away peace, destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship, shut out memories, silence courage, invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life
It cannot quench the Spirit.
It cannot lessen the power of the Resurrection.
Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Kirkwood Hospice, Huddersfield
Overgate Hospice, Elland
Prince of Wales Hospice, Pontefract
All communications for the chaplains should be directed to the Hospice, where messages will then be passed on to the appropriate Chaplain. Our team of chaplains consists of:
Chaplain: Revd Canon Gill Butterworth (Anglican, part-time)
Assisting the Chaplains: Revd Nick Shields (Catholic)
Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains
The professional association for all who work in Hospice Chaplaincy, promoting appropriate standards, and mutual support and pastoral care for Chaplains.www.ahpcc.org.uk
Marie Curie Cancer Care
A national network of care centres and Hospices, involved in the development of competencies for the practice of spiritual and religious care.www.mariecurie.org.uk
A joint venture between Help the Hospices and St Christophers Hospice, London, providing access to a wide range of information and services across a variety of disciplines and palliative care services (including downloadable material).www.hospiceinformation.info