“We will always be open to your needs and wishes; it’s about listening and being responsive”
St Christopher’s welcomes everyone – whatever their belief – and encourages people to feel free to express their spirituality or practise their religion in their own way.
As we deal with the coronavirus pandemic our top priority is your safety. That’s why we have made some changes to our spiritual care offer. Spiritual care is available as usual on our wards and phone support will be on offer for people in the community. Unfortunately we are unable to arrange weddings at this time, but the Welfare Team is available to help make Wills.
St Christopher’s is committed to ‘total care’. This means that whatever is important for each individual person matters to us. When you are seriously ill, you, and those close to you, may have questions or concerns which are just as distressing as the physical symptoms of the illness. Questions may be about your illness and what is important to you at this time; questions about the meaning and purpose of life, or hopes and fears for yourself and your family and friends.
If you would find it helpful to talk to someone, a member of the St Christopher’s multi-professional team or one of our volunteers can share some of those questions and feelings that may arise when you are ill. If you wish, they can also arrange for our Chaplain to visit you on the ward, in the Anniversary Centre, or at home. Our full-time Chaplain also works closely with clergy and faith leaders from across the local community and, if you wish, can arrange for one of them to visit you and your family. Spiritual and religious care is available for everyone using the hospice’s services, either on our wards, in the Anniversary Centre or at home.
The Pilgrim Room, which is on the first floor of the building, is set apart for quiet meditation and prayer. You will notice that there is a place to light candles, and a large book where you can record thoughts and memories. The Chaplain also offers regular times to come together:
You may also find it restful and peaceful to spend some time in one of our gardens.
If you are a patient on one of our wards, you are also able to have Holy Communion at your bedside. If you would like this, or a visit from someone from your own specific faith tradition, please speak to a member of staff.
Memorial services take place regularly at a variety of community venues. This service offers an opportunity to take some time with your family and friends to remember the person who has died, and to give thanks for their life. During the service, there will be the opportunity to recall your family member or friend by name, and also to have a candle lit in thanksgiving. After the service there will be a cup of tea or coffee and time to talk with the chaplain and other staff, volunteers and with others at the service.
Children are very welcome to attend with you, and part of the service will be a story for them. It’s our experience that children find the service helpful, and it is important that children feel included in a special time of remembrance. Families and friends will normally receive an invitation to these services a few months following the death.
Members of the local clergy and community faith group leaders are welcome to visit patients whilst they are staying with us on our wards or visiting the Anniversary Centre. We also hold regular meetings and training sessions which are advertised via our education programme.
If you would like to contact our Chaplain, please call Rev Dr Andrew Goodhead