News from our Sector Ministers
NHS Chaplaincy in Surrey & South London
Revd Heather Wilson - Lead Chaplain, Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Hello everyone and thank you in advance for your prayers.
This month has brought huge changes for me within my workplace .After being Assistant Chaplain for almost 6 years; the opportunity arose for me to apply for the position of Lead Chaplain. Following much prayer, reflection, and wise counsel, I applied for the position and got the job, and I am now in a period of adjustment and transition as I settle into my new role.
I am excited about the prospect of recruiting and training a new team of chaplains, and volunteers.
I am also rather tired, having been the sole chaplain running the Spiritual Care department since the beginning of December when my remaining colleague moved on to pastures new.
I would value your prayers for the forthcoming weeks, as potential new colleagues are shortlisted then interviewed for the two positions the Trust has advertised. Please pray that those of us on the panel will be unanimous in our decisions about the right candidates
Please pray for wisdom and discernment in all these processes, which are new to me. Please also pray for some great new volunteers. To join us.
I continue to see God moving in my ministry as a chaplain, particularly in the flourishing of good relationships with staff, which began to blossom during the three waves of Covid that caused such an upheaval in the three sites we cover. Please pray that these relationships grow and continue to produce good fruit.
Healthcare chaplaincy is an amazing ministry and it such a privilege to minister to patients and their loved ones as well as staff, and to be a positive influence within the Trust.
Revd Diana Steadman – Staff Wellbeing Chaplain, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Hope means to keep living
And to keep humming in the darkness.
Hope is knowing there is love,
It is trust in tomorrow,
It is falling asleep
And waking again
When the sun rises.
In the midst of the gale at sea,
It is to discover land.
In the eyes of another,
It is to see they are understood …
As long as there is still hope
There will also be prayer …
And you will be held in God’s hands.
These words from the pen of Henri Nouwen sum up the atmosphere right now in the hospital for staff as much as patients, while simultaneously capturing the heart and soul of Chaplaincy in its mission to connect and reconcile. Staff are valuing opportunities in which they can authentically express their thoughts and feelings, and reconnect more deeply with cherished values that can sometimes become squashed by all the busyness and stress of everyday life. Being listened to with understanding, compassion and encouragement creates space in which hope can gently be re-kindled and in this way, new possibilities and ways of thinking can begin to be explored.
Please pray with me:
That increasing numbers of staff find the courage and time to reach out and benefit from the support of the multi-disciplinary Health & Wellbeing Team of which I am a part.
That the two new Staff Wellbeing Chaplains due to start after Easter will quickly settle into their roles, and that together we can engage proactively with those staff who are more difficult to reach because of the nature of their work.
Thank God that so many staff find strength in the process of giving compassionate care to their patients, and in supporting struggling colleagues as together they fill the gaps made by staff sickness and vacancies. Please pray for God’s goodness to continue to flow through us all.
Revds Phil Hughes, Mary McLachlan & Ian Phillips - part of the Chaplaincy Team at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill
We are part of an ecumenical chaplaincy team at the hospital, offering spiritual, religious, emotional support and pastoral care to patients, their relatives, and the staff at the hospital.
It is an interesting and varied role, we can be doing anything from praying with those who are dying, baptising babies, listening to staff share their life’s ups and down, visiting patients who have faith and those who have no faith, playing Connect 4 with some of our young people living with mental health issues or calling relatives who have lost loved ones at the hospital to offer support and help and to invite them to our twice yearly memorial services.
We offer a weekly mindfulness meditation for all our staff and daily lunchtime prayers. We try to have a visible presence and be available to anyone who needs us.
Our chaplaincy team has colleagues from different denominations of the Christian Church and from other faith backgrounds.
Our team offers 24/7 support so apart from the different days in the week that we all work from Monday to Friday, we cover on-call shifts overnight and at weekends.
Many have found it a real blessing particularly during covid when visiting has been limited to talk with one of our team.
We all really enjoy it and love working together on the team.
If you or anyone you know is ever at East Surrey Hospital, please feel free to get in touch and we shall make sure that you are visited by one of our team. We can be contacted at East Surrey Hospital on 01737 768511 Ext 6120 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If it is urgent or out of hours, then please call the switchboard and ask to be put through to our on-call chaplain.