Spiritual Care is an important aspect of the care offered in Pilgrims Hospices. You will meet a wide variety of staff who are sensitive to your spiritual needs.
At times of crisis in people’s lives, such as serious illness or bereavement, many issues are raised beyond the physical reality of disease, prognosis or the death of a loved one. Sometimes people question long-held beliefs or wonder about the meaning of life. Some find themselves asking why this is happening to them or struggling with feelings of guilt or anger. Questions of personal identity often arise as people are no longer able to do things that have given life meaning in the past, and changes can occur in the area of personal relationships as family and friends struggle to know how to respond. Anxiety is often created by the realisation that death is closer than was once thought. It is attention to all these issues and many others that is meant by the term “Spiritual Care”.
Our Spiritual Care Leads and Volunteers are available to all
Our Spiritual Care Leads and Volunteers are available to support you and your family, whether or not you hold religious beliefs.
Pilgrims Hospice patients will find many staff who are sensitive to these issues and are happy to listen to their concerns. In addition, each hospice has a Spiritual Care Lead who is responsible for Spiritual Care within the multidisciplinary team. There are also a number of Spiritual Care Volunteers. Together, they can support patients and families as they struggle with these issues.
For those who have a personal faith or belong to a particular church or faith group, there is the opportunity for prayer and sacraments – whether in the hospice or in the patient’s own home. For in-patients there are also short, informal services in the chapels. Patients’ own clergy or faith leaders are welcome to visit and to minister in the hospice at the patient’s request. They can be contacted on behalf of patients who would like this.
Many, however, will not have a particular faith but are still faced with the same problems. These patients can be assured that they can also be supported by Spiritual Care Leads and Volunteers who will listen to their individual issues and questions in an open and accepting way. We will not try to persuade anyone to change their beliefs. Our aim is not to provide ready-made answers, but to accompany and support patients and families on their own journey.
Community patients can request to see a Spiritual Care Lead through any staff who visit them at home, or by ringing the hospice. In-patients may well meet them on the ward or can request a visit via other staff – they are available to talk to about anything the patient wishes.
Do you need a quiet space?
Each hospice has its own chapel or quiet space which is always open and available for all patients and visitors, whether or not they have a personal faith. Each of these provides a beautiful space for prayer, thought or just to sit quietly, as well as the services, which take place there. It is possible to light candles there to represent prayers, wishes or memories.
It is our hope and intention that hospice patients and their families will feel themselves to be supported as whole people in their illness, physically, emotionally and spiritually.