When you are diagnosed with an incurable illness, this can affect every aspect of your life.

Many people find they have deep questions about meaning and purpose.

You may find yourself asking why this is happening to you, or struggling with feelings of guilt or anger.

Questions of personal identity often come up too, especially if you find you are no longer able to do things that have given life meaning in the past. There may be changes to personal relationships if family and friends struggle to know how to respond.

The Spiritual Care team at Pilgrims is here to support with all of these things. They work as part of the wider Pilgrims team to help you live well in every moment, and to allow you the help you need to focus on the things that matter most to you.

Who are the Spiritual Care team?

Patients and their families and friends will find many staff at Pilgrims who are available and qualified to listen to their concerns – from our counsellors and social workers to nurses and doctors.

In addition, each Pilgrims hospice has a Spiritual Care Chaplain. This is a specially trained member of the Pilgrims care team who is responsible for making sure each person’s spiritual needs are addressed. Each of these leads are supported by trained Spiritual Care Volunteers on all of our sites.

Together, the Spiritual Care Team offers help to patients and families with any spiritual matters they may have – whatever their beliefs.

Support for people of any religion or belief

The term ‘spirituality’ covers a wide range of belief systems, from membership of a faith community to following a more personal philosophy or lifestyle.

Our pastoral and spiritual care (often known as chaplaincy) is available for people who are religious and can equally be a source of support for people of any belief, where their deepest hopes and fears can be listened to and explored.

Available at home and on our wards

If you have a personal faith, or belong to a particular church or faith group, we offer the opportunity for prayer and sacraments. This is available in the hospice, at a Pilgrims Therapy Centre or, if you cannot come to us, in your own home.

If you are staying on our inpatient unit your own clergy or faith leaders are welcome to visit in the hospice at your request. We can contact them on your behalf if this helps.

If you do not have a particular faith, but feel you would like someone to talk to about spiritual matters, our Spiritual Care team will listen and support in an open and accepting way. Our aim is not to provide ready-made answers, but to accompany and support you and your family on your own journey in a way that is meaningful to you.

Wherever you are receiving care, you can request to see a Spiritual Care Chaplain by asking any member of Pilgrims staff involved in your care or by ringing the hospice. You can then either meet our Spiritual Care team on the ward or you can request a visit.

Quiet spaces and sanctuaries to use at any time

Each hospice has its own quiet space or sanctuary that is open for use at any time by all patients and visitors. Each of these provides a beautiful space for quiet contemplation, space to breathe or a place for prayer. It is possible to light candles there to represent prayers, wishes or memories.

It is our hope and intention that each and every person who uses our services will feel supported physically, emotionally and spiritually.