April 22, 2021: A longing to be on the move once more?

“When in April the sweet showers fall… Then folk do long to go on pilgrimage.” Geoffrey Chaucer, the Canterbury Tales.
Over six hundred years ago, Chaucer captured the desire to travel once more (in his case, to Canterbury Cathedral), after being confined by the effects of a long winter – a desire we might very easily identifiy with this year.
It’s clear from Chaucer’s opening words that the spiritual motives of seeking a blessing and of thanksgiving, and the simple longings for travel and enjoyment, overlapped. For the AHPCC, this might normally lead to a plug for the Annual Conference, too! But while we are looking forward to it (see below for the latest update), like many other things still, we will be meeting online this year. But anticipating more freedom of movement as this year progresses, Chaucer might still have something to tell us about pilgrimage – that blend of holyday and holiday, and the simple pleasure of enjoying good company – things not to be taken for granted.


Conference Planning for May 18-19

We’re now just about ready for this year’s (online) AHPCC Annual Conference, May 18th-19th: Reframing Spiritual Care in a Palliative Setting: Responding to Changing Times. Speaker profiles are now available, and we are delighted to have both Heather Richardson (Joint CEO of St Christopher’s Hospice, and former National Clinical Lead for Hospice UK) and Professor Max Watson (Director of Project ECHO and Consultant in Palliative Medicine for the Western Trust, NI) as our main speakers. Our AGM will be on the morning of the 19th. Because our costs are lower than usual, we are able to offer this year’s Conference free to members, and only £10 to non-members.
Please do invite colleagues who you feel might be interested, but please also note that because we are limited to 100 people in all, booking will be first come, first served, with a closing date of May 1st. The Conference is filling up fast.
You can access the Conference Poster, Booking Form, Programme and other conference papers from the Conference Page.

Video Submissions for the Conference

As part of this year’s conference, we will be featuring two short video presentations highlighting chaplaincy experiences during the Covid pandemic. If you would like to contribute to this by submitting a short (3 minute) video of your own experience, email Mike at AHPCC Editor to arrange this – please don’t try to email large video files! The presentations will take time to assemble, alongside other Conference preparations, so we need these as soon as possible, and no later than May 1st! 21/4


‘Thought for the day’ from Tom Gordon

Tom Gordon is a former AHPCC president. You can find Tom’s thought for today here.
Recent thoughts: April 21; April 20; April 19; April 18; April 17; April 16.
If you would like to access Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them all on his website at ‘swallowsnest’. 22/4


New vacancy

Hospice in the Weald in Kent has posted a vacancy for a Chaplain – NB this is now for a full-time, post, though with part-time options. You can access this, and other posts being advertised, via our Vacancies page. 16/4


Marie Curie Report for 2020

The 2020 Marie Curie Reportcontains some very telling statistics on the impact of the Covid pandemic on palliative care servics in the UK. It’s available via our News Page. 16/4


Post-Graduate HealthCare Chaplains training course

There are repeat open days on April 26th and May 13th, for anyone considering the Post-Graduate Healthcare Chaplaincy course run by Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals. For more information, click here. 16/4


AHPCC President’s letter

Karen has just written her latest letter, which will be the last before she ‘hands on the baton’ at next month’s AGM. Thanks, Karen for all you’ve done for thr AHPCC over the last six years!
You can find this on the President’s page. 10/4


News of former members

Bob Whorton, who’s one of this year’s conference chaplains, now runs a reteat centre, Les Jardins des Arts, in France. He’s written to say about how they’re adapting to circumstances with a series of online retreats and creative workshops (singing, poetry, contemplation…) If you’re interested, you can find out more at his website. 10/4


‘Whispers of Wisdom’ – a new book from Tom Gordon

Tom has a new book out this month, ‘Whispers of Wisdom’, which is about the experience of loss. You can find the publisher’s review on our Books and Reviews page. Please email sandra@ionabooks.comIf you would like a review copy. 1/4


Music for the soul

Keith Judson has been involved with the Welfare for Healthcare project, which is currently posting a song a day on YouTube. Keiths contributed one of his songs, dedicated to his hospice, Mary Stevens Hospice; you can hear it on YouTube here. 1/4


Palliative Care Book Sale

Books You Need, who have provided bookstall material in previous conferences, are having a clearance sale. If you’re interested, check out their website at the Books You Need website. 1/4


Chaplaincy Forum update

The Healthcare Chaplaincy Forum for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care Terms of Reference have now been published and are available on our Chaplaincy Organisations page. 1/4


ERICH Research Findings Published

ERICH conducted a major international research study into the role of Chaplains during the first wave of the Covid Pandemic. The findings have now been published, and you can access both the Article and the Press Release for this via our News Page. 26/3


New vacancy

St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds has an exciting new vacancy for a Spiritual Care Lead. You can access this, and other posts being advertised, via our vacancies page. 19/3


New publication on Spiritual and Religious care for Sikhs

Just published, is Satwant Kaur Rait’s very useful ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Religious and Spiritual Care for Sikh Patients in NHS Hospitals and Hospices’, with some encouragement from staff at St Gemma’s hospice. You can find more information about this on our Books and Reviews page. 18/2


Covid-19 Latest Information

Posts relating to Covid-19 tailed off over the summer, but with the current sharp rise in reported infections, there have been several new items. Also, with the rollout of vaccinations and an expansion in asymptomatic testing, these should become available to everyone working with patients, in any setting and in any capacity. We have a dedicated Section on our News Page, where you can find everything Covid-related in one place.


AHPCC Membership

Is your AHPCC membership paid up and current? If you wish to join the AHPCC or renew your membership, you can download the Membership Form here. Membership is for the calendar year, but applications received after October 1 will cover the new year.

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If you’re new to this website…

Whether you’ve worked in palliative care for years or you’re new in post, we hope you find this website helpful. It’s regularly updated, and alerts also appear on Facebook, especially for new vacancies. Contributions of articles and resources are welcome. New items appear on this page for six to eight weeks, but after that, you can still find most of them in the main body of the website. Gary and Mike.


PrayingIn your prayers today please remember the patients, staff and volunteers of LOROS Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice, Leicester

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