22nd May 2020: Latest News

One thing emerging from the lockdown is how it affects the way chaplains work, which may reflect the vision that different employers have for spiritual care. As a result, work patterns vary widely, from being home-based and responding mostly online or by phone; to being essential members of the clinical team, working shifts in scrubs and full PPE. We may also miss the spontaneous informal support, both given and received, that transcends professional boundaries. Social distancing is very necessary, but it has a price.
One thing that hasn’t lessened is the emotional and spiritual needs of patients, families and staff, and the challenge of responding to them as effectively as we can.

NB: At present, new information is arriving most days. Please scroll down to be sure you haven’t missed anything – it’s all in date order.


‘Thought for the day’ from Tom Gordon

Tom Gordon, former AHPCC president, would have been our Conference You can find Tom’s thought for today here.
Tom’s thought for yesterday; May 20; May 19; May 18.
Last week: Tom’s thought for Thursday; May 13; May 12; May 11.
Previously: May 7; May 6; May 5; May 4; April 30, April 29, April 28, April 27, April 23, April 22, April 20, April 18, April 16, April 15, April 14, Easter Day, April 9, April 8, April 6, Palm Sunday, April 2, April 1, March 31, March 27, March 26, March 25, March 24. 22/05/2020


European Research into Chaplaincy during the Covid-19 pandemic

We have been sent the following link to a research project set up by ERICH which will hope to map the way in which chaplaincy has be of value during this time. We know that there is a huge variety of practice in the UK alone as well as in Europe, Please follow the link and take the time to give a snapshot of your work at the moment. It feels as if this is a very significant piece of work that will demonstrate the value of chaplaincy, but also show where our work is undervalued or misunderstood. Thank you for taking the time to look at this amidst everything else that you are coping with. This link will take you direct to the Research Questionnaire, but there is also a fuller article about this on our research page. 19/05/2020


Covid-19 Latest and NHS Visiting Guidelines

With many new items about Covid-19 appearing, there is now a dedicated Section on our News Page, where you can find them all in one place.
We’ve had quite a number of items relating to the exceptional circumstances arising from the Covid-19 outbreak, some relating to difficulties over holding funerals, others on how to manage anxiety generated by concern over the Covid-19 outbreak, and the difficulties we currently face in offering patient and family support at a time when they need it most. The latest items are the current NHS Compassionate Visiting guidelines (see below) and a reflection by Keith Anderson, on chaplaincy work in care homes.
Simon Harrison of the CHCC has been asking for responses to the latest NHS England Compassionate Visiting guidelines. If you would like to feed back to him, you can either do so direct to the CHCC, or via Karen at president@ahpcc.org.uk. While we clearly welcome any move towards supporting families and patients at a difficult time, it may not only confuse chaplains with faith leaders, rather than an integral part of healthcare, but its definition of spiritual care in purely religious terms overlooks the spiritual needs of many people who aren’t religious. 19/05/2020

The UKBHC has also circulated some ethical guidelines relating to Covid-19, and literature relating to them, to all healthcare chaplains.
You can access all these on our News Page – Coronavirus section. 19/05/2020


New Music

Dr Warry, of St Luke’s, York has passed a couple of new songs to us. “ResoundWorship has just released two new songs which may be of interest to hospice chaplains, as they reflect on grief, loss and bereavement in what I feel is an accessible and comforting style.”
They are. You can find links to both of them on our Poems, Prayers and Hymns page. 19/05/2020


2020 AGM

As this year’s Annual Conference couldn’t take place, we held the 2020 AGM via Zoom. Twenty-nine members attended, with five apologies. We’ll post the minutes in due course, but would like to thank our retiring Exec members Chris and Stuart for all their hard work and support throughout their terms of office, acknowledge Carol’s change in role from Conference Organiser to Secretary, and welcome Lucyann to the Exec. 14/05/2020


Ramadan Research

The British Islamic Medical Association has recently published some research findings on the medical impact of Ramadan. You can access a copy on our Multifaith resources page. 11/05/2020


Baby Funerals

The loss of a baby is always incredibly painful and we’re grateful to Mark Stobert of the CHCC for providing some resources which may be of help. You can find these in the Funerals page. 11/05/2020


Chaplaincy Champions

Publicity for recruiting support for the chaplaincy role is now available on our Patient Care page. 11/05/2020


Conference Arrangements

Because of Covid-19, this year’s Annual Conference was cancelled, and The Hayes has used our deposit to cover next year (May 17-19 2021) – do save the dates. We are returning this year’s payments – please contact our Treasurer, Margery Collin. If you are currently home-based, please let Margery have your revised contact details (i.e. home email and phone) at membership@ahpcc.org.uk. 11/05/2020


President’s letter

With the AGM coming up next week, Karen has just written her latest update, which you can find on the President’s page. 07/05/2020


Some new poetry

David Buck has submitted a couple of new poems that capture the present situation; ‘Lament’ and ‘The World will be Different’. You can find these, and others, on our Prayers and poetry page. 30/04/2020


Learning from Case Studies in Chaplaincy

‘Learning from Case Studies’, published just last week, is a significant work for anyone wishing to engage in chaplaincy research using case studies. You can find more information about it on our Reviews page. 27/04/2020


ERICH Newsletter

Reminding us that not all news in chaplaincy is Covid-19 related, ERICH (European Research Institute for Chaplaincy in Healthcare) have just posted their April Newsletter. You can find it at our Other Chaplaincy Associations page. 24/04/2020


Guidance on celebrating this year’s Ramadan

Ramadan starts today, and the Muslim Council of Britain has produced some useful guidelines on its celebration this year. 23/04/2020


Skydiving Chaplain!

It’s not often that hospice chaplaincy feature in the world of skydiving, but Gary Windon manages to combine both, prompting a great article on their Facebook page as part of a series on how skydivers are working during Covid-19! You can read British Skydiving’s article here. 19/04/2020


Regional groups

With all the home working and loss of direct contact, some of our regional groups are providing a very useful and effective means of keeping in touch. If you haven’t been meeting together, it could be a good time to reach out online to neighbouring chaplains for mutual support. 08/04/2020


Holy Week meditations from Bob Whorton

Bob Whorton, formerly of the AHPCC and now running Les Jardins des Arts retreat centre, has posted some Holy Week meditations. The link is to his site on YouTube. 08/04/2020


Commendatory Prayers

It’s not always possible for the chaplain to arrive in time, and David has also produced a simple sheet of prayers for care staff to use if needed. We’ve also just had a Roman Catholic format submitted to us, again for anyone to use if needed. You can download these and more from our Prayer Resources section. 31/03/2020


Faith Communities and Coronavirus

The Interfaith Network has just published an extremely helpful guide to supporting members of different faith communities who are affected by Covid19. You can find a link to Faith Communities and Coronavirus here. 30/03/2020


David BuckFunerals and Social Isolation.

The Covid-19 situation has severely limited the number of people that can attend funerals, resulting in considerable and widespread distress. It has also highlighted the need to provide alternative access. Many Funeral Directors and Crematoria are developing streaming facilities, which may well provide long-term benefit. David Buck at Wheatfield Hospice has published a short article, ‘Funerals and Social Isolation’, which you can find in our Practical Resources section. 30/03/2020


Research Request

Austyn Snowden and Iain Telfer are involved along with ERICH (European Research Institute for Chaplains in Healthcare) and several UK hospices in trialling the Chaplaincy PROM (Performance Related Outcome Measures), a key piece of research that can provide a validated tool to demonstrate the effectiveness of chaplaincy provision. As we have to justify our role within healthcare, this is well worth supporting. Please check out the information which you can find both on last year’s and this year’s Conference pages, and the links on our Research Page. Iain or Austyn are both very willing to talk to you about it.


AHPCC Membership

Don’t forget to renew your membership (if you haven’t already done so), as it’s now due, and the 2020 form is available! If you wish to join the AHPCC, 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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PrayingIn your prayers today please remember the patients, staff and volunteers of Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, Tring, Herts

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