July 24, 2021: Chaplains occasionally reminisce, too!
Please forgive the self-indulgence, but it’s just twenty-two years since my first day as a hospice chaplain. It begins to feel a long time – I even had the privilege of meeting Dame Cicely Saunders during a training week! It would be easy to reflect on what has changed; how new treatments have improved medical outcomes, how things have become more professional; perhaps also how opportunity for that vital, unquantifiable mutual support between patients has diminished, certainly of late. The passing of time reinforces how little we can predict. It doesn’t take much wit to expect changes in home, role, and family, but future reality remains unknowable. Twenty-three years ago, I had no idea of chaplaincy work, and yet…!
Spiritual care values autonomy and individuality highly, but against all the hopes, changes and disappointments, autonomy alone can fall short – over those twenty-two years, I’ve found nothing matters more than companionship and compassion.
We welcome Keith Morrison as our new president, and Keith has just posted his first president’s letter, which you can find in the ‘About us’ section. 23/7
‘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: July 23; July 22; July 21; July 20; July 19; July 18.
If you would like to access Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them on his website at ‘swallowsnest’. 24/7
Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes has a vacancy for a fixed term post (22 months and 0.75 fte). The closing date is August 1st.
You can access further information for all these vacancies via our Vacancies page. 12/7
Hospice UK National Conference
HospiceUK has its National Conference in Liverpool this coming November and is inviting submissions of abstracts for oral or poster presentations, with a June 21 closing date – via Call for Papers.
You can access details for the conference itself via our Training Events page.
Also, for obvious reasons, we have far fewer events to advertise this year – if you are aware of further events that are relevant to hospice and palliative care chaplains, please let us know. 9/6
The Gita Project
The Gita project offers free copies of the Bhagavad Gita and other literature to be available for patients, families and staff, and would welcome enquiries. They feature on our Multi-faith Resources page. 9/6
2021 Annual Conference – a retrospective
So looked forward to, and so soon over!
While we still look forward to being together in person once more, we had a good time at our first Zoom Annual Conference. Welcome to those of you who joined us for the first time, and many, many thanks to all our speakers: to Heather Richardson and Max Watson, our main speakers, and to Bob Whorton and Tom Gordon, our joint conference chaplains. Thanks too, to everyone who joined us, contributed to all the discussions, and generally made the event a success. Also, a big ‘thank you’ to all who have retired from the Exec, and welcome to the new Exec members.
If you attended the conference, you should have had an evaluation sheet – let us know if you didn’t, as the certificates of attendance are linked to this!
All the presentation material is now available, and you can access both the slides and the videos via our Conference Page.
Next year, we hope to be back at the Hayes – don’t forget to put the dates (May 23rd-25th, 2022) in your diary. 4/6
New members on the Exec
Welcome to our newly elected Exec, and many thanks to everyone who has stood down this year! Keith Morrison, who has been a conference organiser for the last few years, is our new president, succeeding Karen Murphy who is retiring from the Exec.
We also welcome new members Benedicto Da’Silva, Carol Lacey, John Wannacott, Lawrence McGonnell, and Tracy Robinson, and our thanks again go to Andrew Martin, David Buck, Doreen Draffin, Leon Dundas, Liz Maitland, and Margery Collin for all their hard work, commitment, and encouragement.
You can always check out who does what on the Exec on the ‘about us’ page – the new profiles are beginning to arrive. 1/6
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.
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.
How to get an automatic alert to new posts on Facebook (please don’t forget to Like or Follow us!)
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.
In your prayers today please remember the patients, staff and volunteers of all the hospices in Japan and Vietnam