October 19, 2021: Building Bridges?
The bridge in the photo was built by Sir John Fowler, who later designed the Forth Bridge – it’s a very rare lenticular truss bridge, made of wrought iron over a hundred and fifty years ago, and which most people drive past without even noticing. However, once you realise it’s there, you can’t not notice it!
In terms of building bridges, and being bridges – both the functions they have, and their intrinsic beauty in many cases – bridges are full of rich and varied symbolism for spiritual care. But surprisingly, this seems to be a symbol that hasn’t been overused here. As you read this, you might like to reflect on some the different ways that bridges can provide insights into the roles we have, the challenges we face, and how we can respond to them: Hope… Reconciliation… A way forward…
Light Up A Life is coming soon…
Keith Morrison has emailed to ask: Does anyone have resources / poems / readings for Light up a life (or whatever you do that might be similar) that they can share? Send your responses to Keith (president) or to Mike (editor). We’ve had a few suggestions for poetry already, including Farewell My Friends, by Rabindranath Tagore; Beannacht, by John Donohue, and This is the time to be slow, also by John Donohue. We also have a new poem by Simon Newman, a hospice volunteer:
These Lights, by Simon Newman
Around the lake we gather to celebrate our memories with light.
Candle lights dancing upon the lake, this dark December night.
These lights we are lending, are of those that we hold dear.
Those no longer with us, those no longer here.
Of those sadly gone and from whom we are apart.
Those special ones we miss and love, that still light up our heart.
Those we remember, like stars, resplendent and bright.
Sentinels above, keeping watch over us this night.
These lights bring us here together, a common bond between us all.
Glistening out upon the lake as night begins to fall.
Each one a treasured thought, reflecting star lit sky.
Of that special person to whom we said goodbye.
As this night moves on and candles dim, the memories won’t wane.
We can return those flames back to the hearts, of all from whom they came. 19/10
‘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: October 18; October 17; October 16; October 15; October 14; October 13.
If you wish to read Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them on his website at ‘swallowsnest’. 19/10
The Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen is advrtising for a Senior Chaplain (Band 7). The closing date is October 15th.
St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie is advertising for a specialist palliative care chaplain. The closing date for applications is Friday, October 1st.
You can access further information for both of these vacancies via our Vacancies page. 9/10
Sammy Found A Treasure
Excellent children’s books on bereavement are like gold – both valuable and rare! Check out ‘Sammy Found A Treasure’, which was first published last year in Buenos Aires, but is now also available in English – and helpfully, the full text is available on its website, along with some useful resources. 29/9
Papadopoulos et al (2021) ‘Towards a National Strategy for the Provision of Spiritual Care and Support in Major Health Disasters’
This major report on Spiritual Care and Support provision during the COVID-19 pandemic in England, which some of our members contributed to, has now been published. The study, funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing, was conducted by the Research Centre for Transcultural Studies in Health, headed by Professor Irena Papadopoulos, and based at Middlesex University, London. You can access both the Full Report and the Executive Summary by clicking on the respective links. 29/9
Interfaith Week, November 14-21
Interfaith Week is an annual event, which can be very helpful for networking and strengthening relationships, and a useful opportunity to deepen relationships and understanding with different faith communities…
“Inter Faith Week offers an excellent opportunity for chaplaincies to reach out, bring people together, and showcase the work that they do.”
Ideas for Chaplains;
“Inter Faith Week is an excellent opportunity for hospices to strengthen their links with local faith and belief groups and enable their work to become more widely understood and supported.” Ideas for Hospices. 29/9
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
2021 Annual Conference
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. 20/7
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 Mamillan Unit, Evesham, Worcestershire