January 20th, 2021: Facing the future with kindness
The song goes, “For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.” ‘Auld lang syne’ means for ‘old long since’ or ‘old times’ sake’; The song is about how things from the past can lead us today to face the future with kindness.
We recently ended the twelve days of the Christmas Festival (New Year’s Day fell ‘on the eighth day of Christmas’! Whatever we thought of 2020, the first Christmas wasn’t ideal either (however much we idealise it); at the centre of it lay a baby whose parents had nothing better than a food trough to use for a cradle. Yet what happened then, and afterwards, has generated hope and comfort enough to have sustained millions ever since, through the best and the worst of times.
As we wished you the best possible for this most unusual and frustrating Christmas; we also wish you comfort, hope, and kindness, and the best possible for 2021.
‘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: January 19; January 18; January 17; January 16; January 15; January 14.
If you would like to access Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them all on his website at ‘swallowsnest’. 20/1
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. 16/1
“Our job is to find out who people are, and help when they feel their spirit’s crushed.” HospiceUK Interview
HospiceUK has just posted this interview with Jill Thornton, Lead Chaplain at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care in Surrey, on their Facebook page. You can read the original on their website. 16/1
On the frontline: “Listening to patients’ stories is a privilege” Hospice UK article
Liz Maitland, another member of the AHPCC Exec was interviwed for this article back in the autumn, but it was flagged up today on Hospice Uk’s Facebook page. You can find the full article here on HospiceUK’s website. 12/1
“The need for spiritual care has never been greater” HospiceUK interview
Karen Murphy was interviewed recenly by Hospice UK, on the importance of spiritual care. It was posted on January 10 on the HospiceUK Facebook page. You can read the full transcript of this on this link to the HospiceUK website. 10/1
We have links to a few vacancies, including a newly posted Palliative Care Chaplain with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. You can access this via our vacancies page 7/1
Karen has just written her latest letter, for Christmas.
You can find this on the President’s page.
The last ERICH newsletter of 2020 is now available on our Research page, containing news of a Special Issue of the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling on ERICH’s COVID-19 Survey, expected late January; news and interviews on research, including ‘Grieving in times of a pandemic’, ‘Chaplaincy Charting’, and news of the coming ENHCC 2021 Consultation, which will be online. 23/12
‘Can You Be the Air?’
David Buck, our Vice President, has provided several poems for our website; he’s now published his first book of poetry, ‘Can You Be the Air?’.
To find out more, check out our Books and Reviews page. 23/12
The Swan Song Project
Ben Slack was to have given a snapshot presentation at our conference earlier this year. He is also the driver behind the Swan Song Project, which helps people write their own song, and can be of use to both patients and families. If you would like to know more, take a look at the Swan Song website. 16/12
Christmas memorial narration – ‘It is well with my soul’
Leon spotted this on YouTube, and shared it with us – worth a view! 14/12
Chaplaincy Forum updates
1. Concerns were raised over increased Hospice Chaplain vacancies with no plans to recruit – AHPCC to respond.
2. CHCC have issued Covid guidance and are offering focussed support sessions for Lead Chaplains – details on CHCC website
3. The Forum discussed disparities in both banding (bands 3 and 4) and scope (specific faith restrictions) placed on some recently advertised roles within Chaplaincy – UKBHC and CHCC to consider response.
4. The Forum completed work on the Theory of Change for the group which will be shared with member organisations and will continue to be used to drive the Forum’s work.
5. NHS England guidance on volunteering during Covid is being refreshed; the existing guidance is still available to support organisations if volunteering activities have been compromised.
AHPCC comment on the Chaplaincy Forum
During 2020 the Chaplaincy Forum for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health undertook a Theory of Change process to explore their long term purpose and goal. The Forum was formed in 2018 to replace the Chaplaincy Leadership Forum and to enable key chaplaincy groups and NHS England work together. The Theory of Change process was facilitated by Capture Consulting and funded through the NHS link with the Forum. Members of the Forum (representatives from the AHPCC, College of Healthcare Chaplains, UK Board of Healthcare Chaplains, the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health, and NHS England & Improvement) were each interviewed prior to a workshop. The workshop produced a Theory of Change model or diagram which was later tweaked following more discussion. The model shows, working from the bottom up, how the various activities of the Forum create certain outcomes which drive towards the overall aim of the Forum which is for “Better outcomes and experiences for healthcare services, staff, and all individuals supported by and delivering healthcare chaplaincy, pastoral, spiritual and religious care.” Forum members found the whole process helpful in getting to know each other better, working together and developing a clearer understanding of what we were about. If you have any questions, then please get back to Karen Murphy or David Buck. 14/12
We’re beginning to put the (online) 2021 Conference details together. To make a start, here’s the date and title… more to follow.
2021 AHPCC Annual Conference, May 18th-19th: Reframing Spiritual Care in a Palliative Setting: Responding to Changing Times. 8/12
Spiritual care contribution to COVID-19 (Clinical) ECHO
At Hospice UK’s Clinical ECHO yesterday, Karen Murphy explained how spiritual care providers have adapted to the COVID changes. 8/12
NES ‘Introduction to Qualitative Research in Spiritual Care’
NES has produced a six week course, available to chaplains in Scotland and Ireland, as an introduction to research practice. The flyer is accessible from our Training events page. 27/11
Royal Shakespeare Company Globe Christmas Show for children
The RSC’s virtual Christmas Show, “Christmas at the (Snow) Globe” will be available free of charge to all children’s hospitals and wards.
This should include children’s hospices; please also pass this on to chaplains you know working on children’s wards and in children’s hospitals. To find out more, check out ‘Christmas at the Snow Globe 2020. 27/11
Free Churches Group
Congratulations to Mark Newitt, who succeeds Meg Burton as Secretary for the Healthcare Chaplaincy for the Free Churches Group. Rev Dr Mark Newitt has spent fifteen years as a chaplain in Sheffield, at both the Teaching Hospital and more recently, at St Luke’s Hospice. While now an Anglican, Mark has multi-denominational experience from past involvement (Salvation Army, Methodist and Baptist) and from working as a healthcare chaplain. Rev Paul Rochester, General Secretary of the FCG says: “Mark is looking forward to working with Free Church Healthcare chaplains and understands the theology, values and practice that have inspired the Free Churches for many centuries.”
Mark is Chair of the Forum, has been a leader of the Yorkshire and Humber Chaplaincy Research Group and is also Book Review Editor of ‘Health and Social Care Chaplaincy’. Mark begins his new role on January 18th, 2021. 27/11
AHPCC Membership for 2021
If you are an AHPCC member, you should have received an email about 2021 membership from Margery, our membership secretary.
If you wish to join the AHPCC, you can download the 2021 Membership Form here. Membership is by calendar year, and new applications will cover to the end of 2021. 25/11
Update on the Joint Chaplains Conference in September 2021
You may be aware of plans to hold a joint conference in the Autumn of 2021 (this would involve the CHCC and MHC as well, and is separate to our own arrangements in May). The latest proposal is to scale this back to a non-residential day conference, with online access. This would be more robust, and better able to cope with changes of circumstance between now and then, while still allowing chaplains from the different associations to meet together. We’ll keep you informed as things develop. 25/11
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 Willow Wood Hospice, Ashton-under-Lyme