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WHEN THE DRUGS DON’T WORK – Spiritual Distress: what is it, what’s our experience of it and how do we prevent, accompany or alleviate it? SOLD OUT

Monday 20th – Wednesday 22nd May 2024 at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick

Spaces for the conference are now sold out

2024 Programme

The programme for this year’s conference is available for you to download here.

Speaker Profiles

Lindsay De Wal (formerly Van Dijk)

Lindsay de Wal was the first ever U.K- based appointed head of chaplaincy as a humanist in February 2018 and made national and international headlines. She is currently full-time the head of chaplaincy at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and additionally works part-time as the manager of the Non-religious Pastoral Support Network (NRPSN), and is also a trainer at Humanists UK.

Lindsay has a Master’s degree from the Netherlands at the University of Humanistic Studies (Utrecht) to provide humanist and existential counselling, coaching and pastoral care. Lindsay is accredited as a humanist pastoral carer through the UK Board of healthcare Chaplaincy (UKBHC), the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network (NRPSN) and as a humanist funeral celebrant at Humanists UK. She’s currently undertaking doctoral research at Middlesex University concerning ‘the experience of humanists entering faith-based healthcare chaplaincy teams’.

Twitter: @lindsayvandij

Dr Barry Quinn RN

Barry has been working as a clinical nurse, academic, researcher and author in the field of cancer and palliative care for over 40 years in Ireland and the UK. He has held a number of senior roles within the NHS in London and Surrey and is currently a senior lecturer/associate professor in cancer and palliative care at Queen’s University Belfast and Mohamed Bin Rashid University, Dubai. He is the academic lead for inclusion, diversity and justice at Queen’s. Barry is particularly interested in addressing – end of life care support and symptom management, the need to recognise the presence of spirituality in all aspects of care, and the need for compassionate leadership. His doctoral studies and research, using the work of Viktor Frankl and Martin Heidegger explores peoples’ experiences of searching for meaning while living with advanced disease and the reality of death.

James Woodward

James Woodward is Principal of Sarum College. James is a practical theologian who specialises in health and healing, old age, theological reflection and end of life care.

James was born in Durham in 1961. He was educated at Spennymoor Grammar School, and then at King’s College London, where he read Theology. After a year working at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, he spent 2 years training for Ministry in the Anglican Church at Westcott House, Cambridge. Ordained in 1985, he has worked as a Curate, a Bishop’s Chaplain, a Hospital Chaplain and from 1996 in Parochial Ministry in the Diocese of Birmingham.

From 1998 to 2009 he was the Master of the Foundation of Lady Katherine Leveson, Temple Balsall, Vicar of St Mary’s Church and the Director of the Leveson Centre for the Study of Ageing, Spirituality and Social Policy. In this post he pioneered work in both Church and society to encourage better thinking and practice in the support and care of older people. From 2009 to 2015 he was a Canon of Windsor.
He was appointed Principal of Sarum College in September 2015 and Professor of Theology at Winchester University in 2017.
Over these decades he has established a reputation as a strategic and relational leader enabling teams in a range of sectors including faith community, public sector, chaplaincy and higher education. He is passionate as a reflective practitioner, to building community, nurturing others and transforming practice.

He is a practical and public theologian with a record of both academic leadership and thought leadership. He has taught in a number of universities including the Open University and in Warwick Business and Medical Schools and the University of Birmingham. He is much in demand as a speaker and lecturer. He has written and edited fifteen books. His current research and writing interests include ageing, narratology and theological reflection.

Away from the desk he enjoys walking, cooking, Wales, art and red wine.

Conference Chaplain

Bryony Wildwood

Bryony is a Spiritual Care Chaplain at Rowans Hospice near Portsmouth. She is a OneSpirit Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor, and has been working in the field of death, dying and grief for the last 8 years, supporting people through her hospice and community work. Bryony is also a Core Tutor for Entheos Ireland, an inclusive educational platform that trains community celebrants in ceremony and rites of passages, and has previously worked as mentor for the Sacred Circle End-of-Life Doula programme.

Bryony is particularly interested in the role that art, creativity and movement have in our search for meaning, belonging and self-expression, and over the past few years has developed a series of creative therapy workshops to support people on this journey.

In her free time, Bryony can be found adventuring with her family, from hiking to biking, or any activity that involves the sea!

Workshop Leaders

Sheila Simmonds

Revd Sheila Simmonds is a chaplain at Malvern Community Hospital, having previously worked in chaplaincy and spiritual support at St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester and St Michael’s Hospice, Hereford, and at a Malvern residential care home. She is a qualified aromatherapist and Reiki master, and was ordained as an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor in 2014. She trained as a Soul Midwife with Felicity Warner and qualified in 2017.  Since 2008 she has supported hundreds of people approaching, or at, end of life, and their families.

Sheila’s workshop will look at how the use of different sounds and carefully chosen sacred oils may help those who are suffering spiritual distress.  It will include a short, relaxing,  guided visualisation, using the medium of sound, followed by a chance to experience a selection of the sacred oils, which soul midwives use,  together with an explanation of their esoteric and sacred properties.”

Tim Leeson

Dr Tim Leeson has been involved in healthcare chaplaincy for about five years, initially in a mental health hospital, then in a general acute hospital, and now as the Spirituality Lead at St Helena Hospice, in Colchester. Tim comes from a Christian tradition, and is interested in the mystical/contemplative traditions of his faith. For most of his adult life, Tim was involved in youth work, and in his doctoral thesis, he used an anthropological framework created by Rene Girard to compare youth work and chaplaincy as ways of making spiritual connections with people.

In this session, he will explore the concept of spirituality as desire. Desire and yearning are concepts which contemporary Christian thinking has shied away from, but which poets and mystics have understood as the pathway to God. During the workshop, Tim will ask if a theology of desire can help chaplains hold spirituality in a non-religious framework.

Nicky Smallwood

Nicky works as the chaplain at Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults, near Winchester; where she offers and leads the pastoral and spiritual support for children, young people, their families and the hospice staff.  She has been ordained into the Church of England, and also works as a self-supporting priest in the Benefice of Bright Waters.  She has previously worked as an Anna Chaplain (offering pastoral and spiritual support to older people) for a charity ‘Waterfall’ (supporting women in recovery from drug and alcohol addictions) and as a small animal vet. In her spare time, Nicky enjoys spending time with her family and playing bass guitar/singing with friends at local fundraising/community events.

Nicky’s workshop will be about Spiritual Care Baskets: an interactive exploration of what spiritual care can look like for families in the period of time immediately after the death of their loved one. Nicky will share her experiences of developing Spiritual Care Baskets for the families who use the bereavement suites at Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices. There will be the opportunity to discuss and share thoughts and ideas as a group, as well as creating your own Spiritual Care Basket to take back to your own context.

Oluwamoorin Babawale

Oluwamoorin Babawale is the Spiritual Care Lead at Havens Hospices where she offers support to families, children and young people, adults, and hospice staff. She has been involved in chaplaincy for about ten years and moved from community chaplaincy to healthcare to give back to the profession that meant a lot to her. Moorin is an ordained minister at her local church in Essex and her Christian faith, music, and media production have always played an important role in her self-care. She often supports individuals and families with engaging and helpful tools as a source of hope and support during their low times.

In her workshop, Moorin will explore the concept of Spiritual Disney as an intervention in response to spiritual distress. Spiritual Disney is a cultural arena where heightened emotions and humour communicate with distress rather than operating as a barrier to thought and critical engagements. This relatively safe sphere provides a platform where crucial issues can be rehearsed and explored in light forms.

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