Cathedral packed to mark 20 years of The Rowans

A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the 20th Anniversary of The Rowans Hospice at Purbrook was held on Sunday afternoon at Portsmouth's Anglican Cathedral'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143117-4441)
A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for the 20th Anniversary of The Rowans Hospice at Purbrook was held on Sunday afternoon at Portsmouth's Anglican Cathedral'' ''Picture: Malcolm Wells (143117-4441)

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IT’S been offering help and support for 20 years.

And yesterday a service to mark that milestone was packed with people wanting to say thanks to The Rowans.

During the service at Portsmouth Cathedral in Old Portsmouth, members of staff and church officials spoke of the work that had been done to help thousands of patients and their families over two decades.

Members of the newly-formed Rowans Hospice Community Choir sang.

The Very Reverend David Brindley, dean of the cathedral, opened the service.

He said: ‘The hospice has done a huge service to our communities and it’s a great privilege, not only to welcome everyone here but to be a trustee of The Rowans Hospice.

‘It does absolutely fabulous work. I’d like to thank them on behalf of the community in Portsmouth and the surrounding area.’

Christine Banerjee, honorary vice president of the Purbrook hospice, explained the story of district nurses at Somers Town Health Centre who battled to open the area’s first hospice.

It took health professionals more than 10 years of fundraising and persuading authorities to open the hospice. One of the senior staff nurses who has worked at the hospice since it opened is Helen Boxall.

She said: ‘I wanted to work in palliative care since I went on a college trip to a hospice. I have been privileged to look after and be in so many people’s lives.

‘There is something special about being with someone at the end of their journey.’

Mayor of Havant Marjorie Smallcorn, was one of the invited guests.

She said: ‘The Rowans Hospice is one of my three chosen charities this year. It’s lovely to be able to support them.’