The Revd Carol Gully, talks about her role as Spiritual Care Chaplain to The Rowans Hospice and the importance of being part of a family
FOR the first seven years of my life I lived in a village with fields behind my home.
I thought everyone lived in a home like mine and that everyone was part of a family like mine.
As I grew up we moved north and lived for a few months in a small mill town in Lancashire.
There was no field but there were hills in the distance.
Both of these were my homes - and I liked living in them both - but they were different.
The thing that made both of these places home’ despite their differences was so much more than just the bricks and mortar - it was the love that knitted us together as a family.
Love was at the heart of our home and because of that love I felt accepted, valued and safe no matter what was going on in my life.
As Chaplain to The Rowans Hospice, I think it is really important that people feel at home’ with me and others involved in their care or in caring for those they love.
People have told me that when they step into the hospice they have that sense that they are being cared for.
And that sense comes from a mixture of the people involved in caring for patients and visitors - volunteers and paid staff - and the fabric and furnishings in the building itself.
Everyone who visits the hospice is respected and valued - those who stay or participate in an activity or simply come to visit a friend or loved one.
But the care of The Rowans goes beyond the walls of the hospice building and reaches into people’s homes as well.
I offer support by liaising with local parishes and other faith leaders too when needed.
I see my role as Chaplain as being there for people to listen, to chat about the small things and the big things or to pray with them if they ask.
Life is a journey and there are lots of twists and turns along the way.
During illness, questions and doubts arise, some spiritual and some not. I’m here for people of all faiths and none.
I’m a Christian but I’m not here to try and convert people but to support them and help them deepen their understanding of journey or simply as a friend to walk alongside them for as long as they need.
n The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook, Waterlooville, PO7 5RU
Contact: (023) 9225 0001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org