Embracing diversity at Saint Francis Hospice
After one year in the role, Reverend Paula Graham reflects on her role as Pastoral Team Co-ordinator
It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year since I started my role at Saint Francis Hospice.
I remember feeling optimistic about being part of something meaningful and positive, as the new Pastoral Care Team Coordinator. Finally, I felt what we clergy call being “in service” and in my case, as an Interfaith Minister I felt “in service” to all those who need the support of the hospice and to the myriad faces of what most people call “God”.
My joy was founded in two aspects: to journey with people with life limiting illness and their kin, and to embrace diversity. Both these things have been topics I am deeply passionate about and Saint Francis Hospice was where I could follow “my calling”.
Since joining, I have provided educational sessions on cultural awareness and spiritual care at end of life, seeing how keen our staff and volunteers are to learn about faith traditions and spirituality. I’m also involved in the hospice’s Diversity and Inclusion group which extends to all aspects of diversity. I have enjoyed making connections with the local community and creating Remembrance services suitable for all.
During the last year, the hospice has continued to provide essential care for people of all faiths or none and their families. Patients are asked about any religion or spirituality when we first get to know them and any specific needs are discussed. When required, I’ve arranged for visits at home or in the hospice by priests and Imams, prayed and recited mantras for people of Sikh, Christian, Buddhist and Hindu faiths, for example. My life’s exploration of faiths and the two years spent training as an Interfaith Minister have really been beneficial in this role but pale into insignificance compared to what each patient teaches me about how best to serve them.
It’s a wonderful feeling to see people of all walks of life being cared for equally and holistically. It is a privilege to be a part of the hospice family and I am excited about the future as we embrace the richness of diversity in our catchment area.
Find out more
To find out more about Saint Francis Hospice and the services we provide, visit our Pastoral Care pages.
To help us continue providing essential care to the local people, consider making a one off or regular donation here.