Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

The Hospice of St Francis
Spiritual Care at Home at End of Life

The Hospice of St Francis provides palliative and end of life care to 2,000 people every year living in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire at our Hospice building in Berkhamsted and in patient’s homes.

This project will provide spiritual support to people at end of life who are being cared for in their own home by the Hospice of St Francis community team.   

Serious illness and dying brings us face to face with very difficult questions about the meaning of life, illness, why bad things happen and how loss can be faced.  It can disconnect us from what is important to us such as our faith, and bring into sharp focus the things that are most important such as friends, family, sport or music.  Some people wish to repair relationships, deal with past trauma or resolve unfinished business. Spiritual support helps people to address these existential questions and find some resolution.  

The Hospice Head of Spiritual Care, Ray Ashley Brown provides spiritual support to the 250 patients admitted to the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit every year.  However, there are a further 300 patients who we care for in their own homes who could benefit from spiritual support.

Thanks to the support of the Westhill Endowment, the Hospice has been able to take on an additional spiritual advisor, Miranda Seldon who will support patients on the Inpatient Unit enabling Ray to make home visits ensuring that home-based patients don’t miss out on this specialist form of care at end of life. 

Over twelve months, Ray will support up to 40 people at end of life through non-denominational support of listening and exploring the issues that matter to the patients.  Thanks to this grant, he will be able to help them to reach a position of peace and acceptance.

Ray’s support will also help the family to come to terms with what is happening, reduce anxiety and help with post bereavement grief. Ray’s support is usually at the bedside, but he has also been known to help patients to fulfil final wishes, such as visiting the zoo or making music! 

A few words from Miranda:
I am an Anglican Priest, serving as a Self-Supporting Minister, however I have always felt called to hospice chaplaincy.

I did a placement with the Hospice of St Francis during my Ordination training in 2018 and have volunteered on the Spiritual Care Team.

Over the past few years, I have found this to be the most meaningful and important thing I do and confirmed that this is the ministry God is calling me to.

Sitting beside someone in the last days of life is a beautiful and powerful experience and it is humbling and a blessing to be able to journey alongside patients and relatives at this time.

I am so grateful for the funding which has enabled me to expand my role on the Spiritual Care Team at the hospice.


For more information please see
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