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Spiritual Care

We welcome and support people of all faiths and none. We are here to support patients, family, friends and carers, and are open and inclusive in all that we do.

At Farleigh Hospice, we understand spirituality to mean the way in which we form a personal connection to life and all that infuses it with meaning and purpose. We are aware that during times of ill health and stress, whether you’re own, or that of someone close to you, we can find ourselves disconnected, confused, full of questions and conflicting thoughts and feelings.

As part of the hospice team, we can help support you and those close to you, as you navigate your way through the unchartered territory of illness, death and loss.

We welcome and support people of all faiths and none. We are here to support patients, family, friends and carers, and are open and inclusive in all that we do.

We will

  • Welcome you and give you time and space to talk, in a tranquil environment.
  • Encourage you to freely express your spirituality or practise your religion in your own way.
  • Support people of all faiths and none.
  • Listen to you, and if you wish, pray with you or for you.
  • Provide resources to support you, including poems, music, religious texts and sacraments.
  • Visit you in your own home or within the hospice.

The Sanctuary & Soulspace

The Sanctuary is on the ground floor of Farleigh Hospice, set apart from the rest of the hospice to allow you time and space for a moment of quiet prayer and reflection. It is open day and night, and is available to all patients as well as family and friends. There is a place to light a candle, holy books of the world’s major faiths and other inspirational texts. There is also a book to record your thoughts and memories.

The Sanctuary is fully wheelchair accessible and arrangements can be made to enable patients to visit the sanctuary in their bed.

The spiritual care team provide a regular opportunity for you to use the Sanctuary for solitude, quiet, prayer, meditation and specific services including:

  • Meditation of various forms including mindfulness and centering prayer
  • Various forms of Christian Prayer
  • Prayer mats and resources for all faiths
  • Christian Service of Holy Communion
  • Memorial Services (all faiths or none)
  • Carol Services

All events and services will last a maximum of 30 minutes. Please call to check if you intend to come to a specific service.

Meet the team

Susanna Offor
Spiritual care coordinator

I am pleased to introduce myself to you as the new Chaplain and Spiritual Care Lead here at Farleigh Hospice.

I am born and bred in Chelmsford, although it is some years since living here. For the last year I have been working as a Chaplain at the University of Suffolk as well as two sixth-form colleges in Ipswich. Previously to that I was in ministry as a Salvation Army Officer for thirteen years, holding appointments in Southampton, Wickford, Canvey Island and Plymouth. In my spare time I love to sing, so I’m really looking forward to joining the fabulous Farleigh Choir. I am married to John and we now live in Witham. My own faith background is Christian and attend Skylark Church in Chelmsford.

John Harwood

I have been a volunteering at Farleigh for a number of years across different services and have recently joined the spiritual care team, offering non-religious pastoral support. For the last few years I have run my own bookkeeping business. Prior to that, I worked in the building industry in various positions ranging from estimating, surveying, and buying. I also managed a successful local builder’s merchants for a number of years.

Overwhelmed by the support I received at Farleigh after my wife Anne died in April 2009, I was keen to take up the opportunity to join as volunteer, which I did in 2011. I have gained so much experience and knowledge from different teams and roles. It is such a wonderful privilege for me to be able to support and help people through very difficult times in the lives.

I enjoy walking, listening to music, writing poetry, song lyrics and am learning to play the guitar. I enjoying travelling and take every opportunity to be with friends and family.

Steve Pratt

Steve was born in Nottingham and has worked for many years in social work with Adults with disabilities. He has worked full time in a hospice but started his social work career in a Christian therapeutic community in Essex where he moved to from Sainsbury's in Nottingham. He now works part time for a local authority.

His interests are music, reading, cars and hiking.

He has been volunteering with Farleigh for just over 3 years in the bereavement and spiritual care teams.

Francis Parish

My name is Francis Parish and I have been a member of the team for ten years. I am based on the in-patient unit but like the rest of the team, am available to the whole hospice. I have been retired for three years. Prior to that I enjoyed a wide variety of jobs. Most of my working career was spent in the motor industry. I also had spells in security (at the crown court ) and in the manufacture of plastic. I spent the past six years as one of the vergers at Chelmsford Cathedral, where I am still actively involved. Other interests include all sport, musical theatre and enjoying a glass or two of red wine with friends. I am also a Sudoku addict!!

Angela Kenny

Born and bred Essex girl, and proud of it! Taught in Primary Education for many years and then worked for the British Red Cross in the Medical Equipment Service and a volunteer in Therapeutic Care providing a massage, hand and nail service to vulnerable people. Eventually became a volunteer trainer for Therapeutic Care with the BRC. Was then privileged to move to Farleigh Hospice as a Therapy Assistant. This involved organising groups including: art & craft, Easibreathe, book group, exercise & relaxation and memoirs. The six years I worked with this team, patients and families, were some of the most personally rewarding years of my career. Alongside this I was also a volunteer at Farleigh as a member of the Complementary Therapy team providing massage to patients and carers. When I stepped down from my paid role, I continued with my CT voluntary role because I just love coming to the hospice and giving back something really nice.

I am also now pleased to be a member of the Spiritual Care Team. I am a Quaker and we try to ‘let our lives speak’ so this is important to me. I am not religious but just want to ‘lift up with a tender hand’ those known to us who are fragile and anxious. In my spare time (what is that?) I support several other charities, sing with Rock Choir, love history, run a local book group, do pilates and yoga and have a wonderful family and circle of friends. My life has been enriched by the lives of the patients I have met over these years.

Jean Hurrell

I have had the pleasure of being a Farleigh Volunteer for three years, before then my life took various paths

For many years I worked as a Secretary before feeling called to the Religious Life and so I joined the Congregation of the Religious of the Assumption as a Nun. This meant a complete withdrawal from the world and taking Vows of Poverty, Chastity & Obedience.

However, after a time it seemed that God was calling me elsewhere so I returned to the world but, happily, kept in close contact with the Congregation. Then to my joy I discovered a lay association connected to the Congregation called the “Way of Life” a bit like a Third Order. This gives me the freedom to live my life but still be connected to the Religious Congregation as an Associate member.

Still it seemed that something was missing in my life – I needed a caring role – so finally came to Farleigh, firstly as a Receptionist then later as part of the Spiritual Care Team. In this role I have found great fulfilment and feel tremendously privileged to be able to help in any way needed.

For relaxation I enjoy Amateur Dramatics and Sequence Dancing, which keeps me fit and helps to keep the old brain ticking over!