What we do 

germs rights

The rector writes...

I suppose I’ve been very fortunate! In my whole life, as far as I can remember, I’ve only spent one night in hospital for a minor operation a good few years ago. I went in, had the op the following day and came home that day. So, it was bit of a culture shock to suddenly and unexpectedly find myself spending a week in Glenfield Hospital in March, especially as I thought I was only going in for a bit of a consultation!

Mind you, I have, of course, had contact with hospitals up and down the country in a variety of different ways over the years.
 
I think we sometimes look at hospitals as being for humans what garages are for cars! There’s something wrong with us, we go in and the mechanic/doctor puts it right… or can’t. Simple! Sorted!
 
But hospitals, of course, are far more than that, even though we often take them (and their staff) for granted. Let’s look at what else they do through the eyes of my involvement over many years.
 
I’ve been a pastoral visitor.
As a minister, I’ve visited many people in many hospitals. Sometimes I’ve taken patients Holy Communion, sometimes I’ve taken a ward service, sometimes I’ve just popped in and said “Hi” or sometimes I’ve prayed with someone. It’s been a privilege to visit them in a place which has become their temporary home, and we all need that simple friendship, care and support. Hospital staff create something of a home environment, especially in these difficult times of Covid when real family are unable to visit.
 
I’ve been a comforter…
…or, at least, I hope and pray I have been, to those who are dying and their nearest and dearest. Those who either don’t know or are unaware of how ill they are, and the opportunity to share with them on the last part of their earthly journey is a challenge and a privilege. In my last parish I visited a lady who was dying and her confidence in “I know where I’m going… I’m not afraid” meant that I left the hospital that night in tears… tears of joy at her faith. Hospital staff are there to comfort their patients and the relatives too.
 
I’ve been a worried friend or relative.
I’ve sat by the bed-side of someone close to me, about whom I am really concerned, listening to the good or bad prognosis, and then leaving them in the care of doctors, nurses and ancillary staff who don’t know them as well as I do, but who will care for them in their present situation better than I ever could. Hospital staff become something of a surrogate family to those in their care… and they do, sometimes get emotionally involved.
 
I’ve been a grieving friend or relative, sitting by the bed-side, sometimes for long hours, waiting for the person I love to take their last breath in this world. Such a hard thing to do… and when you go out into the world either during or after their terminal illness, you’re amazed that the world just continues as normal. How could other people not know the sense of loss you’re carrying? Hospital staff are often there to be a support to those whose world seems to be falling apart as they face grief and the loss of a loved one.
 
And, finally, I was a porter for nine months at Leicester Royal Infirmary between School and University. So I’ve been part of the great family which makes up the hospital environment, and seeing their joys and disappointments, their agreements and disagreements, their hopes and despairs, I realise just how important their work is.
 
Yes, we go into hospital, hopefully, to be “fixed”, but we also experience something far richer than that… we experience something of Christ’s continuing healing ministry, made manifest on Easter Day two thousand years ago when he rose from the dead to bring healing and hope to all.
 
And why the little cartoon at the top of this “Rector Writes”? Well humour is one of the great gifts shared by the hospital family… as I discovered again during my stay in March!
 
kevin for rector writes  The Revd Kevin Ashby
 

P.S. Thank you for all your cards, good wishes and prayers during my “incarceration”!... and your support for Alyson too.
Feedback:
Lisa Taylor (Guest) 28/03/2021 20:18
Lovely write up welldone

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