Placement Ponderings 5&6

Today (Friday) I met with Edward to give an inpatient home communion which I found a very touching and poignant experience. I felt honoured to watch and be a part of the sacrament.

I then headed to view a monthly service in a psycho-geriatric unit, but unfortunately I’d missed the service because they had changed the day and it had actually taken place on Wednesday!

For the remainder of the day I read up on dementia and the effect this has on suffers and carers, and also how it is dealt with in faith communities.

On Monday I approached the week with more apprehension – but also more confidence, something that I knew was completely God-given. I was also blessed with a beautiful peace.

During the morning I carried out some administrative duties and reading before accompanying Verity to the Welwyn Ward where she delivered a talk to the staff about spiritual care and its importance – during which she reinforced the fact that at the heart of spiritual care is compassion.

That afternoon, I visited the Shroddell’s unit again. Along with Linda, I had a really fruitful conversation who had been admitted the previous Thursday after dissociating and self-harming on the street. She had eventually had to be brought into hospital by the police. Abused as a child, she had been in a dissociative state during the incident and did not remember anything. She was suffering with, and being treated for personality disorder. Linda knew her from her work at the Shroddell’s and we were able to pray with her. As we did so, I felt a clear prompting to sing the Lex Buckley song ‘Heaven Rejoices’ over the lady and I asked her if she would mind. It was very special that she allowed me to do so and was so visibly touched.

I was also delighted when, during a conversation about spirituality and young people suffering with mental illness, Verity said ‘It’s a shame you are going into Baptist Ministry because you’d make a great mental health chaplain’.

After the visit, I was interested to read about personality disorders and felt I gained a further insight into the woman’s condition.

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