Lister Hospital?s chapel moved to its new location within the hospital without missing a heartbeat, like the most vital organ being transplanted, says Hospital Chaplain, the Revd Jane Hatton, speaking just before the service of dedication of the new chapel on 19th June.
??The Chaplain said: ?The plan was that there wouldn?t be a time when the chapel wasn?t available,? said the Revd Jane Hatton, Chaplain. ?The cross, altar and in fact everything, were moved in one day. There were a few days when everything in the chapel was labelled ready to move (the first moving date having been postponed at the last minute) but staff still went in to pray… Everyone was very mindful of the fact that the chapel is important and needed to be available.?
??People are always going in and out of it, says the Chaplain, and up to 25 attend on Sundays. There was a good crowd in the chapel on Wednesday, 19th June, for the dedication of the chapel by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith.
??Among those present with the Bishop, were Stephen McPartland MP; the Chair of the Hospital Trust, Mr Ian Morfett; the Hospital?s Chief Executive, Nick Carver; the Director of Nursing, Angela Thompson as well as chapel staff and volunteers.
??The Bishop of St Albans said:
???This is another part of the hospital which can be called life-saving. The work done by our hospital chaplains is almost as vital a part of patients? care as that given by the wonderful medical staff here and what is offered can be just as life changing. The chapel?s work does not stop there and extends to welcoming relatives and visitors and all who work in this place, to whom I pay tribute.
???I thank the Trust warmly for their provision of this generous and highly visible space within the Lister.?
??The Chair of the Hospital Trust, Mr Ian Morfett, said:
???It?s wonderful to see this new chapel offer better and more accessible spiritual care to our patients in fresh and new surroundings, whatever their own beliefs, just as we are always striving to improve the medical care we offer to patients.”
??The new chapel has been relocated on the ground floor of the hospital, where it is more easily found by visitors than before and is no less accessible to staff and patients.
??It contains a new window, specially commissioned from Tessa Verrecchia, in fused glass, depicting a sunrise, including the words ?God is Love?.
??It is particularly appropriate to have these words in Lister Hospital?s chapel: a former Chaplain, the Revd Fizz Gibbs described the chapel as the ?beating heart of the hospital? at the service to close the old chapel as the heart is, among other things, an organ associated with love. She described the kind of love the chapel circulates around the hospital as:
???Not slushy sentimental love, not love of self. You know the sort of love I mean, the practical kind, and the kind that is patient & gentle, that isn?t rude or boastful or irritable. The kind that rejoices when things go well, that copes with anything, that never gives up hoping and believing that we can overcome, we can make things better. It?s a realistic love that knows when to let go, as well as when to cling on ? that accepts that death is the natural end to life and is not necessarily the enemy.
???It is this kind of love which underpins every single thing that happens in this hospital, as it should. For without it, what would be the point??
?? The Chaplaincy services feel affirmed by all that has been done to provide the new chapel.