CAPTION: Bishop James met members of the hospital chaplaincy team and staff from St Luke's Hospice

Bishop of Plymouth Praises Work of NHS Chaplaincy Staff on Derriford Hospital Visit

Posted: 18th November, 2022

The new Bishop of Plymouth has seen first-hand the pressures the NHS is facing on his first visit to the city’s Derriford Hospital since he started his new role.

The Rt Rev’d James Grier visited an oncology ward and the hospital chaplaincy, meeting with the team of chaplains and a representative from St Luke’s Hospice.

Bishop James praised the work of the staff he met. “In just one ward, I met staff from across the amazing diversity of roles that make up a hospital, including the ward clerk, cleaner, pharmacist, physio, nurses, doctors, health care assistants and the St Luke’s Hospice team.

Bishop James chats with staff on one of the wards at Derriford Hospital

“All of them were so positive and welcoming in the midst of clearly working incredibly hard within the pressures of the demands of work in the NHS at this time.

“They also spoke with such passion about their work and the ward they were part of. They were an inspiration.”

Bishop James is no stranger to the NHS, his father was a GP in Plymouth, where he grew up, and his mother was a nurse.

Derriford Hospital has an active chaplaincy team, known as the Department for Pastoral and Spiritual Care.

Its staff team works alongside pastoral care volunteers to support hospital patients, visitors and staff.

While visiting the chaplaincy, the bishop helped launch a new book for healthcare chaplains, which has been written by Sacha Pearce and Jan Collis, both long serving chaplains at Derriford.

Creating Space: Story, Reflection and Practice explores the ministry and professional role of healthcare chaplains and they hope it will be a resource for chaplains across the country.

“The chaplaincy team here are very much about being there for everyone and creating space for people whether they’re a person of faith or not,” Bishop James said.

“There’s lots and lots of people on site but the chaplains are just there to support and care and that’s really significant.”