As chaplains, we’re normally proactive about visiting patients at their bedsides, but this was no longer possible during lockdown because we could have been Covid-19 carriers or spreaders, so we had to work very differently.
Instead, we supported patients by offering prayers and bereavement support over the phone and worked closely with the psychology department and the wellbeing teams.
We made a huge shift towards staff support. You will have seen pictures and news reports about staff and how they were coping; we supported them as much as we could with this. The Health Board set up a recharge room for them to take time out if they needed it and we visited them to see if they needed support.
Staff obviously had many fears and concerns. They were coming into an environment where they were at risk themselves and then going home. Some chose to move out of their family homes, but a lot didn’t. NHS staff are heroes as far as I’m concerned, for what they’ve gone through and how they put themselves at risk for the rest of us.
To help us cope with our workload, I appointed honorary chaplains who were local clergy. They were amazing and I couldn’t have done it without them. They supported us, responding to patient requests and end-of-life situations and had conversations about faith, worries, fears and doubts. They also spent time with staff, giving them a listening ear. For me, the mental and psychological exhaustion was a big challenge – adapting to change so rapidly. Having to be on constant alert is also very draining.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Man who has made waves for 42 years!
Peter Wooding caught up with Don Stephens to find out how he pioneered the work of Mercy Ships following a life-changing encounter with Mother Teresa, who asked him three questions...
I'm now responsible for the publication I used to hate...
Danielle Gault would get angry with her mum when she gave her copies of Word for Today – but she now heads the team that prints it
I feel a sense of privilege and of responsibility!
What’s it like taking over as an Elim Regional Leader in the midst of a pandemic and the Christmas season? James Glass is finding out
You have to move faster when leading in a crisis
A new job, a major event transitioned online and an events company to grow in a pandemic – it’s been a dramatic year for Phil Loose. Essential Christian’s CEO discusses the changing face of Spring Harvest
Life after lockdown...
Three Aspire team members look back at a year of ‘holy uncertainty’
Don't tell me it can't be done!
The African Children’s Choir has visited a number of Elim churches, but Covid travel restrictions have meant a quieter year for founder Ray Barnett. Peter Wooding talked to him
It's going to be different,but we need to adopt...
Life at Regents is all about social distancing and support bubbles but student numbers have increased despite lockdown
Elim at the forefront of response to pandemic
When Covid-19 struck, churches were plunged into an uncharted sea of new legislation. But a background in emergency planning for the NHS meant Elim’s Executive Director Olivia Amartey was ideally placed to guide them through it. She spoke to Chris Rolfe
4 missional lessons to learn from Christ
If we want to be effective in mission, it will cost us something, says Iain Hesketh. We must listen more than we speak, and serve more than we are served
How do you pray during a Covid Christmas? Creatively, daily, with a focus on God, our families, friends and our local communities, says Elim’s national prayer leader Sarah Whittleston