Archbishop of Armagh Offers Personal Reflection at St Anne’s Cathedral Hospice Service
Added on 28/04/2013
The care offered by the Northern Ireland Hospice over the past three decades was celebrated at a special service in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast today, Sunday 28th April. The service was led by the Dean, the Very Revd John Mann (who preached) and the leaders of the four main Churches in Northern Ireland also took part in a presentation of candles representing the 28 years of the life of the NI Hospice.
Participating in the service, The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, offered a personal reflection, saying:
‘I am grateful to the opportunity to pay a very brief and very personal tribute to the work of the hospice movement as part of my good wishes for your continuing work, at this anniversary service. Having experienced at first hand the ministry – and it was a ministry – of a hospice in the life of my own family during the closing days of my wife Linda’s earthly life in St Brigid’s Hospice on the Curragh of Kildare, I hope that my unreserved commendation of that particular hospice will be seen as a tribute to the entire hospice movement.
‘The business of dying, of watching a loved one come to the end of their earthly life and the prospect of letting go, for all the parties involved can never be easy, or less than sorrowful and distressing. In that setting however, to experience also not only gentle and superb clinical care and nursing but also the caring support for whatever you and the family circle believe is the right way of approaching death is indeed a wonderful gift and blessing. We received this at St Brigid’s Hospice and I know that many thousands of people throughout Northern Ireland and this island as a whole have received that same blessing in different ways.
‘Whatever else may be seen as expendable or disposable in our society, I hope that the hospice movement will always receive complete and enthusiastic support from all who can provide it. You deserve nothing less, and many of us will always be in your debt. May God continue to bless you.’
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