New chaplain appointed to All Hallows Healthcare Trust
- Credit: Archant
A new chaplain is to become the first of his kind to be appointed to a health care trust in Ditchingham in 140 years.
Since 1875 the chaplaincy service to All Hallows Healthcare Trust has been provided by the Community of All Hallows convent.
But due to a “lack of capacity”, the convent said it was no longer able to continue the service.
As a result, the Revd Reg Kirkpatrick, who has lived in Ditchingham for 33 years, has been appointed to the role.
It makes him the first chaplain to take on the position outside the community since the hospital was founded.
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He said: “I am truly honoured to have been appointed to the position of chaplain to All Hallows Healthcare Trust. It is a daunting responsibility to follow such a long history of sisters and wardens who have served the community so faithfully.
“I hope the role will develop for the benefit of all those who have any role in the Trust; residents, patients, clients, their family members and staff.”
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Rev Kirkpatrick was ordained 10 years ago and joined the ordained local ministry in the Norwich Dioceses.
He is also a school governor at Ditchingham and Gillingham Primary Schools.
As part of his role, Rev Kirkpatrick will regularly visit the hospital and daycare centre in the village, as well as the nursing home in Bungay.
He will be available for clients, patients, residents, their friends and family, staff, friends and volunteers.
Sister Sheila, from the Community of All Hallows, said: “There are just four of us, including sister Pamela who is transferring to Scotland, who are fit and active enough to sustain the life and ministry as we have to at the convent, and we can no longer do this properly.
“We of course shall continue to support All Hallows Healthcare in every way we can.”
Andy Evans, the trust’s chief executive, said: “Whilst we are all disappointed the community can longer do all it has done historically with us, I am certain that the legacy they leave us will be continued admirably by Reg and his successors in years to come.
“I am confident that Reg will be a significant contributor to maintaining All Hallows’ reputation for care and compassion, built up over our history.”