A holy communion service has been set up on one of the Trust’s specialist mental health inpatient and assessment units to enable service users to express their religion and spirituality.
The service, which takes place every Wednesday from 10 – 10:30am, was set up on Chantry unit at the Trust’s Fieldhead site in Wakefield for service users who were unable to make church service on a Sunday.
Carla Wright and Wendy Taylor, healthcare and activity workers on Chantry unit, helped to organise the holy communion service. Carla said: “A few of our service users wanted to go to church on Sundays but wouldn’t always be well enough to leave the unit. Stephen Oakley, the chaplain who provides the services at the on-site church, visited the unit and suggested a regular meeting for the people who were unable to make church.
“The holy communion started with only a small amount of people attending but it’s just grown and grown. The staff on the unit really feel that service users benefit from being able to attend the service – and the feedback from service users themselves has been amazing.”
At the holy communion, service users hear readings by the chaplain, say prayers, and sing hymns. The group also recently held an Easter- themed meeting.
Carla continued: “The chaplain is so patient with our service users. Some people can’t sit for a long time and experience the whole session, but he is happy for people to come and go as they like.
“Even though our service users have different religions, they can all get involved. Sometimes, they will even stay for the service before they go on their leave from the unit.”
The chaplain also stays behind after each session and offers one-to-one help and advice on topics such as bereavement.
The success of the service has spread to other Trust sites, with The Poplars in Hemsworth – a community unit for elderly people – looking into setting up their own service after seeing the popularity of the meetings at Chantry.
Carla said: “The service has been so beneficial to our unit. The service users say they feel like they can cope after they have been to holy communion.”