Reverend Roy Watson has been Chaplain at Hospice of the Valleys since 2014. As part of his role he regularly visits the Day Centre at the Hospice to chat with our palliative and Dementia groups and will visit a patient in their own home to offer spiritual support if needed. Reverend Watson also conducts the annual memorial service where we remember those who have died in our care in the previous year and leads our annual Light up a Life Service.
It’s not only patients that Reverend Watson offers support to, he often calls into the office to provide support for staff in their challenging work.
During his in time with the Hospice Reverend Watson and been invited to speak to the Trustees about his role, appreciating their interest and support in his role within the organisation.
Roy remembers a great moment for him
“I was presented with my Identification Badge of Office. It highlighted that I was the REVERED ROY WATSON, not the REVEREND ROY WATSON. Staff have asked me to hand in the badge and they would provide me with another one but I grimly hold onto it. What an honour to be REVERED.”
Since the Coronavirus emerged in the spring the role of Chaplain has had to change. Visits have not been encouraged and so a telephone ministry has developed with increased requests for prayers and spiritual comfort over the phone. There is the important ministry to conduct funerals and last year Revered Watson conducted 117 funerals, many of whom were friends who had received great help from the Hospice staff during their illness. Roy said
“I always make a point in the service to thank our staff for their dedicated work with those who have received end of life support. Also, when the service is over, in the months which follow, I phone to see how the family are meeting the challenge of grief and loneliness.”
Back in March Roy contacted the local Blaenau Gwent radio station to see if they could help since churches and chapels were closed. Immediately he was offered a 30 minute slot on Sunday mornings at 10am. The service which follows contains 2 hymns, a Bible reading, prayers, an 8 minute ‘Thought for the Day’ from Roy and a solo from Katy Treharne, a local Singer. As the weeks have progressed the listening audience has grown from 300 to 2800, so hopefully this is a means of providing spiritual comfort. Why not tune in on Sunday morning to Blaenau Gwent Radio 97.3 FM.
“Hopefully, all this gives some indication of some of the things the Hospice Chaplain does. I count it a privilege to serve the Hospice and the staff make me feel very much part of the family.”
Once again this year Reverend Watson will be leading our annual Light Up A Life Service which will be live-streamed from our Facebook page @HOTVFundarisingDept on 3rd December at 6pm. You will also be able to view the recording on our YouTube channel. To find out more about the Appeal click HERE.