John Kimberly, Hospital Chaplin, extracts from interview in 2006

... There was a weekly Service and Communion at the bedside ... relationships could be fleeting or long, building, befriending, being there, how can I help you? ... reading letters, prayers, taking people to the chapel, just talking, helping people assess their lives ... there is great value in having someone to talk to whom you feel safe with ... you didn't know them so there was separateness, objectivity ... caring for people not just symptoms, as individuals ... their illness is a small part of them, they are much bigger than that ... looking at the greater picture and caring for the total person ... set against the disrepair of the building was the feeling of nursing care ... care in inverse proportion to the condition of the building ... the care was with love ... there was a sense of belonging to All Saints ... there were six wards operating when I started ... I used to go up on a Monday morning and join everyone for breakfast ... the building created a sense of community, within which everyone had their own identity ... In 1968 the extensions were built, prefabs ... there was a conscious attempt to make people welcome and feel included, especially overseas nurses ... the school of Nursing there at that time had a lot of foreign nurses ... staff had good social life ... the Chapel was used by local societies, choirs, pianists ... all patients were welcome ... events were put on for the patients, this makes the world a lot bigger ... the cultural and the spiritual , as well as medical ... to sit and look at the sea and watch the seasons change within a protected environment ... a sense of ownership by the community ... the local schools and groups joined in the hospital life, it was a focal point ... once a month there was Holy Communion ... everyone was welcome to receive ... I used to do what I call a Hymn Sandwich, fun on Friday mornings ... bring something from the outside in ... enriching lives through sound ... talking, music, and through the surroundings ... the last service was to give thanks for Harriet Brownlow's vision that convalescent care should be available for everyone, part of her original vision remained until the end ... she pre-empted the NHS ... I felt overawed by the association of such a powerful force for good ... I think it is important that Spirit of Place remembers the personal, reaching back into what people did and their intentions ... the guiding principle of care at All Saints looked after the whole person, total total care ... It was a privilege to have been there ... in the early fifties - people from the East End would go for a week's respite when the Nuns were there, people who had never seen the sea ... in the top wards, Merlyn and Seaside Ward ...

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