We offer spiritual care for palliative patients, their family & friends.
Skanda Vale Hospice was established when our founder, Guru Sri Subramanium, had a serious heart attack. As Guru was recovering in hospital, he saw how lonely and afraid his fellow patients were. He felt inspired to establish a hospice where the dying could have their emotional, social and spiritual needs fully met, whilst receiving first class physical care.
Guru understood the process of death and dying. He knew how illness can create feelings of emptiness, or profound and sacred beauty; sometimes together in quick succession. Perhaps more than anything else, Guru wanted more people to have an opportunity to experience the unifying love that only the intensity of an end-of-life care situation can orchestrate.
Why is spiritual care important for palliative care patients?
Death and illness is more than just a physical process. It will, by it’s very nature, have a profound effect on our psychological, social and spiritual lives. A life-threatening diagnosis will often inspire us to confront and resolve unfinished issues from our past – particularly with our family and friends. More often than not, a serious illness will make us question deeply our identity, ideas and beliefs.
We can help you through all these processes in a simple, sensitive and supportive way.
“I have visited the hospice and was extremely impressed with the extraordinary atmosphere of kindness, gentleness and tranquillity”
Jane Belli – friend of a patient.
Our spiritual care team
Skanda Vale Hospice is a service project run by the multi-faith monastic community of Skanda Vale. Our hospice team is made up of monks and nuns, who work full time as volunteers, free of charge. It’s not a job; we’re here because we’ve dedicated our lives to learning how to care.
- We do not have a hospice chaplain. Instead, each member of our team brings their own unique experience of life and love to their work.
- Our team are broad-minded. We’re not on a mission to convert anyone and we’ll go to great efforts to protect our service users from any person or organisation with an unwanted evangelical agenda.
- We are of course, more than happy to arrange a leader from your own faith to be a part of your care at the hospice, if so desired.
- We love and respect people for who they are. Whether they have a faith or not makes not the slightest difference.
Our sacred space
Our new inpatient unit features a purpose built sacred space. It is a consecrated, non-denominational sanctuary overlooking the garden – set apart from the hubbub of the day centre and kitchen. We use the natural elements; earth, fire, water and air to create an uplifting, energised space.
The sacred space is open 24 hours a day for quiet reflection. We also use it as a space for mindfulness meditation, prayer and will soon offer Holy Communion and other worship.
We believe that, done properly, a beautiful sacred space and an experienced, compassionate team will help many people find a sense of life, joy and purpose in the midst of their illness, pain, death and bereavement.
The end-of-life care journey has the unique ability to help us focus on what really matters in life. It is our great privilege to be able to share in that journey, in the way that works best for you.
“Everyone at Skanda Vale helped and encouraged Stan every step of the way on his journey. There was much laughter, art and writing therapy, reiki and other treatments that benefitted Stan, as well as spiritual discussions. He always returned home peaceful and relaxed. Long may you continue this good work.”
Naomi Bagel – family carer.