The service, held on Friday 12th September, followed significant work to extend and improve the chapel under the Space Utilisation, Refurbishment and Enhancement (SURE) project.
The new facility is larger and brighter than the previous chapel with space for up to 30 people. It features a new decoratively etched window and also a distinctive Tree of Life with leaves bearing the names of patients who have pledged a legacy to the hospice.
The new etched windows carry seven words often used by patients to describe their experiences of the hospice and its chapel: patience, kindness, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and friendship.
The rededication service began with a welcome from Earl Mountbatten Hospice chief executive, Jo Blackburn, who said the chapel was formerly the site of the ward kitchen and stores. The upgrade she said, the first since 2006, was a tribute to the chaplaincy volunteers who had provided such a valuable contribution over many years.
The service itself was led by senior hospice chaplain, Reverend Kelvin Burke, and Isle of Wight Archdeacon, the Venerable Peter Sutton. Reverend Burke said:
“This chapel is an oasis for people to visit for many reasons. Its purpose is to provide a place of quiet reflection and solace for those of all faiths and those of none”.
The Venerable Sutton said:
“The chapel is a very special place and tremendously important for a great many people. It will provide a treasured sacred space for lots of people and it is a privilege to play a part in its rededication.”
Giving readings at the service were hospice chaplain the Reverend Janet Hallam and Father Gerard Flynn, the Roman Catholic parish priest for Newport and Freshwater Bay.
After the service, Reverend Burke said:
“We will hold a quarterly memorial service, a monthly Holy Communion for staff, patients, relatives and friends and also a quarterly Roman Catholic Mass here.
“We know a great many people find comfort or solace in the chapel and so we are pleased to be offering a better environment for those who use it. Holistic care is at the heart of compassionate care here at the Hospice – we are pleased to be offering a space that is dedicated to spirituality and wellbeing.”