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Archbishop of Canterbury in ‘inspiring’ visit to hospice near Lichfield

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described his visit to a hospice near Lichfield as “inspiring”.

Dr Rowan Williams meets patient Janette Bird

Dr Rowan Williams meets patient Janette Bird

Dr Rowan Williams toured the new St Giles Hospice Compassus Centre in Whittington as part of a series of engagements across the Diocese of Lichfield.

During his visit to the £8.5 million centre, Dr Williams was introduced to medical and nursing staff before meeting and providing ministry to hospice patients and their families.

He explained:

“I visit hospices quite often and I do so because it is always an inspiring as well as a moving experience; inspiring to see the levels of volunteer commitment, inspiring to see the quality of care, and inspiring to see how people in extreme situations are facing their future.

“Visiting patients in this situation is a back to basics moment: this is what we all have to come to terms with, and if the Church is here for anything it is to help at moments like this.”

The new Compassus Centre has been built to replace the hospice’s former in-patient unit. The first 18 beds were opened in May 2010, however, the registered charity still needs to raise a further £2 million to equip and make available the remaining nine beds at the facility and pay for three years of running costs.

Chief executive Peter Holliday added:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury is one of the great world faith leaders and so naturally we feel deeply privileged and extremely thrilled to have been able to welcome someone of such tremendous standing to our hospice.

“The fact that the Archbishop has made the time within a very packed schedule to take an interest in St Giles Hospice is of great encouragement to us, and it is especially humbling to know that he views the visit as a chance to learn from the work that we do here.”

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