Diocesan News

In conversation with... Ed Pike

We chat to Ed Pike, the recently appointed Catholic Chaplain for Leicester Royal Infirmery

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Who are you and what are your role(s) at the moment?

After many years of chaplaincy work in youth, education and prison settings, I have ventured into the exciting and vital work of hospital chaplaincy. No field of chaplaincy is easy, and each has its own distinctive challenges but there are similarities that have enabled me to develop the necessary creative qualities and resilience to thrive. Every day brings a new encounter, a meeting with a stranger that transforms into a precious time of faith sharing and witness: and each of these encounters has added to the joy that is my faith in Jesus.

It must come with some challenges; what is the biggest challenge, and what can you/others do to help mitigate it?

The challenge as I see it, is to appreciate the value in every singular encounter and remain undaunted by the immense need for chaplaincy support. As part of a hospital workforce that provides countless acts of beautiful service every day, chaplains add their pieces to the giant puzzle that is healthcare, and we know and celebrate the care shown by all our colleagues.

For those feeling inspired or called to this important ministry, what sort of opportunities are there to be involved?

Volunteers make a difference. Before covid arrived, there were many volunteers visiting patients under the supervision of chaplains. The role of all volunteers has gone through a drastic change since 2020, and as such, we are starting again. Many volunteers were patients who have come to realise the great difference that a good conversation can make to a day in hospital. The reality is that there is no particular type of person who makes a good volunteer: if you feel that you would like to give a little time as part of a regular commitment, get in touch with your local hospital's volunteer services who will be glad to hear from you.

Please pray for everyone in hospital; the patients, their families and friends, all of the staff and their families, our priests who make themselves available day and night for all who call upon them in times of greatest need, and finally, for our hospital chaplains and volunteers who are making a positive difference every day for those in need.

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