People of all faiths and none gathered at the Royal United Hospital in Bath last week for the Dedication of its new Spiritual Care Centre, which opened earlier this year.
The ceremony was conducted by The Rt Rev Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton before an audience of guests including the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Ian Gilchrist.
Members of the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i and Sikh communities presented scriptures and symbols to represent each faith.
Bishop Ruth, who also commissioned the Spiritual Care Centre Chaplains and volunteers, said: “Thank you to all for planning, designing, financing and staffing this very special place.
“Thank you for recognising that people need a place of sanctuary like this, offering space for prayer, healing and peace for patients, their families and staff in the busy life of this hospital.”
RUH Lead Chaplain Narinder Tegally said: “We have been on a long journey with many challenges and joys to reach this stage, which has only been possible through the enormous generosity of key individuals and the hard work of so many people.
“In the short time we have been open this place has already become a sanctuary and a place of reflection for many people of faith and no faith. Our hope is that this will continue to flourish and grow into a place of peace, stillness and healing.”
The new Spiritual Care Centre, a space for reflection and prayer, has been purpose-built to replace the former Chapel. It offers 24-hour access, providing room for anyone to come and sit, to talk, reflect, pray or simply gather their thoughts.
Ablution and prayer spaces are available for those who need them, as well a quiet and private area for confidential and sensitive conversations.
There’s also a peaceful courtyard garden with planting, seating and sculpture, created thanks to a generous gift to the Hospital’s charity, the Forever Friends Appeal, in the will of a local Bath man, the late Mr Colston Cook.
The new building, which was designed in conjunction with members of different faiths, is located on the crossroads of Zone C&D on the hospital ground floor.
It is part of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust’s ‘Fit for the Future’ development plan to transform the site and further improve services for patients.