St David’s Hospice Care appoints Reverend Andrew Webster as its first ever chaplain

THE Reverend Andrew Webster was on his knees in the lounge at St David’s Hospice in Newport – but he wasn’t praying, he was looking for something dropped under an armchair.

Smiling and with a laugh the 48-year-old Yorkshireman grabbed the item and handed it back to the grateful patient.

Rev Webster has been in post at the hospice for the past four months.

“I love it” he said, chatting to a group of ladies getting ready for their lunch.

The Reverend, who covers each of the four day hospices run by St David’s Hospice Care in south east Wales, arrived at the Newport-based charity after serving as a Methodist minister in Cardiff, Birmingham and Chepstow and also as a chaplain in HMP Cardiff.

Speaking about his new role, he said: “It’s important to say chat Chaplaincy is for all our patients and their families, not just those who might be religious.

“We all have spiritual needs that perhaps come to the fore when dealing with life limiting illnesses. Our spiritual care team includes volunteers from various faiths and as well as humanists.

“This role is an enormous privilege to be alongside patients and their families at a particularly challenging time.

“Part of my role is to help people discover the inner resources that they already have to help deal with what they are facing.

Rev Webster knew a great deal about St David’s Hospice Care ahead of his appointment, the first for the charity, after his church role in Monmouthshire came to a natural end.

“I got to know St David’s Hospice Care while working as a local church minister,” he said. “Many times I heard what a good job they did for people in our local community. I also helped lead a Christmas Light up a Life service, which we found to be an opportunity to engage with the local community and gave a chance to remember loved ones at what can be a difficult time of year for people living with loss.”

“Since joining St David’s Hospice Care I have accompanied nurses on their visits to see first-hand the amazing work they do and the care that they deliver over a large part of South Wales. I have also got to know various other members of the team including complementary therapists, welfare rights advisors and bereavement counsellors.

Rev Webster is a keen supporter of the charity’s Light Up a Life services at Christmas.

“This year local churches have kindly offered to host Light up a Light services to which everyone will be every welcome to attend,” he said. “Details of the services will be on the St David’s social media.”

St David’s Hospice Care chief executive Emma Saysell said: “The care, compassion and support and understanding that Andrew brings to this new role at the charity is very much valued and appreciated by our patients, carers, family, friends and staff here at St David’s Hospice Care.”