Published Wednesday 24th August 2016

A quiet space for those with a connection to a Hereford hospice has been unveiled.

The room gives an opportunity for those at St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree to go for a moment of contemplation at any time of the day or night.

It forms part of the Hospice’s new Day Patient unit which opened earlier this month on the site of the original Hospice building.

The quiet space is open to all faiths and none, and includes features such as an arrow to Mecca for Muslims’ prayer, while a metal apple tree on which people can hang their thoughts or dedications to loved ones is due to be introduced shortly.

A memorial book has been placed there, bearing the names of those who have died who have had a connection with St Michael’s, along with a remembrance book where friends and relatives can pen their own memories of loved ones.

A dedication service and blessing for the new space took place on August 24th.

‘To many the Hospice can be an intense place,’ said David Vonberg, the Hospice’s Head of Family Support.

‘So this is a space where, hopefully, people can find a level of peace and space.

‘The room used to be where a couple of the bedrooms in the old Hospice were housed, and I think this adds a special meaning to it.

‘There are a number of natural features. The altar table is supported by the shape of a tree. We also have the metal apple tree, and the etched window follows the natural year from winter – with snowdrops to autumnal thistles. The birds depicted are those after which the wards in the original Hospice were named.’

The service included a dedication by The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Reverend Richard Frith, plus contributions from the Herefordshire Interfaith Group, and the St Michael’s Hospice Community Choir.