Allan Taylor, a much-loved Assistant Chaplain has retired from Spiritual Care at the Royal Surrey after 14 years. Many members of staff have been asking after Allan, and this is a great testament to his influence in the spiritual care offered to patients and staff by him.
Allan joined the team in 2006 after 6 years’ service in a Lancashire hospital. When Allan first joined, he was part of Chaplaincy, and has observed that “much has changed in the NHS in the 14 or so years since”. Asked what makes this work so rewarding, Allan said “hospitals are ultimate places of comings and goings. It has been a real privilege to be part of the busy life of the Royal Surrey, walking the wards during the day and responding to calls during the night.”
Allan has offered strong ministry in a gentle way during his tenure as Assistant Chaplain. He has been onsite to baptise in the middle of the night, and has taken funerals of patients who have responded to his care. Allan visited the Royal Surrey two days a week when he could easily have attended just one day a week, because he felt that presence was important. He has contributed hugely to the cultural change into Spiritual Care.
“I must have met at least 9,000 interesting patients I would not otherwise have met. Some of them were kind enough to say that I helped them but the vast majority disappeared into the night and by the natural order of things I never saw them again.” One patient who loved Allan remembered him from an admission several years before. She had a really low appetite, she could not eat. But she asked for Allan to visit her, which he did, and it was their shared love of Lancashire hotpot that got her appetite and strength back up. “You’re very nice” she said to me, “but please, send Allan.”
Assistant Chaplain Heather Wilson said “Gosh, we’re going to miss you!” and Chief Nurse Jo Mountjoy said “Thank you so much for the contribution you have made to the Royal Surrey over the past 14 years.”
Allan – thank you, and we wish you and Janice well in your retirement, with every blessing from Spiritual Care.
Lead Chaplain Spiritual Care