Norwich hospital chaplain answers Covid-19 call
A Norwich hospital chaplain has responded to the call for former NHS staff to return to help during the Covid-19 pandemic, 20 years after he was last part of the hospital chaplaincy team.
During the first call of the pandemic last year for former NHS staff to return, Canon Captain Darren Thornton offered to help the Chaplaincy team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital some 20 years after he was a chaplain at the old Norfolk and Norwich site in the city centre.
Now a chaplain at the University of East Anglia and Rector of St Giles on the Hill, Darren returned to a depleted hospital chaplaincy team during what has been a busy time, providing comfort and support for all patients and staff throughout the challenging Covid-19 period.
The move has helped develop a partnership between the Hospital and the University and shown how different chaplaincy departments can come and work together in times of crisis and need, said Darren.
Adrian Woodbridge, Lead Chaplain at the NNUH, said: “It has been great to have Darren working with the team and it has meant we are able to sustain a continuity of service while we have had a depleted team. Working together with Darren and UEA has also lead to a greater understanding of the each other’s roles and organisations, I hope this opens the door for further partnership in the future so that out of adversity will come new ways of working.”
Darren is not new to the Trust. He was part of the chaplaincy 20 years ago at the old N&N Hospital and was part of the team that planned for the Chapel and Chaplaincy service which is now provided.
Darren said: “It’s good to be back helping this great hospital chaplaincy team and meeting so many wonderful and dedicated hospital staff. I’m loving being at the N&N but keep looking across to the University from the ward corridors and wonder when we may return. It’s also been great to see so many UEA Medical students on placements and at work and make that connection with my role at the UEA.”
Pictured above is chaplain Canon Captain Darren Thornton.