Faith, Hope and Compassion at the End of Life

Faith, hope and compassion

Sarah Tobin, our first speaker, on Compassionate Care

A training and seminar workshop for clergy and medics, at The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House was held on Sept 16th 2016. Over 40 participants from across Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, listened to three speakers and enjoyed time together sharing stories and exploring ideas.

The three speakers brought different aspects of compassion and faith to the sessions;

Sarah Tobin, is a lecturer at the University of Plymouth and a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Torbay Hospital. She gave an amazing talk on compassionate care in the health service and how we can teach it and make sure that it is part of the experience of nursing staff to go above and beyond or just to share a simple act of kindness.

Rev’d Catherine Dixon is a Methodist Presbyter in West Norfolk. She has recently gained an MA in Pastoral Theology at Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge and is studying for a Ph.D.  Her talk was based on the title of her studies, From Glory to Glory: Ministry to the Dying. It provided a unique slant on how practices and acceptance of death has changed over the last 50 years.

Rev’d Sue Martin FRSA, is Hospice Chaplain and licensed with the Norwich Diocese, and is keen to explore the wider aspects of ministry, including being alongside people at the end of their lives, meeting with families, offering compassion  and support. Her talk was based on work within a health care setting, offering methodology and stories about walking alongside.

Fuller details of Sue’s presentation will be available on

(See Sue’s page Faith and Work here for a copy of her slides…)

The day provided a much needed resource and chance to talk and share with colleagues across professional boundaries, we are hoping that we can continue to develop further workshops in the future.

Rev’d Sue Martin                         Chaplain to the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House


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First Steps to Santiago

Pilgrims en route,

Pilgrims en route,from Norwich Diocese another time

Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford sets out on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. His first steps are recorded on his twitter feed as he heads off along the Camino del Norte.

The start of a pilgrimage can be so exciting, an adventure in the making.  To have arrived at the point of setting out is a journey in itself. No doubt for Bishop Stephen it will have taken some organising to have released himself from his day to day tasks and the pressures and joys of ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford.

We are very fond of pilgrimages!! Journeying, setting out, exploration, discovery, walking with God, what could be better than that!

Faith Goes Walkabout is in essence about finding your way, taking first steps, exploring, looking beyond what you first see. On a pilgrimage your mind becomes freer and walking with God along a path or a route helps you find your way. You may not even be lost but God will find you.

Last year was a busy pilgrimage year and with the Diocese of Norwich travelled to the

Holy Land with Pilgrimage People and Papua New Guinea.

We wish Bishop Stephen well on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Faith Goes Walkabout

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Where is your treasure?

July 31st Tenth Sunday in Trinity

St Mary’s Church East Walton, Norfolk

Where your treasure is there will your heart be also

IMG_3308Hosea 11:1-11

Colossians 3:1-11

Luke 12:13-21

I would really like to put my head in the sand and be an ostrich at this time. A few weeks ago I thought that was possible and that when I came up for air then all this turmoil, worry and disaster would have gone away and life would be more settled.

But it hasn’t and there have been such dreadful things happening that they are now impossible to ignore. They are creating fear, despair, upset and rage and then what happens next?

In our prayers, be with all those in Rouen at the dreadful killing of Fr. Hamel, at the Eucharist, we ask God to look with compassion on his family on earth, to break down the barriers that some want to erect between different people, counter the effects of evil in our time and be with all those who mourn and who have been involved in these sufferings.

What I am going to talk about is seeking those things which are above in God’s world, getting rid of malice, fear, anger and wrath and being with God and God with us at every step of the way.

Where your treasure is there will your heart be also

Extract from sermon for 10th Sunday in Trinity

Rev’d Sue Martin Diocese of Norwich

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Nice, France 14th July 2016

image2-22.jpgOn the warm summers evening in Nice, people were out celebrating Bastille Day, enjoying family time, friendship, camaraderie and the beautiful setting of the promenade, the Mediterranean and the city.

The destruction that followed is beyond description and belief, I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind could have driven that lorry  and killed so many innocent people.

Was this done in the name of something else, religion…No, organisations on other shores… who knows?

So many questions to which there will never be an answer. On  TV news, the father of the driver held up a medical letter stating that his son needed constant psychiatric medications. A plea maybe to give some reasoning behind the action.

What can we do? How can we feel? Where does this leave us and everyone else in Europe?

I would suggest that ‘at a loss’ is most people’s attitude. Apparently the following evening, beyond the Promenade Anglais, the bars and cafe’s were open, people were not afraid and would not be intimidated. But it does leave a sense of fear which will spread beyond Nice and that is exactly what must not happen.

Nick Blaine’s blog makes good reading

Fear is the biggest weapon in the hands of the enemy, it develops hate and prejudice.

In all that is happening in this world of 2016, a seemingly crazy year, let us look to others, for support and friendship, not close our doors, and retreat to an ever narrowing circle of life.

And pray…. for those in Nice, for those close to us and far away and for those who have just a touch of badness in us. I have added a prayer written by a 12 yr old on to the prayers on Faith Goes Walkabout.

Rev’d Sue Martin

Diocese of Norwich


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Come, walk with me…

m_finsburyparkislington.jpg  This has been an amazing two weeks in  the UK, a referendum that has seen us  exiting Europe, unbelievable and now  unstoppable. There is so much to say  that I am lost for words and maybe this  isn’t the place to express what I feel in  deep sadness and concern.

And so… recently I was working in  London, just off Southwark Bridge and  had a couple of spare hours to myself, an experience that seldom happens. In my sermon for July 3rd I express what actually happened to me on that day. My intention was to go for a wander in London and a nice coffee somewhere.
What actually happened was not quite as expected, and I found myself in the chapel at Southwark cathedral.

For way of a change to the usual address style, the sermon was delivered by two people, see Sermons 2016.

It is a reflection of how life can change sometimes and take you into places that help you, if you listen in the first place.

Come, walk with me…

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Kalpana in Nepal

Kalpana in NepalWe have been supporting Kalpana and her family in Nepal for five years now. She is the oldest girl in her family and they live in the countryside and mountains of Nepal.

We were delighted to receive these photos of her with her brothers and sisters, looking so happy and a real family.

We send money to Kalpana’s uncle, Bhim Bahadur Sunawar to help give Kalpana an education. Although recently, the money has been needed just to help with their housing and shelter after the earthquakes.

I journeyed to Nepal in 2010 on the Everest Base Camp Trek. I suffered badly from Altitude sickness 2 days from the base camp at 14,000ft and Bhim was the guide who walked me down the mountains on our own over 4 days.

The link on the photo will take you to the blog.

If we can help in some way to support Kalpana and her family we know this goes directly to making her life better.

We send money, books and clothes and hope one day to visit again with a Books Go Walkabout project.

Revd Sue Martin

Kalpana in Nepal2

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Queen Elizabeth at 90

Image 2A weekend of celebrations to mark our Queen’s 90th birthday.
We wish her a very Happy Birthday.

Great Britain has seen major changes in her time, the Commonwealth countries many of which have become independent still have links with the Queen, the Church of England has seen many changes and different archbishops, her own personal life has been fraught at times with difficulties, but has shone through as a family.

As an individual she has great character and remains at the head of all of that at 90.

I looked at her coronation speech and in it she says,

‘I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.’ Taken from the Queen’s Coronation Speech June 2nd 1953

That was 63 years ago. That is some life commitment to your work! No wonder Prince Harry suggests she should take a day off!

A time to share and to celebrate the life and work of Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Rev’d Sue Martin Faith GoesWalkabout

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was first image1-41.jpg  published in 1678. It is undoubtedly a book that many of heard of and refer to, but I wonder how many have actually read the book?

With that thought in mind, I decided I really must get on and read it. If my reading list had not included A Pilgrim’s Progress, during my ordination training, then now was the time to amend that.

I am enjoying the book immensely, the lessons to be learnt along the way, the characters of dubious intentions, along with characters who just complete the journey as far as they are able, and then fall to the way side, or return to the safety of the begining.

It is not for me, a book which I can read quickly or devour in one energetic reading frenzy. It leaves me with a need to spend time in my own thoughts about the events and of course to reflect and try and learn from my own life experience.

The journey starts at the City of Destruction and we first meet Christian as he leaves his home, his family and the city. He meets Obstinate and Pliable who try to dissuade him from this journey, but he continues with Pliable and directed by Evangelist.

The first obstacle is the slough of despond, in which they both start to sink. Pliable gets himself out and immediately returns home. Christian with his heavy pack on his back sinks further until he is helped.

‘Why did you not use the steps?’ he is asked. Christian replies that he was so frightened that he stepped straight in!

One of the aspect Bunyan uses well is the name of the companions and people on the way. A brilliant way of knowing and understanding the people.

I will continue with A Pilgrim’s Progress and even if I continue to step off my own path from time to time, I know that the eventual journey is leading me in the right direction.

Rev’d Sue Martin

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Easter 2016

Easter  March 27th 2016

Alleluia, Christ is Risen!

The Easter story is at the heart of Christianity.

Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar. It celebrates the resurrection  of Jesus, three days after he was executed.

The story has some very significant dates and places. In the week leading up to Easter, which is called Holy Week, the pace changes dramatically from the entry into Jerusalem on a donkey on Palm Sunday, followed by Fig Monday, when Jesus finds a fig tree with no fruit, to table Tuesday, when Jesus enters the temple and becomes angry at the tables of the money lenders,the Wednesday when a woman anoints him with oil, and then to Maundy Thursday and the Last Supper.

After Jesus was crucified on the Friday , his body was taken down from the cross, and buried in a cave tomb. The tomb was guarded by Roman Soldiers and an enormous stone was put over the entrance, so that no-one could steal the body.

Easter Sunday marks Jesus’ resurrection. On the Sunday, Mary Magdalene, visited the tomb and found that the stone had been moved, and that Jesus’ body had gone. Jesus himself was seen that day by Mary and the disciples, and for forty days afterwards by many people

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Rev’d Sue Martin

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The Stations of the Cross on Good Friday

Via Dolorosa

Station 1

Last year on pilgrimage to the Holy Land we walked along the Via Dolorosa.

The Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrow, winds along the narrow streets of Jerusalem’s Old City. It is the traditional route and follows the way of Jesus as he carried his cross from Pilot’s Judgement Hall to Golgotha, the site of the crucifixion.

Along this route are the Stations of the Cross, where each station or place, marks an event as Jesus walked along the way.


Saturday 31st January, we walked along the Via Delarosa, entering Jerusalem through St Stephens’ gate and stopped a while by the Pool of Bethesda. The day was sunny and bright, it was remarkable to feel so close to that day over two thousand years ago. But in the midst of walking along this route, there was a discovery of ourselves, our belief and our Christianity.

Through the streets we walked, in a group at times, and at times as individuals, with other people, tourists, local people, shop sellers. What had happened here to Jesus, could just have happened yesterday. It was in the midst of this life of a busy, bustling city where crowds gathered that saw the mood of Jerusalem change from a welcome to Jesus who had healed and performed miracles to the scourging, agony of carrying the cross and to the crucifixion.

Lost for words I walked the streets, I saw the sights, the people and the gifts for the tourists who cared to stop and to buy. The readings that we shared together at each of the stations are shortened and held as memories of that time, in that place and on that day. At some of the stations we hear about those in the crowds who helped, who are reminders of our own humanity for others who are suffering.

At each station Bishop Graham read a passage from the Bible and prayers were said at each place using

First Station

Jesus is condemned to death.

‘ Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium‘ John 18:28

Second Station

Jesus takes up the cross.

‘Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.’ John 19:1,

‘Then they handed Him over to them to be crucified.’ John 19:16

‘ Give us courage to take up our cross and follow you.’

Third Station

Jesus falls for the first time.

‘He would console me, and give me back my life, is far from me.’ Lamentations 1:16

Fourth Station

At the corner of 2 streets. Jesus meets his mother.

‘All you that look and see; is there any sorrow like the sorrow that afflicts me?‘ Lamentations 1:12

Let us never fail to call out for all those who suffer.

Fifth Station

Simon the Cyrenian carries the cross.

‘ They enlisted a passer by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the country, to carry His Cross. Mark 15:23

Those who come after me, take up the cross. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Sixth Station

Veronica wipes the sweat from Jesus face.

‘ May the Lord’s face shine upon you.‘ Numbers 6:25

Nothing is too big or too small for us to give or offer.

The chapel of the Little Sisters of Jesus is now thought to be on the site of Veronica’s house.

Seventh Station

Jesus falls a second time, at the place of the death notice.

‘With their affliction, He was afflicted. In His love and in His pity He redeemed them.‘ Isaiah 63:9

Help us to turn from our ways that suffering may cease.

Eighth Station

Jesus meets the women.

‘ Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me. Weep rather over yourselves and your children’.

Luke 23: 28

Help us to know when to grieve and when to act.

Ninth Station

Jesus falls for the third time.

‘ I have come to do your will, O God.’ Psalm 40:8

When the shouting dies, we may still walk beside you.

Tenth Station

At Golgotha Jesus is stripped of His garments and the soldiers cast lots for his clothes.

‘From the sole of the feet to the head are bruises and sores and bleeding wounds.’ Isaiah 1:6

Help us to remember there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from your love.

Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross and he was numbered with transgressors.

‘They crucified Jesus there with criminals, one on his right and one on his left.‘ Luke 23:33

Clothe us in your spirit, that we may bring love to those who do not know you.

Twelfth Station

Jesus on the cross. Mary, his mother and Simon Peter, his friend were at the foot of the cross…


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