Spiritual support

We provide holistic care for patients, their loved ones and carers, ranging from specialist medical and nursing support, to physiotherapy, occupational and complementary therapies, and psychosocial and spiritual support.

Spiritual support is an integral part of our care and is available for patients, families and loved ones – those of faith and no faith – from the point of a palliative diagnosis, through death and bereavement.

Our Spiritual Support has two main functions at Dorothy House:

  • Support for patients, families and carers
  • Support for the community – training and guidance

Support for patients, families and carers

Approaching the end of life may create a desire to reflect on the meaning of life, perhaps more so than at any other time.

Spiritual needs are connected to physical, emotional and social needs too. People may experience spiritual distress – also called spiritual pain or suffering – when they are unable to find sources of meaning, hope, love, peace, comfort, strength and connection in their life. Made up of people from varying backgrounds and spirituality, our team will help you explore your feelings around spirituality, and what it means to you.


At our Winsley site we have a dedicated spiritual space called The Beacon. The Beacon is available to anyone wishing to think, reflect, contemplate, retreat, pray or meditate. It’s a quiet, multi-faith and no-faith space offering a calm environment to all.

Spiritual Support at The Beacon

Serenity - space for reflection

Serenity is offered every weekday in the Beacon at 12pm and 3pm. A member of the spiritual support team offers a time for reflection and quiet, contemplation and space to think. Serenity does not focus on a particular faith, but is about having time to explore individuals feeling about spirituality. It may contain music, poetry, meditation or just simple silence. It is open to all.

We have a series of live recordings of previous Serenity sessions which you can follow in your own time:



What is Serenity?

Serenity session 1

Serenity session 2

Serenity session 3

Support for the community – training and guidance

The Spiritual Support team offers free training to anyone supporting patients, carers, families and community members at the end of life.

The training aims to:

  • Explore what spirituality means to different people
  • Provide advice or end of life spiritual support work with patients and their families
  • Share experiences of providing spiritual support in different ways within the community

Our training is for everyone

The training is appropriate for anyone coming into contact with people at end of life, or going through bereavement – whether you are of a particular faith, multifaith or no faith. To date we have offered this training to funeral directors, crematorium staff, charity staff/volunteers and ministers.

The half day, free training session is run monthly either online or in person. We can also arrange bespoke training sessions if that better suits your organisation.


What is your experience of spirituality?

Neil Deuchar - Trustee

Bill - Dorothy House Patient

Mary - Patient Family Member

Get in touch

To learn more about our end of life spiritual support training, contact Dave Smith, our Spiritual Support Lead

Tel: 0345 0130 555
Email: spiritualsupport@dorothyhouse-hospice.org.uk

End of life spiritual resources

Spiritual Support at Dorothy House Hospice Care - PDF download
Support groups

Please visit the ‘Groups’ page of our website for current information about locations and times of these sessions

Useful websites
Journals and documents
  • Midwife for souls: spiritual care for the dying: a pastoral guide for hospice care workers and all who live with the terminally ill by Kathy Kalina (ISBN 0819848565) Often caregivers, friends, and family are unsure of what to say and what to do to comfort the sick and the dying. Midwife for Souls provides specific Catholic insight and highlights the power of Christian prayer as a guide.
  • The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (ISBN 101786898322): The Comfort Book is a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better. Drawing on maxims, memoir and the inspirational lives of others, these meditations offer new ways of seeing ourselves and the world.
  • Like the Flowing River: Thoughts and Reflections by Paulo Coelho (ISBN 0007235801) Like the Flowing River’ includes jewel-like fables, packed with meaning and retold in Coelho’s inimitable style. Sharing his thoughts on spirituality, life and ethics, Paulo touches you with his philosophy and invites you to go on an exciting journey of your own.
  • A Severe Mercy: A Story of Faith, Tragedy, and Triumph by Sheldon Vanauken (ISBN 9780060688240) A profoundly moving account of the author’s marriage, the couple’s search for faith and a spiritual strength that sustained Vanauken after his wife’s untimely death. A Severe Mercy addresses some of the universal questions that surround faith—the existence of God and the reasons behind tragedy.
  • The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim (ISBN 100241340667): The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In this timely guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United States, offers advice on everything from handling setbacks to dealing with rest and relationships, in a beautiful book combining his teachings with calming full-colour illustrations.
  • The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying: A Spiritual Classic from One of the Foremost Interpreters of Tibetan Buddhism to the West by Sogyal Rinpoche (ASIN BOOSLUAGWS) How to understand the true meaning of life, how to accept death and how to help the dying.
Poetry and prayer collections
  • 42 Spiritual Death Poems about Heaven and afterlife www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/spiritual/death/
  • Blessing when the world is ending by Jan Richardson.
  • Love, Remember- 40 poems of loss, lament and hope, by Malcolm Guite
  • Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye
  • Remember by Christina Rossett
  • The funeral by Rupi Kaur
  • Let Me Die a Youngman’s Death by Roger McGough
  • When Great Trees Fall by Maya Angelou
  • Crossing the Bar by Lord Tennyson
  • Church of England, Prayers for Use with the Dying and at Funeral and Memorial Services