Interfaith minister Rev Paula Graham explains what her job as pastoral care team coordinator at Saint Francis Hospice involves.

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year since I started my role at Saint Francis Hospice.

I remember feeling optimistic about being part of something meaningful and positive, as the new pastoral care team coordinator.

Finally, I felt what we clergy call being “in service” and in my case, as an interfaith minister, I felt “in service” to all those who need the support of the hospice and to the myriad faces of what most people call God.

My joy was founded in two aspects: to journey with people with life-limiting illness and their kin, and to embrace diversity. Both these things have been topics I am deeply passionate about and Saint Francis Hospice was where I could follow my calling.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Rev Paula Graham has been working at Saint Francis Hospice for a yearRev Paula Graham has been working at Saint Francis Hospice for a year (Image: St Francis Hospice)

Since joining, I have provided educational sessions on cultural awareness and spiritual care at end of life, seeing how keen our staff and volunteers are to learn about faith traditions and spirituality.

I’m also involved in the hospice’s diversity and inclusion group. I have enjoyed making connections with the local community and creating remembrance services suitable for all.

During the last year, the hospice has continued to provide essential care for people of all faiths or none and their families.

Patients are asked about their possible religion or spirituality when we first get to know them and any specific needs are discussed.

My life’s exploration of faiths and the two years spent training as an interfaith minister have really been beneficial in this role but pale into insignificance compared to what each patient teaches me about how best to serve them.

It’s a wonderful feeling to see people of all walks of life being cared for equally and holistically.

It is a privilege to be a part of the hospice family and I am excited about the future as we embrace the richness of diversity in our catchment area.

  • To find out more about Saint Francis Hospice and the services we provide to the local community, visit