Weekly Reflection – Hope and Healing

29 September 2023

Friday 29 September marks the feast day of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The word ‘angel’ derives from the Greek angelos, simply meaning ‘messenger’. Angels are frequently mentioned in the bible, but the Archangel Raphael is the one to which our hospital chapel at Pinderfields is dedicated. Saint Raphael is mentioned in the Old Testament as one who stands in the presence of God. In Hebrew, the name Raphael means God heals, and the Archangel is connected in Christian tradition with the ministry of healing. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Chapel of St Raphael in the Multifaith centre at Pinderfields. It was originally dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Wakefield in 1963 in the old Pinderfields hospital. The present Chapel was dedicated for hope and healing in 2011 by Archbishop Sentamu. 

The Chapel has always been a constant at Pinderfields and its ministry a blessing to patients and staff alike. Chaplaincy has developed over the last 60 years and we are very proud of our multifaith team and space. This week we invited Bishop Nick to rededicate our Chapel in the multifaith centre on this special anniversary. As part of the service he gave thanks for the ministry of chaplaincy and the various volunteers that have supported the chapel, particularly Wakefield Flower Club for providing fresh flowers for 60 years and the St Raphael singers who have also been with us from the beginning in 1963. We also invited our chaplaincy volunteers from various denominations to join us in this celebration.

We continue to pray for God’s blessing and for Saint Raphael’s healing presence in our chapel. May the Holy angels continue to be messengers of hope and healing in our shared work together.

With blessings,
Revd Charlene Smith

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Wakefield Cathedral

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