For the first time in the Diocese of Bath and Wells ordinands will combine part of their curacy with a chaplaincy role. Margaret Hayward will continue her role as Chaplain at Weston Hospice Care one day a week alongside her work with St Andrew’s Burnham on Sea.
For Margaret this new role is part of her ‘ongoing call from God.’ A journey of faith that has taken her from religious sister to ordination and chaplaincy.
“I was a religious sister for about ten years in Northampton with an order called Daughters of the Holy Spirit. At seventeen I felt the call of God I’d describe it as an almost burning within me. I felt this pull to dedicate my life in someway to God. “
During that time Margaret worked as a nurse and midwife, ran a hostel for the homeless and worked with people learning to speak English. Over time Margaret felt she was being called to something else, but wasn’t quite sure what that ‘else’ was.
“As I kind of grew up in that if you like, I almost felt God was calling me on and I didn’t know what to and I just knew that wasn’t the place I was meant to be. It’s very strange how God communicates with me in my life. So I left the order.”
Margret returned home to Weston to nurse her mother who was terminally ill. Over time Margaret married and had a daughter all the time unsure of what God wanted her to do next.
“I felt this burning call and I went round lots of churches and I just sat in the back and just listened really; listened to sermons, listened to services. It was like a year in the desert and then the call came back very, very powerfully. I was wandering around our back garden and I was just knew what God was calling me to do. “
“The call was always there, it never left me, but I made excuses; I had to bring up my daughter and I had to do this or that. Once Kathryn left to go to university there was time to listen. I followed Exploring Spirituality and that gave me time to look at spirituality, and the call just got louder and louder. After that I approached Sue Rose.”
Alongside her work with St Andrew’s, Margaret will also be part of the chaplaincy team at Weston Hospice Care. Margaret has been a chaplain for 10 years. For five of those she was custody chaplain at Weston police custody suite and has worked at Weston Hospice Care for the past five years. Margaret is delighted to be able to continue in this role.
“I am deeply grateful to the diocese for just making that possible for me, because it’s infinitely hard for the diocese. The support they gave me has been brilliant, and it is also saying that chaplaincy is a real call and a real ministry.”
“I think God is calling me there to work somewhere in the area of dementia because I feel very strongly that the church can speak to, and can offer those who are living with dementia and their carers some kind of Christian presence. It’s an area of our society which needs hope and help.”