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Service of thanksgiving and closure of Mary Hodgkin Memorial Chapel, Darlington Sunday 3rd May 2015

A service of thanksgiving will be held this weekend (Sunday 3rd May) for the The Mary Hodgkin Memorial Chapel, at Darlington Memorial Hospital, which will be closed and vacated during that week. 

Lead Chaplain, Rev. Kevin Tromans said: "The Trust is in the process of arranging significant developments to enhance patient care and experience in Darlington Memorial Hospital. These aim to provide improved operating theatre facilities, and a new facility for care of the deceased and the bereaved.

"In order to make this possible, the Mary Hodgkin Memorial Chapel will be closed and vacated during the week commencing 3rd May. 

"An interim chapel/worship space will be provided next to the main outpatients entrance, and a chapel office adjacent to the friends office.

"These in turn will be replaced by a new worship area and chaplaincy suite which will become available during the summer.  The new worship area will be smaller and therefore more in keeping with the needs and practices of modern healthcare chaplaincy."

Bill Headley, Director of Estates & Facilities said: "The closure of the chapel at Darlington Memorial Hospital is part of the enabling works needed to support the Trust's plans for major investment in the operating theatres and mortuary on site. The Trust has drawn up proposals to invest approximately £27 million in building new state-of the-art theatres at Darlington, refurbishing the existing suite and creating a new mortuary and bereavement centre for families. This plan will create a high quality environment for surgery at Darlington and vastly improve the experience of those accessing the bereavement services. The investment is part of the Trust's overall vision for ensuring services continue to improve and meet the needs of a changing population. The plans will be going to the Trust Board in the summer with a proposed completion date for the project in late 2017."

Rev Tromans added: "To mark the chapel's closure we are holding a service of thanksgiving for its life and availability as a place of quiet and reflection to many people over the past 50 years.

"This will be held on Sunday 3rd May, at 3.30pm in the chapel.  All are welcome to attend.

"The usual chaplaincy service will be maintained throughout this period of transition, as will the usual pattern of worship and prayers in the interim chapel."

If anyone has any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact the chaplaincy team at Darlington on xtn 43029, or contact the Lead Chaplain on xtn 32183.

'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital