Hospice Chaplain holds a new initiative - East Cheshire Hospice

Hospice Chaplain holds a new initiative

Death Cafe is the headline-grabbing name of the newest initiative run by East Cheshire Hospice.

The first meeting will be held at the Hope Centre at Park Green on Saturday, April 22 (5.30 pm -7 pm).

All are welcome to attend to chat about death and dying while having a cup of tea and a piece of cake.

The facilitator at the free event will be Hospice chaplain Marion Tugwood and a representative from the Cheshire End of Life Partnership.

Marion said: “There’s no agenda and we’re not trying to force any particular belief on anyone, or sell any products or services.

“This casual, relaxed forum allows us to talk freely and confidentially about a subject many people probably haven’t really thought about.

“It’s not a counselling, or support group. Death and dying is often a taboo subject, but the aim is to make it a topic of conversation it’s okay to have.”

Death Cafes have been running globally since 2011 and have increased in popularity since the pandemic.


Marion Tugwood, chaplain at East Cheshire Hospice.

Marion said: “Each session is run slightly differently, but they share a similar ethos which is to create a space for people to discuss death in a safe and supportive environment.

“It’s the first time the Hospice has signed up to this concept. The aim is to normalise discussion around death, so if a friend or family member has an end-of-life diagnosis you’re not afraid to talk to them about it in a sensitive way.

“At the moment, people often express their sadness and then stay away. Half a century ago no one talked about sex, whereas now it’s hard to get away from the subject. We’d like to see the same change around the topic of death. We’re encouraging people to just turn up and let’s see where the conversation goes.”

Marion joined the Hospice at the end of last year and has been overwhelmed by the welcome she has received.

She said: “It’s the best job ever. It’s fantastic and I’ve learned so much about the Hospice and met some wonderful people. It’s been a privilege to be alongside patients and their families at the end-of-life.”

Marion has also introduced Sunday at Six, a short act of Christian worship with prayers, music, readings and reflection in the Chapel. The gatherings are held every Sunday.

She was a founder of the Street Angels project which sees volunteers provide late-night help in the town centre on Saturdays.

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