Advanced search Click here for the website of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

Skip Content
 

Heart for God

 A frontline nurse who finds comfort and strength through prayer...

SENIOR nurse Claire Granger is on the frontline of York Hospital's emergency care.

A typical shift in the coronary care unit, can see her dealing with families coping with a sudden bereavement or those waiting for news of a loved one struck down with heart failure.

At such times Claire finds comfort from her Christian faith. She will often, in a private moment, pray for strength to help those who are suffering.

"In my job there are some horrendous, traumatic cases especially if it's a very sudden death," she said.

"When I'm dialling the number of a patient's family or waiting for them to arrive at the hospital, those are the times I pray. I say to God, "this is tough, help me with this one".

"We are always taught as nurses that sometimes the best kind of comfort is just to stand by people and to be there if they want you to hold their hand.

"I never ceased to be amazed by how fantastic people can be despite what happens to them. Often it's a privilege to be there at such an intense period in their lives."

Claire, who is a deputy Sister at York Hospital, became a committed Christian through her Girl Guides group in Nottingham.

She said: "There were a lot of Christian influences in the group.

"One night at our Guides summer camp there was an opportunity to make a commitment to God but I didn't because I was very shy back then. Some of my friends went forward and I could see that they had entered into something exciting.

"I spent the next few months slowly getting closer to God."

Claire was 14 when she affirmed her faith by getting baptised with her dad in their local Anglican church.

"I was surrounded by like-minded people and good leaders who encouraged me," she said.

"I became a nurse almost by default because I didn't know what else to do with my life.

"Within a few weeks of training I'd seen my first dead body, and seen enough bodily fluids to last me a lifetime! I loved it but it was very intense."

Claire said that being part of a close church community has played a big role in the development of her faith.

"It strikes me in my job just how fragile we are," she added.

"I think it's remarkable that we can be that fragile and seemingly insignificant, but God wants to be in a relationship with us."