Bob Whorton is a hospice chaplain in Oxford and a Methodist Minister; a pastoral supervisor and spiritual director. He is the author of Reflective Caring: Imaginative Listening to Pastoral Experience (SPCK 2011).
This deceptively gentle book probes deep under the skin of hospice ministry. With keen sensitivity and audacious honesty, Bob Whorton explores the spiritual challenge of accompanying patients and families in their living and dying. His skilful interweaving of patient stories with personal insights and reflections on the psalms turns up new treasures on every page. The book's underlying theme is of a train pressing relentlessly forwards through subtle stations of the soul. It is a demanding, unsettling, but ultimately enriching journey for any reader who is prepared to share the profound compassion and humanity of this fine contribution to the hospice literature. -- Margaret Whipp Bob Whorton invites us on a train journey, mediated by three voices - his own searingly honest reflections as chaplain; the hospice patients, their friends and relatives and the staff; and the voice of literature, in particular the psalms. The resulting encounter with `death, that great can opener of the soul' encourages us to stay with reality, not only in the intensity of hospice care, but also in life itself as we realise that the paradoxes of mortality confront each one of us: taking control versus letting go; trust versus terror; hope versus despair. -- Jessica Rose In this profound and compassionate book Bob Whorton goes to the heart of the challenging situations in our lives which we may long to avoid, but which sometimes simply have to be lived. Drawing deeply from his own experience, the wisdom of the Psalms and, above all, the voices of hospice patients and their families, he explores how we may face times of suffering, waiting and dying and through them find a path to new life. This is a book to treasure; and for many facing difficult times, it will be a source of comfort and hope. -- Judy Davies Whorton skillfully interweaves voices from patients in the hospice, his own reflections, and ancient voices from biblical prayers (the psalms). These prayers present a rich source to give voice to human joy, suffering and the struggle with a divine presence, which may or may not be there. -- Uta Blohm * Contemporary Psychotherapy *