From the Heart – Mo

REV. MO SURREY

This week we welcome Rev. Mo Surrey who would like to tell us about some of her hospital chaplaincy work.

Mo, who lives in Davyhulme, Manchester, with husband Sid, has been a church member all her life. In 1981 she prayed to have a better personal relationship with God. From that time her faith became more real. Having trained to be a Reader/preacher in the Church of England, in 1991 she became an Assistant Chaplain at Trafford General Hospital. From 1991 she was also a Reader at Christ Church in Davyhulme before becoming an Ordained Local Minister there in 2001.

In 2004 Mo became a part-time hospital chaplain at the Royal Bolton Hospital on a multi-faith team, working at St. Paul’s Church in Little Hulton at the same time. Mo was Priested in 2003 and then moved to be an Ordained Local Minister at St. John’s Flixton between 2009-2021.

During her life, Mo has carried out evangelical work, particularly in Northern Ireland with the Maranatha Community working on healing and reconciliation among local communities and bringing together politicians, ex-paramilitaries and people affected by the Troubles.

Her main ministry now is organising Be Still With God retreats and quiet days of reflection (see events page).

The role of Hospital Chaplain mostly centres around “normalisation” work which involves going round to see patients to chat about things happening in the outside world as a way to lift their spirits and to try to reduce the effects of worry and loneliness affecting their well-being. Medical staff are generally too busy to socialise with patients and, apart from the weather, two of Mo’s favourite topics were “faith and football” – especially her beloved Manchester City!

Converting people to Christianity was never a part of the job but she often found that people wanted to talk about faith, their general troubles and other emotional and spiritual matters. The role also incorporated helping staff and patients’ relatives with any concerns they might be experiencing so having a listening ear was vital.

Being on a 24-hour call out team and dealing with death or trauma, such as the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing, were all part of the job as well as helping to support people on their death-bed and giving Last Rite prayers.

One particular situation Mo was involved in centred around a young man in his early 20’s who hadgot heavily into drink and drugs. His body was so messed-up that he needed emergency surgeryalthough the medical staff thought the chances of survival were slight. The man was very frightened as, even though he was from a Christian background, he’d gone against everything he’d once believed in and was now facing death head-on. In desperation, the medical staff called on Mo as they couldn’t quieten the man enough to undertake the surgery he so urgently needed.

When Mo arrived, she asked if he knew what the Cross was about. She told him about Jesus dying to save people like all of us despite our faults and failings and reassured him that there was no need to be afraid. The man agreed to pray together and he was given peace after saying he was sorry for what he’d done wrong and accepted God’s forgiveness. After a very anguished weekend, Mo went to see him a few days later following which he became a model patient and a joy to visit. Sadly his condition had wrecked his body so much that he died 6 months later with a Chaplain by his side but, before his death, he was reconciled with his father and was healed spiritually.

Recent from the Heart Carol

Recent from the Heart Julie

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