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What the Church has lost in St Luke’s closure

13 May 2009


From Mr John Skuse

Sir, — I write at the suggestion of some of my clergy patients to offer a non-clergy view on the demise of St Luke’s.

My qualifications are an appoint­ment as Honorary Consultant at St Luke’s for the last 31 years, and also that I had the dubious distinction of carrying out the last ever operation on a clergy patient.

As I walked out of the hospital for the last time, I did ponder on just what the Church has lost. The newly refurbished hospital was the equal, size for size, of any. The atmosphere was calm, warm, and welcoming, and the quality of nursing superb.

While we acknowledge that the NHS in recent years has answered more and more the needs of the clergy, we cannot be sure just what is ahead in the current financial climate, and it could be that in the not too distant future the loss of the hospital will be greatly regretted — too late to retract, and with no chance of rerplacement.

If a lesson is to be learned, then, it is that any similar facet of the Church, in organisation, people, or buildings, should be very carefully nurtured.

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