The End is Nigh

OK... Warning. I'm about to rant again...

This time it is due to a piece of junk mail that landed on my doorstep yesterday... The sheer amount of unsolicited mail that goes straight from letterbox to blue bin is usually enough to trigger a rant... But on this occasion it was because of a kind offer by Sarah Muggeridge to provide me with some assistance to deal with the implications of the government's "End of Life Care Strategy" published last summer.

Now I don't know whether this offer is coming to me in my role as chaplain to the local hospital, where I am actually on the multi-disciplinary palliative care education sub-group (the title is longer than the meetings), but the fact that it was sent to the church's PO Box address, suggests that the name and address was gleaned by some web-crawling bot, that has cribbed my name and address from either the local or national church website.

With that in mind... one general point... Any junk mail senders take note: If you are wanting me to pay any attention to you, my first name is David, NOT Rev. If you insist on using my title then it should be Rev. David, or Rev. David Campton, but NEVER Rev Campton, without punctuation or first name.

But back to the specifics of this wonderfully kind offer. For the ultra-cheap price of £125.44 I will recieve a CD-Rom and Handbook (with a single user license only) for a resource pack that will help me with cultural factors affecting death, dying and bereavement, needs assessment checklists, care planning records, case studies, resuscitation, verification of death and complaints policies (among many others), pain management advice, handouts on many subjects including wills and funerals, and quality assurance schemes.

What world are we in that any company thinks that a local minister needs such a thing? Even if it is directed to me within the hospital, do they not think that we have our own policies and resources?

My role in End of Life Care is largely to be there for the dying and the bereaved... A physical manifestation of the presence of our ever-present God (I don't mean that to sound as arrogant as it might... I say it with the utmost humility, and it applies not only to me, but to any Christian who comes alongside people at such a time). There are few things more important in pastoral meeting than helping people to prepare for and cope with the end of a life.

Yes, we can help people through the policies and practicalities that they face at such a time... but am I going to fork out £125.44 to resource that? Not likely... I would rather fork out that money on coffees with the bereaved, or books that I feel might help them...

So... Ms. Muggeridge, you have just wasted two sheets of paper, an envelope and the postage it took to send me this junk...

AND I've wasted 15 minutes typing this...


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