Since April 2016, Heather has been working as a deaconess in the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH), Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children (RBHSC) and Belfast City Hospital (BCH). In addition, since November 2021, Heather has also been serving as chaplain in Musgrave Park Hospital (MPH).
As well as visiting the hospital wards, Heather finds many opportunities to listen and share across the whole site and is involved in services which are organised in the N Ireland Cancer Centre every Tuesday, and prayer time at the RVH held in the Quiet Room on Thursdays. She works as part of a team that provides care to patients, staff and visitors alike.
Heather comments, "The hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is fantastic to work in this secular environment in the name of our church, and to remind people that our church cares, but, more importantly, God cares. God is always available as we can stand, sit, walk or lie in his presence. The medical staff are concerned with recognising sickness and attending to these needs, the chaplain is concerned with recognising the person and their daily needs."
Between 1984 and 1989, Heather served as a deaconess in Greystone Road Presbyterian Church, Antrim, followed by 27 years of service in Alexandra Presbyterian Church in north Belfast.
- Pray for those who are afraid in hospital as they think about the days ahead, the decisions they might need to make, the pain they are facing, the treatment they have to undergo. Pray that they would know the comfort, help and strength of God's presence.
- Remember the Intensive Care Units - the Regional Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Remember the Emergency Departments in RBHSC and RVH, the first responders and ambulance crews. Thank God for the expertise of the staff and uphold the families and patients in the care of these units.
- Pray for our medical teams who diligently work to help the healing process and prevent pain and disease.
- Pray that God's love would reach others through the care and attention given by the whole team of chaplains. Pray that Heather would be a carrier of God's presence as she accompanies those in grief and in pain.
- Pray for the frontline staff, the families who lost loved ones due to coronavirus, and those living with long covid.