November eNews – Waiting…


While the last few months (in fact the last year) seem to have rapidly moved past, so much has filled every space. You will all be aware of the funding challenges we have been facing and the strong advocacy we have launched in response to this.

We are so appreciative of every voice that has been raised in support of our ongoing work to foster a compassionate healthcare system that meets the diverse spiritual needs of all, in line with the principles recognised by the World Health Organization. I have been reminded once again of one of the basic lessons of spiritual care work, to never make assumptions about people, as some of our strongest support has come from unexpected allies.

Challenges that arise can so often become opportunities and we know here at SHA that we are standing on the cusp of something new, waiting, and as David Whyte says in his poem (called ‘Waiting to Go On’),  

Just on the other

side of the door


is about to knock

and our life

is just

about to change…

We can never be sure what is around the corner, who is about to enter our lives, what is about to change. Holding uncertainty is such a huge part of life and we see examples of this all around us in our communities and in our world on both small and large scales every day. It can be overwhelming. Our health and wellbeing depend on our capacity to pay attention to our whole selves, the physical, social, mental and spiritual dimensions of our lives. We know that peoples’ spirituality can be a source of meaning, hope, purpose and connection, and that is why high-quality and safe spiritual care should be available to everyone in our healthcare system.

Our life is about to change and we’re not sure yet what that will look like. That is exciting and somewhat scary. As we wait it is so important not to lose sight of what is right here in front of us in this moment. At SHA we wait and, in the waiting, we are both preparing for the ‘what next’ and continuing with the ‘what is’: trialling the National Model for Spiritual Care in Health across eleven health services; research on the contribution of spiritual care in the mental health sector; development of key messages from our Spiritual Health Lived Experience Advisory Group; consultation to health services; presentations to key stakeholders; network meetings; social media campaigns and advocacy.

I want to publicly thank the team at SHA for their passion for, and commitment to this work. Thank you also to those of you who every day are the public face, the hands and heart of spiritual care in our health sector.

May your celebrations and gatherings over the coming months be joy-filled. See you in 2024.

Cheryl Holmes, CEO

Click here to read our November eNews.
To receive our monthly e-news, click here to subscribe.