Chat with a Chaplain
Tell us a bit about yourself Bruce…
I have been married for 42 years to my wife, Carol. We have two married daughters and two grandsons aged 14 and 15. The older grandson is now taller than me! We started our lives in South Africa but have been in Australia for just over 10 years living in the likes of Karratha, Port Hedland, Bunbury and now the beautiful city of Perth. I started with Bethanie’s amazing chaplaincy team at the end of 2017. I have been fortunate enough to have spent time at Bethanie Beachside as an intern, with Bethanie’s Community in the North including Living Well Centre’s and those clients living north of the river and now Bethanie Como. I took my last role just as COVID struck.
What inspired you to become a chaplain at Bethanie?
I worked as a carer for three service providers over five years. The need for spiritual care was obvious, especially where no chaplaincy was available to residents. My first step towards chaplaincy was a discussion with the Chaplain at the Wearne Nursing home at the time who then pointed me in the direction of Bethanie’s Mission Manager, David Van Leen.
What do you find the most rewarding about your role?
Having the opportunity to fill the gap mentioned above – providing spiritual care to residents, their families and staff. Spiritual care is not necessarily linked to a religion or set of beliefs. It is more person-centric and looks at what is most important to each individual and introduces or maintains activities to achieve that special meaning in life.
As a Chaplain, what is the most important thing you do to support your clients?
Fortunately, 99.9% of my time interacting with people involves listening. Most folk in our care do not have easy access to a listening ear. It is my privilege to step into a variety of life experiences and fascinating stories that deserve to be told and heard.
Is there a particular story or experience that has made you realise the impact of your work?
How much time do you have?