Archbishop visits Rugby's Bacco Lounge to talk about dying

Archbishop Welby opened the event with a talk.
Archbishop Welby opened the event with a talk.

We talk rarely talk about death, said the Archbishop of Canterbury during a visit to Rugby’s Bacco Lounge on Thursday, May 3.

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust hosted an event to explore the subject of dying with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby.

Left to right: Francis Tyler (SWFT chaplain), John Stroyan (Bishop of Warwick), Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) and Tammy Neale.

Left to right: Francis Tyler (SWFT chaplain), John Stroyan (Bishop of Warwick), Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury) and Tammy Neale.

Speaking to a packed room at the Bacco Lounge, Archbishop Welby said: “What you’re talking about is so important.

“I’ll repeat what people have said before – in the Victorian era they never talked about sex and always talked about death, whereas now we always talk about sex and never talk about death.”

He said end-of-life care has changed beyond all recognition during his lifetime and it continues to do so.

After drawing on his own experience of losing a child, the Archbishop made his way around the top floor of the restaurant, talking to guests who themselves have experience with end-of-life care.

Archbishop Welby meets Tammy Neale.

Archbishop Welby meets Tammy Neale.

One of those speaking with the Archbishop was Tammy Neale, who shared her insights and praised the support she received from NHS staff when her child died.

Tammy explained how her experience will benefit others after it motivated her to train as a paediatric nurse, ready to care for children once she is qualified.

Archbishop Welby thanked healthcare staff for the role they play supporting people through death.

A spokesperson for South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said the aim of the event at the restaurant was: “To help facilitate conversations around death and promote passionate communities.”

Archbishop Welby meets an NHS worker.

Archbishop Welby meets an NHS worker.

Thursday’s event in Rugby was part of the Archbishop’s tour of the diocese, which also saw him visit Southam (where he was a vicar) that afternoon. He also visited the Houlton development’s St Gabriel’s CofE Academy.