Bishop Terry gave his blessing to what is thought to be the first NHS chaplaincy leadership of its kind during a visit to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Deacon Len Collings, from Blessed Nicholas Postgate Parish, Redcar, has been appointed as one of two joint lead chaplains for the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, alongside Baptist minister Rodney Breckon.
Deacon Len has been the Roman Catholic chaplain at James Cook for the last seven years, while Reverend Rodney has been a member of the chaplaincy team at both James Cook and the Friarage Hospital Northallerton for more than 20 years.
As well as these two hospitals, the new team will be responsible for chaplaincy provision at the trust’s hospitals in Redcar, Guisborough, Brotton and Richmond.
Deacon Len said he was humbled and honoured to be appointed to such a rewarding role and is excited at the prospect of taking the team forward alongside Reverend Rodney.
During his visit, Bishop Terry enjoyed chatting to patients and staff on several wards, before the short blessing ceremony in the hospital chapel.