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Meet Rev Cannon Andrew Dotchin

Listen to Andrew's interview with Rachel Sloane here on his role in the community in Felixstowe:
Andrew Dotchin Photo By Michale Clarke V2

Photo: Michaele Clarke

Andrew Dotchin Photo By Michaele Clarke
Supporting residents in Felixstowe

The Rev Cannon Andrew Dotchin moved from an estate in Ipswich to Felixstowe to be the parish priest at St Johns Church six years ago. He loves living in the town and feels that Felixstowe is a good place for a Compassionate Community.

“People come to Felixstowe because it is a place where there is more space. But it’s easier to forget you have a neighbour. Parts of Felixstowe are financially on the top of the country, but other parts are in the bottom 10%. Generally, it’s a town where people have resources in finances but also time. Felixstowe is famous, or infamous, for the number of community groups here, and there are lots of people of good heart who want to make our town better.

One of the challenges of contemporary society is that we used to have communities of place with families around the corner, but now we have communities of interest, the gym, golf course or toddler group, and it’s easier to lose sight of the people around you who can support you, in times of need."

"It’s been challenging at a time of Covid with the number of funerals, which has been immense. There’s also a great deal of online work I’ve been doing supporting the immediately bereaved, and afterwards.”

How does Compassionate Conversations free awareness training help us to know what to say to the bereaved or those approaching the end of their life?

“There is a language of grief with some fairly basic dos and don’ts. The biggest one is when someone is telling you about their situation is “I know exactly how you feel’. No, you don’t!  It’s my feelings! It’s not about the person who is doing the comforting. You wait for the person to say what they need to say.

Grief takes time and doesn’t come in any particular order. The biggest thing to realise, when helping the bereaved, is that the loneliest time is six months in. Earlier there’s a lot of attention and adrenaline that helps them cope. At six or seven months everything is done – and that’s when we need friends.”

Get involved with Compassionate Conversations by joining a session here.

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