Tuesday 14th May 2024 2 till 4pm

Join us in the  orangery and garden at Tangerine Cafe in Beaminster for a delicious cream tea and a fascinating talk by Judy Dinnen, a retired Church of England minister with many years  experience at home and abroad as a hospital chaplain. The book is published by our sister company, Poetry Space Ltd. Don’t miss it. This will be an inspiring and moving afternoon.

A bit of background to the publishing of  A Patchwork of Stories

I think Judy was surprised when I wanted to publish her book as I am not a religious person, however when I read it I knew that these stories and poems needed to be heard. In every encounter within the book, Judy seeks to find the human being inside the frail or damaged body or mind.  When speech is not possible she finds an alternative way to communicate. Some of the encounters are brief and occur both inside and outside institutional environments.  Judy listens, she offers a prayer, or a poem, sometimes writing something specifically for that person or that occasion.


This poem tells the story of another small moment in hospital life. Violet sat on the chair beside her bed and, as I approached, she told me she was cold. The nurses were very busy, so I was asked to fetch a blanket for her. I took a white cellular blanket from the store and brought it to her. Placing it over her somehow felt quite special, as described in this poem.


The Blanket Prays


‘I’m tired’ she says ‘and cold’.

Her small frame, bird like,

still, in pink frills;

eyes closed in search of sleep,

skin crumpled, chilled, arms and legs bare.


‘I’m tired’ she says ‘and cold’.

I fetch a blanket,

unfurl it like words of prayer.

I spread its wings over her

small body, over knees and toes.


It encases her like an embrace.

It embraces her like a soft whisper;

covers her like the love of angels,

silent words of comfort and warmth.


‘Thank you’ she murmurs

under the soft white wings.

She closes her eyes,

finds the peace

of  angel dreams.




The role of the hospital chaplain is paramount in assisting the patient and carer. Through her writing, Judy found novel ways of fulfilling this difficult duty. Judy also writes about her own battle with cancer and this places her in a unique position of understanding suffering and the need for spiritual succour. 

Leela Gautam, retired doctor and poet

This is a heartfelt book: stories, poetry, pain, peace all find their place here. Dip in for a thoughtful moment. Dive in, and feel it weave its wisdom around you. A gem.

Kathryn Mannix, palliative care doctor, writer and broadcaster