Chaplain’s Chat: Legacy

They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master. One of Carinity’s longest serving hospital chaplains, the late Mr Gordon Dobbin, went to be with the Lord in January. Gordon invested hundreds of thousands of hours visiting more than 80,000 people at the Princess Alexandra Hospital over 25 years as a Carinity chaplain.

And yet, his celebration service at City Tabernacle reflected someone determined to be considered a servant rather than a master, further demonstrating Gordon’s humble attitude in all that he did.

In 1986, Gordon underwent major surgery which resulted in him being in a coma for several months. His family was told that he would likely not wake up due to the complications in the surgery. By the grace of God, Gordon did wake up and slowly recovered over the following months.

Without whinging or complaining about his own frail health, during his recovery and rehabilitation, Gordon developed a passion and calling to minister to the hospital community. Gordon began walking through the wards and sitting with staff, patients, and family members, listening to their stories and asking questions. He would finish by simply asking if he could pray for them.

Eight months after his initial surgery he was released from hospital, but he returned soon after with a CHAPLAIN badge. He filled the role for over 25 years, even receiving an OAM for his volunteer service!

The celebration service of Gordon’s life was touching because the life and legacy of a humble man passionate about caring for others was a testimony to his Christian faith. Jesus praised people like Gordon in Matthew 25:35-36 when He said, “I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink…I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”

Carinity chaplains strive to be the embodiment of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25 and personally, my hope would be that one day the Master allows my life to reflect something like Gordon’s legacy, to continue the work of Jesus visiting and caring for those around me.

DAN LYONS, Director of Mission


Read more stories from Belong: Summer 2023 | Edition 29