2017 marked one hundred years since Holy Cross Hospital came to Haslemere. We held a number of celebrations to commemorate our centenary of service in healthcare.
Holy Cross Hospital’s history
The Hospital traces its history back to Blessed Marie Thérèse Haze who was born in Belgium and who, in 1833, received permission to form a religious congregation devoted to works of charity.
The Sisters first came to establish communities in England in the 1860s. During the First World War, a safer location was needed for a TB sanatorium that had been opened in Ramsgate, Kent some years earlier. In December 1916, the Congregation became the new owner of Shottermill Hall in Haslemere and 33 acres of land.
The care provided at Holy Cross has reflected the times. It started out as a tuberculosis sanatorium until the 1950s when it became a small general hospital. It then became a specialist hospital for oral and facial surgery and a centre for treating people with drug and alcohol addiction. Since 1991, Holy Cross has specialised as a hospital for people with severe and complex neurological conditions.
Over 100 years, the Hospital evolved to meet changing needs but the underlying ethos that only the best is good enough for people in need of care has remained.
To find out more about the Hospital’s remarkable journey, download a souvenir copy of the Hospital’s history.
How we celebrated our centenary
Celebration of Mass
Our anniversary year got off to a memorable start thanks to a celebration of Mass led by the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton. The Right Reverend Bishop Richard Moth was joined by former parish priests Father Anthony Lovegrove and Father Chris Benyon, in giving thanks for the dedication of staff and supporters, past and present, and the many people who have been helped and cared for in the last 100 years.
A musical celebration
The Committee of the Friends of Holy Cross organised a fantastic centenary celebration concert in June. The audience was treated to breath-taking performances by five internationally acclaimed musicians.
Vivaldi, a hog for all seasons
To mark 100 years of serving the Haslemere community, we took part in a community event called Haslemere Hogs.
The project saw local artists and schools decorating 60 fibreglass hogs that were displayed around the town. The weekly patient art group decorated our hog with a botanical theme. Each quarter represents one of the four seasons, which is how it came to be named Vivaldi!
Thanks to the generosity of our contractor Commercial Grounds Care and Porky White Sausages, we were able to buy our hog. Vivaldi is on permanent display in our entrance porch and is being enjoyed by many.
We hosted an exhibition at Haslemere Museum, which included pictures and commentary from our archives and told the story of how the Hospital came to Haslemere and how it adapted and evolved from a TB sanatorium.
Lecture on tuberculosis and the sanatorium movement
Historian of medicine and science, and author of ‘Spitting Blood: the history of tuberculosis’, Helen Bynum presented a free lecture called A Design for Living. The lecture took place in September at Haslemere Museum and was about tuberculosis in the context of the history of the sanatorium movement.
A jolly reunion
We had a lovely time celebrating our centenary with past and present members of staff. Thank you to everybody who shared their memories about working at Holy Cross.
Official opening of our new learning and development centre
HRH Princess Alexandra officially opened our new learning and development centre in October 2017. The centre has been designed to provide the best possible setting for today’s staff and future generations to learn, enquire and encourage each other to improve the specialised services the Hospital offers. St Hugh’s education centre has been named after St Hugh who is a former Bishop of Lincoln and the patron saint of sick children and sick people.
The first conference to be held in the new learning and development centre was on the theme of supporting families of patients with a disorder of consciousness or very severe brain injury.
We were proud to bring together leading practitioners and academics from around the UK to share their knowledge and expertise with an audience of healthcare professionals and therapists.
One hundred years to the day since the first patients arrived at Holy Cross Hospital, we concluded our centenary celebrations with a reception for staff, patients and supporters, including the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux and Deputy Mayor of Haslemere, Councillor David Round on 21 February 2018.
Memories about Holy Cross
Holy Cross has touched the lives of many local people. During our centenary year, we asked for contributions of memories from anyone who has had contact with Holy Cross Hospital in years past.
We received some wonderful stories and have compiled them into a memory collection for you to enjoy.
Never out of breath
Promoting independence and improving patients’ quality of life have always been important values at Holy Cross. Nearly 25 years since the current Hospital was built, we have adapted patients’ rooms and installed piped oxygen and suction.
Never Out of Breath was a complex project, and its planning and design took over two years. The fundraising target was £210,000 and thanks to past donations to the Hospital and the Friends and the great generosity of recent donations, we reached the target.