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The Golden Thread

The Golden Thread

Felicity Biggart | Pat Pilkington | Caroline Myss


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Pat Pilkington was co-founder of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, the first charity to offer a truly holistic approach to cancer care. In this memoir, completed when she knew she was approaching death, Pat tells her story; starting with her childhood, through the early days of the Centre to its growth into Penny Brohn Cancer Care, the globally influential institution it is today. Above all, she shares her own spiritual journey, her deep exploration of faith, love, and what lies at the core of each human life and each human death. She speaks to life, not just to cancer, and shows how the restoration of the human spirit is an essential part of holistic healing.

The Golden Thread of the title is the transcendent nature of love that runs though everything, awakening the potential to uplift, inspire, overcome and create anew, even in the face of severe adversity.

The Golden Thread is a companion to life and a talisman against fear. It is such an important book. Don't just read it, learn it,
Maureen Lipman, actress and author
Inspiring and exciting, this is a wonderful story of hope, courage and healing. If you have any interest in wellbeing and health, you must read this inside account by a crucial pioneer who helped transform our understanding of how to treat cancer, put compassion into action and celebrate the human spirit.
William Bloom, author of The Power of Modern Spirituality
Pat understood that, to reach towards spiritual wholeness, we need to embrace our unique journey and our unique being.
Timothy Freke, author of The Jesus Mysteries
The spiritual journey that the author describes, in a book written shortly before her death, tells of her reconciliation of Christian teaching and Anglican tradition with New Age ideas. She sees no contradiction in her understanding of the love of Christ with much New Age mysticism.
Review in Church Times, December 2015
Pat Pilkington MBE was co-founder, in 1980, of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, along with her friend Penny Brohn and her husband, Canon Christopher Pilkington. She was a true pioneer who helped to transform our understanding of how to treat cancer. She continued to support people with cancer until her death in 2013.
How faith and love move mountains to cooperate with human effort.
From the foreword by Caroline Myss, author of Sacred Contracts

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
The Golden Thread – A quiet revolution in holistic cancer care by Pat Pilkington, MBE 1
Introduction by Penny Brohn Cancer Care 7
Foreword by Caroline Myss 9
Chapter 1 - Where do we come from? 15
Chapter 2 - The Early Years 19
Chapter 3 - A Developing Spirituality, and a New Healing Centre 31
Chapter 4 - Tuning into Love 41
Chapter 5 - Heavy Burdens 49
Chapter 6 - The Birth of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre 57
Chapter 7 - Spiritual Work with Clients 67
Chapter 8 - Love and Fear 75
Chapter 9 - Love and Death 83
Chapter 10 - Dark Clouds Gather 89
Chapter 11 - A Sense of Connection 95
Chapter 12 - The Storm Breaks 101
Chapter 13 - Preparing for Death 107
Chapter 14 - Going Home 113
Chapter 15 - The Move to Ham Green House 121
Chapter 16 - The Golden Thread 127
A last word from Pat 133
Reflections on the final weeks of Pat’s life, written by her daughter, Felicity Biggart 135
Remembering Pat, by Michael Connors 141
Learning to Live Well 147
References 149
Bibliography 151
Acknowledgements 157