They are nothing special. Just small knitted squares of about 4in by 4in in various colours.

And if you look carefully there is a small embossed symbol – a cross – knitted in the centre.

What is it you ask? Well, it is one of our prayer squares. These are knitted by people at local churches and are available from the Chaplaincy.

There is a sign which goes along with them: “These prayer squares have been knitted for you! Prayer was said before the knitting started, during the knitting and when the square was finished. Please take a square for yourself or a loved on to remember that you are loved by God, whatever your situation!”

And the volunteers offer them to people who want one when they visit the wards.

I’m always in two minds about the squares; probably because I don’t really understand their attraction. But I know that patients do.

So the other day a staff member came to my office. I hadn’t seen her for a while and, after catching up, she told me that her relative had received a prayer square whilst in hospital. Sadly the patient deteriorated but my friend told, through the tears, this story.

“She held the prayer square all the time and it seemed to give her comfort and be important to her. In fact, if she dropped the square on the floor she became agitated until it was placed again in her hands.”

So you see, this simple knitted square brought comfort at the end of someone’s life; something which perhaps drugs could not bring.

And this is one story out of many; very often we will get notes or cards thanking us for the squares and the way they affected people. So, it doesn’t matter if I don’t get what they are about.

What really matters is that here is another simple idea which can bring people comfort in some of their darkest times.

It’s nothing special I guess, just a simple little knitted square. But it can become something very special in the hands of those who receive it.

READ MORE: You can't manage another person's grief