What is a Chaplain?
Chaplains are employed by the health service to give spiritual and religious care and can be Christian, Muslim, Hindu or from any faith.
Chaplains are recognised and authorised by their faith community as having the knowledge and experience to give this kind of care.
They are there for people of all faiths and none.
Who can see a Chaplain?
Anybody! Chaplains really are available to talk to anybody about anything. They offer support to service users, carers and staff and are available to people in hospital and to those receiving services in the community. They are certainly not just there for religious people and they will never try to impose their own beliefs or their morality on you.
You can trust a Chaplain to listen to you and not judge you.
Why would I want to see a Chaplain?
Sometimes when you have a question and somebody doesn’t know the answer they say “God knows”. When you have that kind of question it might be time to talk to a Chaplain. Almost everybody has deep questions about the meaning of life, about what happens after death, about whether or not there is a God, or about issues which are more ‘everyday’ but no less important. If you talk to a Chaplain about these things, they will not impose their beliefs on you, but help you to think about the questions for yourself.
Even if you are not particularly religious, there might be a time when you would like somebody to pray with or for you, to bring you Communion, to give you a prayer mat and point you in the direction of Makkah, or make contact with a leader from your own faith.
Maybe you don’t really know why you want to speak to a Chaplain, but think it might help. Whatever your reason, chaplains are there to support you.
How can I practice my faith whilst I am in hospital?
If you are a follower of any faith, then it is important that you are able to practice it while you are in hospital. Chaplains hold services in the prayer rooms of our bigger hospitals and on the wards if requested to do so. They can provide Holy books, such as the Bible, the Qu’ran or the Vedas. They have prayer mats and compasses. They can put you in contact with faith leaders and talk to other members of staff about your needs.
Is anything I say to a Chaplain confidential?
Chaplains will always treat what you say to them with utmost respect and care.
They will not normally record or discuss any of the content of your conversation, unless they believe that there is a risk to yourself or someone else. If, however, you wish them to record any part of your conversation they are happy to do that.
How can I contact a Chaplain?
If you are an impatient somewhere, members of staff on the ward will be able to contact a chaplain for you. If you are receiving services at home in the community, your care co-ordinator will be able to make an appointment for you to meet with a chaplain at a suitable location for you.
Real Life Experience
If you'd like to share your experiences of talking with a chaplain or using the chaplaincy service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org