Hospital chaplaincy

Hospital chaplaincy presents an opportunity to minister to patients, staff and relatives and to be a prophetic voice within a secular institution.

It is at the cutting edge of ministry, often touching peoples' lives at times of great crisis and pain. Of the 400 whole time chaplains in the UK, there are 300 full time and 1500 part-time chaplains.

Today hospital professionals are beginning to understand the importance a patient's spiritual life plays in their recovery or coping with a crisis.

Chaplains are part of the staff team and are appointed by the Hospital Trust. They have pastoral responsibility towards all patients and their relatives regardless of whether the patient is religious or not.

The size of the chaplaincy team varies. Cottage hospitals have part-time chaplains who are "on call" when they are not "on site". Larger hospitals have teams of chaplains representing the Anglican, Catholic and Free Church traditions. Patients who are members of other great world faith traditions can request to see their named spiritual advisor.

The Hospital Chaplain makes daily rounds and is available 24 hours a day to patients, family members and staff. Not being a conventional member of the healthcare team or of the patient's family, the Chaplain can objectively provide crisis intervention counseling and support.

In the often stressful and demanding hospital environment, the Chaplain is an understanding friend and confidant, who provides a listening ear and a pastoral point of view for the staff. Staff members who have no minister of their own often seek the Chaplain's counsel, especially during times of personal family need. 

Download GMCC Guildelines for Faith Representatives.

See individual hospitals for details. Clergy should contact their relevant Archdeaon.

Prison Chaplaincy

Prision chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and faith communities.

Chaplains from a wide range of faith traditions work with the Prison Service, including Buddhist, Church of England, Free Church, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Sikh. Chaplains are appointed on the basis of their skills and competences and to meet the need of prisons and their particular population. The nature of the work to be done will also determine whether to appoint a permanent employee or engage a Chaplain on a fee paid basis.

See individual prisions for details.

Clergy should contact their relevant Archdeaon.

National site here

Airport Chaplaincy

Manchester Airport's chaplain, the Revd George Lane, heads up a chaplaincy that serves 20,000 staff.

The chaplaincy team provides support, care and counselling to the travelling public as well as the staff that work for the shops, airlines, fire and police services, baggage handling and immigration centre. This involves providing a listening ear to employees who may have no one else to talk things through with.

For more information on the chaplaincy, visit

Army Chaplaincy

For centuries the Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RAChD) has ministered to soldiers in times of peace and war. We are proud to provide spiritual leadership, moral guidance and pastoral support to all soldiers and their families, irrespective of religion or belief.

Members of the RAChD are all fully ordained ministers sent into the Army with the authority of our various sending Churches. The wealth and diversity of experience that each chaplain brings helps create a department that is continually evolving at the cutting edge of multi-denominational and multi-faith ministry. Working together as a team lies at the heart of what it means to be an Army chaplain.

more here

Higher Education Chaplaincy

Higher Education chaplaincies are part of the vanguard of Christian mission to young people.

As generations of young people experience the daunting task of leaving school, many come from backgrounds of no Christian experience or encounter whatsoever.

This makes HE chaplaincy a genuinely ‘pioneer’ ministry: a place where the Church can embrace its missionary and propehetic calling to thousands of people willing to learn and experience new things.

Along with offering spiritual assistance, pastoral care, and confidential spaces to talk about the concerns, but also joys, of student life, HE chaplaincies assist with the all-round support of the student experience: understanding the oftentimes complex world of education and being able to direct students to practical help and advice.

Click here for more on HE Chaplaincy from the Diocesan Board of Education.

Visit the National Church site here.

Chaplain for deaf people

The Chaplain among Deaf People is the contact point for anyone who is Deaf, hard of hearing or deafened in Manchester Diocese. In Manchester, there are monthly services at deaf clubs, and in mental health units for Deaf people which are conducted in British Sign Language.

There are also Deaf/hearing integrated services at some hearing churches which are conducted in both speech and sign language, visits to Deaf people in prison, hospitals and schools.

The Chaplain can also give advice to priests who have a deaf or deafened person in their congregation, or what to do if a Deaf person wants a wedding, baptism or a funeral.

more here

Hospice Chaplaincy

Hospices aim to improve the quality of life of people living with life-limiting illness, which includes both cancer and other progressive disease, while also supporting their families and friends. Sometimes this involves care for people who are dying, but often it revolves around providing relief from pain, symptom control and offering respite care, as well as addressing any other concerns so that patients and their families and friends are able to ‘live well’.

In the Diocese of Manchester, there are eight adult hospices: St Ann’s (with sites at Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Cancer Care Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital), Willow Wood (Ashton-under-Lyne), Dr Kershaw’s (Oldham), Springhill (Rochdale), Rossendale Hospice, Bury Hospice, Bolton Hospice, and Wigan and Leigh Hospice (Hindley). There is one children’s hospice, Francis House.

The spiritual and religious care of patients is an important part of the holistic care that hospices provide. Each hospice (except Rossendale) has a coordinating Chaplain or spiritual care coordinator whose responsibility it is to see that the needs of patients, families, friends, staff and volunteers are met. They offer care and support to everyone within the hospice community, whether or not members of the community class themselves as ‘religious’.

For in-patients and their families who are members of a faith community, hospice chaplains actively encourage the individual’s own religious leaders to continue to support them while they are under hospice care through visitation, sacramental acts, etc., and are happy to work in partnership in order to ensure that people receive the spiritual and religious care that is appropriate for them. 

The Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains  
Help the Hospices