Hospital Chaplains – a clinical need?
Libby Purves writes in the Times Online:
Interesting debate opened up by Theos – their research shows major cutbacks in hospital chaplain services. No cause, they say, for secularist triumphalism: chaplains do not primarily exist to offer prayers or communion but “to answer needs that are simply human: coping with the death of a loved one, the suffering of a child, the fear that comes with injury or sickness …”
Yet another example of how religion is irrelevant when it comes to meeting people’s “human” needs. If Christian chaplains “do not primarily exist to offer prayers or communion”, their role could be filled by anyone with the right attributes. So why are they paid from the public purse (though they complain there aren’t enough of them), while there’s no public money for Humanist hospital visitors.
Which reminds me; I must fill in the forms for the Criminal Records Bureau check they want at the local hospital so I can become a bona fide Humanist hospital visitor.