Welcome to the CHS Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Team
Welcome to the Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care home page, giving details of pastoral, spiritual and religious care at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust. The Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Team in Croydon Healthcare Services exists to offer pastoral, spiritual and religious care to all patients, relatives and staff regardless of their beliefs.
Our Chaplaincy & Spiritual Care Team are here to support the pastoral, spiritual and religious needs of or patients, family, friends, staff and volunteers.
We provide this care to people of all faiths and beliefs. We are located in the Woodcroft Wing ground floor yellow zone and our offices are open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays). You can contact them on 020 8401 3105 or 4015. However, we are on call 24/7/365 days a year and can be contacted out of hours through our switchboard on 020 8401 3000 asking for the on call chaplain.
We have two full time Chaplains:
St Barnabas Chapel
St Barnabas Chapel, the Hospital Chapel, is a freestanding building near to the Post Graduate Medical Centre and the Woodcroft Road entrance to Croydon University Hospital.
It is open daily for peace and prayer and is used by patients, visitors and staff of all faiths and none. It is accessible to wheelchair users.
Currently the chapel is the only dedicated place of prayer and reflection within the hospital – we do not have a multi-faith prayer room . Accordingly members of all faith communities are made welcome and provision made for their prayer (Muslim prayer mats are available for example as well as the scriptures of most of the main faiths).
When the Chapel is locked our security team can be approached to open it for families in times of need.
Role of the chaplain
The role of the hospital chaplain has changed and developed over the years.
A plaque in the Chapel commemorates an earlier Chaplain, Revd John Webster Marsden Williams, who worked at Mayday in the 1930’s. Two of his ‘work logs’ (see photograph) still survive indicating that the majority of his work was religious and sacramental and those he was caring for, both staff and patients, almost exclusively Christian.
Today’s hospital chaplains continue to fulfil a religious and sacramental role but their remit is now far wider than anything Revd. Williams could have imagined. We hope that the following information will answer some of the questions you might have about chaplaincy within an acute hospital such as Croydon University Hospital set in the culturally diverse setting that is Croydon.
Role of chaplains today
Chaplains are here to help NHS Trusts fulfil their obligations to ensure that the privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs of all their patients are respected. Their basic role is to be involved in the provision of holistic care – that is care which includes not only a person’s physical health but also their social, emotional and spiritual health or well being.
Chaplains are there to provide help and support to a diversity of people. Such support may focus on the emotional or spiritual adjustment to illness or on an individuals search for meaning and purpose during a difficult time. Chaplains are regularly involved in offering support during crisis situations as well as on-going care and encouragement during recovery.
Ministry to patients is the Chaplain’s prime responsibility but care and support for relatives and friends is another important part of the role. Caring for and visiting a loved one in hospital, especially during times of suffering and uncertainty, is costly and through providing a space for the needs of carers to be heard and addressed Chaplains try to make a difference. The hospital staff are another major area of pastoral responsibility for the chaplain.
Today the following are just part of a role that continues to broaden to address the spiritual and emotional needs of the 21st century:
- Religious and sacramental care
- Pastoral Care & Counselling
- Co-ordinating religious & spiritual care for all faith communities within the hospital
- Provision of resources on ethical issues
- Crisis support
- Bereavement care
- Training opportunities on areas of religious and spiritual care and ethical issues.
Services in the Chapel
Important update: Many of the services below are suspended or changed while we make adjustments to protect as many people as possible from the Covid-19 coronavirus. As we are unable to conduct public acts of worship in the St Barnabas Worship Centre, we are setting up a Prayer board in the Centre for people to come along and write on post-it notes any open prayers that they would like to put up. For patients who would normally go to chapel for Communion, we will be bring to them on the ward along with other patients and staff. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please contact us if you have any questions.
A number of services are held throughout the week for patients and their visitors.
On Sunday mornings there is a service of Holy Communion led by one of the Chaplains. All patients, visitors and staff are welcome to attend. The service usually lasts up to an hour and is followed by refreshments for those who wish to stay.
A Roman Catholic Eucharistic minister is always present so that Catholics attending the service can receive the reserved sacrament from the Tabernacle.
Help getting to the Chapel
A team of Chaplaincy Volunteers can provide wheelchair transport to and from the Chapel. If inpatients would like this assistance, please contact the Chaplaincy Office (020 8401 3105) and leave details of the patient’s name and ward. You can also ask a member of the ward staff to notify the chaplain.
For patients too unwell to come to the chapel the sacrament can be brought to them on the ward. Depending on their denomination a member of the R.C. or Anglican Eucharistic Ministry teams, will visit. Most bedside communions take place on a Saturday or Sunday but patients can request holy communion on any day. To request bedside communion please contact the Chaplain (020 8401 3105) giving details of the patient’s name, denomination and ward. You can also ask a member of the ward staff to notify the chaplain.
Morning prayer is said on weekdays around 9.30am. All are welcome to attend.
Roman Catholic Mass
Mass is usually celebrated in Chapel on major feast days and on Mondays during Lent. For details please contact the Chaplaincy Office (020 8401 3105).
Thanksgiving after birth
We offer a short service of thanksgiving at the bedside for parents rejoicing in the safe arrival of a new baby. Contact the Chaplain to arrange a convenient time for you (020 8401 3105). Parents are welcome to contact us before coming into hospital to discuss the service.
The chaplaincy provides a number of other services and forms of prayer ministry both in Chapel and at the bedside including:
- Prayer for healing with anointing
- The Sacrament of the Sick (for Catholic patients)
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Thanksgiving for Recovery
The Chapel may also be used by patients and staff for special occasions such as the renewal of marriage vows, the blessing of a marriage, naming ceremonies, thanksgiving and memorial services.
Our Remembrance book
The oak cabinet beside the altar contains a Book of Remembrance which recalls the names of babies and children who have died.
The Book is turned daily to display the correct date. If, however, you wish to see a special date, keys are kept in the chaplaincy office and with the Hospital Security.
If you would like your baby’s name to be recorded in the Book of Remembrance please contact us. We will need the following information:
- The name to be entered
- The date of the entry
- Your name and contact details
- Your relationship to the deceased
Our calligrapher usually enters new names 3 times a year, before our Butterfly Services in May and September and just before Christmas.
The Butterfly Service
Two special services of remembering and thanksgiving are held in the chapel each year on a Sunday afternoon in May and September.
The service provides an opportunity for parents to remember the children they have loved who have died. In music, song and prayer, in the lighting of candles and the roll call of names the memory of each child is celebrated. All are welcome no matter how recent, or how long ago, your loss.
Free parking will be available in ‘Chapel Lane’ behind the Chapel.
To find out more or to request that your child's name be included in the roll call please contact the Chaplain on 020 8401 3105.
The Christmas Tree of Memory and Hope
Each year a small tree, decorated is silver and white, is set up by the Book of Remembrance. Stars are available for parents visiting the chapel to write their child’s name on a star and place it on the tree.
Our flower arranger can arrange flowers on a pedestal near the Book of Remembrance for your child’s anniversary – contact us on 020 8401 3105 to arrange this. You are also most welcome to bring your own flowers to place in chapel.
We work very closely with our Bereavement services which, for over 15 years, have offered support to the relatives and friends of those who die in Croydon University Hospital. The services offer an opportunity to work through some of the painful emotions and difficulties following the death of a loved one in a confidential and supportive environment.
Croydon University Hospital has two full time Chaplains who work Trust wide and are available to see anyone (patients, relatives, carers or staff) who has a need or concern.
The Chaplains are normally on site Monday – Friday from 8am – 5pm and on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
There is a Chaplain on call at all other times.
We also have a large team of honorary chaplains. The Roman Catholic team is co-ordinated by Fr. Len Tatt and Sr Sheila, our Roman Catholic Sister, is on site four mornings a week.
Each ward has its own ecumenical ward chaplain who visits once a week.
There is also a team of Roman Catholic Priests and Eucharistic ministers drawn from local parishes who visit each ward on a weekly basis.
There is always a Roman Catholic Priest on call for emergencies.
To contact a chaplain or a local leader of other faiths:
Monday – Friday 9am– 5pm 020 8401 3105 (or hospital extension 3105). There is an answerphone.
Out of Hours: Via the Hospital Switchboard 020 8401 3000 (or hospital extension 0)
- Lead for Chaplaincy and Bereavement Services: Revd. Andrew Dovey
- Ecumenical Chaplain: Revd. Lymbert Douglas
- Roman Catholic Co-ordinator: Fr. Len Tatt
- Roman Catholic Sister: Sr. Sheila Moloney
- Tel: 020 8401 3105
Please contact us if you would like a copy of our leaflet: ‘Spiritual & Religious Care in Croydon Health Services or if you are a member of the clergy and would like our booklet: ‘Chaplaincy in Croydon University Hospital’.
There are four distinct groups of Chaplaincy Volunteers:
The Ward Chaplains
Our ward chaplains are assigned to a ward each and have the responsibility for visiting weekly on that ward. Theirs is an unhurried bed-to-bed ministry contacting and befriending those with faith and those without, offering a confidential listening ear and pastoral and spiritual care.
Ward chaplains are drawn from a variety of Christian denominations. To become a member of the team individuals must:
- Complete the initial training course (over 10 weeks) satisfactorily
- Be accepted by the hospital after a six month probationary period
- Be accepted by the full time chaplains as suitable and safe people to practice
- Have written recommendation from their own priest/minister
- Be willing to undertake ongoing training in the role
- Adhere to the Healthcare Chaplaincy Professional Code of Conduct
- Attend a Trust Volunteer Induction Day
- Have DBS clearance through the hospital.
Details of the chaplains on each ward are displayed outside the chaplaincy office, in the hospital chapel and on each ward.
Usually ward chaplains visit once a week and attend an evening training session each month.
Two of our team are pictured here at one of the training evenings.
There are currently no vacancies for ward chaplains but to find out more information or to be placed on the waiting list for future training courses please contact the Chaplains on 020 8401 3015.
The Eucharistic Ministers
Our Eucharistic ministry team members are drawn mainly from the Roman Catholic and Church of England Churches. They visit, usually at weekends, to take the sacrament to the bedside of those too unwell to attend the Chapel Service. Such ministry is both a privilege and a responsibility calling for people of prayer and sensitivity.
Those wishing to be Eucharistic Ministers must fulfil the requirements of their denomination and have the written recommendation of their own priest. Church of England Eucharistic Ministers may also need the approval of their parochial church council.
All Eucharistic Ministers must have attended a Trust Volunteer Induction Day. They also need a DBS clearance.
The RC team are supervised and supported by Fr Francis Moran and Sr Sheila, the Anglican team by the full time chaplains and undergo such initial and ongoing training as is felt appropriate. The role is specified fully in the job description and contract and all Eucharistic Ministers agree to abide by a strict code of confidentiality.
The Sunday Chapel Volunteers
Our Sunday Chapel Volunteers usually commit to a Sunday each month arriving at the hospital around 9.15 to collect patients from the wards and bring them in wheelchairs to the Chapel. Volunteers have pastoral responsibility for patients during the service attending to their practical needs, serving tea/coffee after the service and then returning the patients to their wards. The role is specified fully in the job description and contract and all Sunday Chapel Volunteers agree to abide by a strict code of confidentiality. All Sunday Chapel Volunteers must have attended a Trust Volunteer Induction Day and need DBS clearance.
Our musicians commit themselves to a Sunday each month and provide the music for the service accompanying the hymns and playing during other parts of the liturgy. At the moment we have pianists, guitarists and singers among our volunteers. All Chapel Musicians need a DBS clearance.
For further information on any aspect of Chaplaincy Volunteer work in Croydon University Hospital please contact 020 8401 3105
Chaplaincy visiting teams
Hindu visiting team
The Hindu visiting team was first commissioned in May 2005, Croydon University Hospital being one of the first hospitals in the country to have such a team.
Each member of the Hindu team has undergone a training course (10 weeks) and is recognised by their own community and by the hospital as representatives of the Hindu faith.
A member of the Hindu team is usually on site on Tuesday and Saturday mornings and may be contacted at other times through the Chaplaincy Office.
The team are here to support and encourage all our Hindu patients and their families. They are also able to offer advice around religious ritual, for example the arrangements for the funeral of a loved one. They have access to copies of the Hindu Scriptures and other devotional material which may be borrowed during a hospital admission.
Muslim visiting team
By arrangement with the Croydon Mosque and Islamic Centre we have two Muslim visiting teams at Croydon University Hospital, one for male Muslim patients and one for female Muslim patients.
The Imams may also be called in emergencies, via the Hospital Chaplaincy or the Hospital Switchboard (020 8401 3000).
Sikh visiting team
We have a small Sikh visiting team who as well as visiting patients within the hospital organise an annual act of worship in the Chapel. Part of a national initiative by Sikh Chaplaincy UK, this is an occasion when the Sikh community gather in our hospital chapel to offer prayer for all who are ill whatever their religion or belief.
Patients may request a visit from one of the Sikh visiting team by speaking to the Ward Sister or by contacting the Chaplaincy office on 020 8401 3105.
Croydon University Hospital
530 London road,
Croydon CR7 7YE
Tel: 020 8401 3105 (direct line) or 020 8401 3000 (via switchboard)