Hospital Chaplains needed - reminder

from Paul Walker, EPUT Lead Chaplain – St Margaret’s Hospital / Basildon Mental Health Unit

Paul has asked TT to recirculate this training opportunity to any who may be interested.

"We are holding an initial training course at Basildon starting 9 January," says Paul, "then a further training course based in Epping from April and probably back at Basildon in the autumn."

Briefly the need is -
Volunteers are urgently needed at the Basildon & Thurrock Mental Health Unit to provide friendship and spiritual support to patients ( & staff). Volunteers do not have to be ordained , (although ministers are very welcome ) , but would be expected to have the support of their Church / Faith group. Full training , DBS etc will be provided and funded by the Health Trust.
Please see below volunteer information, which can be circulated, and also a poster for display.
Essex MS logoMany thanks
Paul Walker

Rev Paul R Walker (RMN) BSc (Hons)
EPUT Lead Chaplain – St Margaret’s Hospital / Basildon Mental Health Unit
The Chapel, St Margaret’s Hospital, The Plain, Epping, Essex CM16 6TN
Multi Faith Prayer Room, Nethermayne, Basildon, Essex SS16 5NL
Tel: 07974 988572   
NHS bannerEmail:

Chaplaincy Volunteers are trained lay visitors whose help complements the work of the chaplains by assisting with the spiritual and social support of those in hospital. Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds, but all enjoy spending time with people on a one-to-one basis.

When people are admitted to hospital (whether during an emergency or planned) they often have time to reflect and reassess their attitudes to life, their values, relationships, morals, and beliefs. The Hospital Chaplains are frequently people to whom patients and staff turn at such times of need or crisis. We work as part of the healing team in the hospital in conjunction with doctors, nurses and other therapists.

Chaplaincy Volunteers will play an important part within the Chaplaincy Department. Some may “adopt” a ward and spend time utilising an unhurried bed-to-bed ministry contacting and befriending those with faith and those without, or even those who are some where in the middle. Chaplaincy volunteers may also help in varied chaplaincy activities around the wards or in other situations that may arise.

Applying to be a Volunteer
Local people can become approved Chaplaincy Volunteers if they:

  • Have completed the initial training course (over nine weeks);
  • Are accepted by the hospital as voluntary workers;
  • Are accepted by the Chaplains as suitable and safe people to practise;
  • Are accepted following interview by a small panel from the Chaplaincy Dept and local Health Trust;
  • Have written recommendation from their local minister or spiritual leader;
  • Are willing to undertake ongoing training in the role.

For further information about becoming a Chaplaincy Volunteer please contact the Chaplaincy Department (see below). You might also want to discuss your thoughts with your local minister or spiritual leader. We hope that those who come forward for training as volunteers will do so with the full support of their home church or faith group.

Initial training to be a Chaplaincy Volunteer takes place over a nine -week period involving two hours a week. You will attend talks and discussions, which relate to hospital practice and experience. During the course, you will be able to explore with others what it means to be a patient or member of staff in a busy modern hospital. You will have the opportunity to develop your communication and relationship skills and to recognise your own fears, joys, anxieties and hopes. You may find yourself reconsidering your attitudes to birth, life, change, growing old, pain, suffering and death.

Participants in the past have found the training course valuable, interesting and challenging.

Chaplaincy Volunteers: Work, responsibilities and inter-relationships

  • The Chaplaincy Volunteer will be expected to make a minimum commitment of a few hours one morning or afternoon at an agreed time each week  ( times etc negotiable with lead Chaplain)  and to attend organised in-service training.
  • The Chaplaincy Volunteer will be allocated to a ward or wards on a regular basis; the allocation being made in consultation with the Volunteer.
  • The Chaplaincy Volunteer will at all times observe the Hospital’s rules, especially the rules of confidentiality. The Chaplaincy Volunteer should never abuse the privileged position in which (s)he works, in particular with regard to the relationship with patients and their relatives in matters concerned with privacy, faith and freedom of religions and philosophy.
  • The Chaplaincy Volunteer will be expected to act under the direction and in consultation with the Chaplains: using them as a resource and making recommendations back to them.
  • Chaplaincy Volunteers are free to withdraw from involvement in the scheme at any time after mutual discussion.

For further information contact - Rev.P.R.Walker RMN , The Chaplaincy Dept , Basildon Mental Health Unit , Nethermayne , Basildon , Essex. SS16 5NL.Tel: 07974 988572 ; E-mail:

Chaplaincy Volunteers poster


Paul Walker, 29/12/2017

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