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Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014
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Faith based-chaplaincy-28-may-2014

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A lecture on faith based healthcare chaplaincy I was invited to give to a multi-faith seminar in May 28th

A lecture on faith based healthcare chaplaincy I was invited to give to a multi-faith seminar in May 28th

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  • 1. Faith based chaplaincy - 1 - | P a g e Faith Based Chaplaincy: Issues and Prospects in the New Health System 28th May 2014 Faith Based Healthcare Chaplaincy Seminar The Nishkam Centre, Birmingham Jim McManus Vice-Chair, Health and Social Care Advisory Group, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Visiting Research Fellow, Heythrop College, University of London
  • 2. Faith based chaplaincy - 2 - | P a g e Jim McManus is the Vice Chair for the Health and Social Care Advisory Group of the CBCEW, a Visiting Fellow in Pastoral Studies at Heythrop College, the specialist theology and philosophy college of the University of London and a Senior Visiting Clinical Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. He has been involved in Chaplaincy issues for over 20 years and involved in equality and diversity issues for the same time, having previously held appointment from the Lord Chancellor to the body which advises the Judiciary of England and Wales on equality law. He is Director of Public Health at Hertfordshire County Council and was previously Joint Director of Public Health in Birmingham. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Chartered Scientist and has degrees in Theology and Psychology. My starting points on this issue I have two important starting points on this issue First, we are here in the Nishkam Centre, a strongly sikh based project with a welcome open to everyone. If you wanted an example of faith based action, you could really not do better at looking at this place and what this place does - inspired by faith, serving the community, coming from its faith base but serving everybody. If you were to listen to some of our policy and social commentators, you would be lead to believe that this could not happen. The fact that the Sikh Chaplaincy service has taken off as it has is evidenced by the deeply moving information on their exhibition boards and if you haven’t looked at them you must as they speak profoundly of faith acting in society. The other starting point about is that I spent four months in hospital with a very aggressive form of cancer and, in fact, two of the people here with us today, Sr. Renata and Fr. Jeremy came all the way down to London from Birmingham on several occasions ( and brought me oranges along with the Sacraments.)! I had an experience of chaplaincy every single day that I was in hospital, every single day for four months. I went in at the beginning of Advent and came out just before Easter. Every single day, someone brought me Holy Communion. That mattered to me because the treatment I was going through was very aggressive. And that chaplaincy helped me understand what I was going through and apply the resources I needed to to cope with it.
  • 3. Faith based chaplaincy - 3 - | P a g e Key insights from those starting points What I am going to say today is informed by those two starting points, as well as having been a lay chaplain, a chaplaincy volunteer and involved in diversity and equality issues for some time. Basically, there are some key points I am going to make today: 1. People of faith need to make common cause for health care based chaplaincy because it is important and I don’t think the current policy world and its model of working with religion and diversity understands it. Faith is still something that government is uneasy about. We really need to change that. 2. There must be a community link, for people of faith, for Chaplaincy to make sense either sociologically or spiritually. For those of us of faith, faith is not a journey we make in isolation; it is a journey that we make as part of the believing community for most of us. Therefore to dissolve/devolve health Care Chaplaincy from its link with the faith community is to turn it into just another intervention like anything else. I think Chaplaincy institutionally is falling into that trap. I will expand on that. For people not of any faith that may not be an issue, but chaplains must reach out to both, so the live faith community link, which seems to be being problematized by some commentators, must be preserved and understood. 3. Chaplaincy is not an intervention which makes sense without being authentically of faith to people of faith. Chaplaincy or spiritual care to people who are not of faith or who don’t have a live connection with a faith community is pastorally a different story . I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, it’s about chaplaincy working in different modes pastorally, and we need to respect that, just as we respect the pastoral importance of chaplaincy to people who have a faith connection. If you have a faith connection, your chaplaincy experience needs to be connected to that faith because it means more and there is scientific evidence behind that summarised by Harold Koenig in his Oxford Handbook of Religion and Health.
  • 4. Faith based chaplaincy - 4 - | P a g e 4. We really need to develop a more nuanced understanding of the idea of the chaplain in a multi-dimensional context a. their policy context around health care, b. what they do therapeutically in the faith context and c. in the legal context. The Policy Context: change and continuity I want to talk about change we have seen in legislation and professional practice and I want to talk about the important aspect of continuity which is faith community linked and which we need to maintain. There are five big public policy and social trends chaplaincy, and I don’t mean the seemingly ever-present NHS restructuring. 1. The first is equality, starting with the Equality Act 2010 and the public sector equality duty and the NHS Equality and Diversity Scheme which is now in generation 2 and the NHS constitution, all of which enshrine the right for people to have their religious beliefs respected. And yet it is probably the right that is least protected by the courts which has most argument about, where they say there is no one of faith - yet 75% of people at the last census described themselves as people of faith in 2011. 2. Professionalisation is another trend. Harold Shipman provoked a project by Professor Sir Liam Donaldson the then Chief Medical Officer on protecting the public, as a result of which, various registers have arisen. So we have seen a trend towards professionalisation of anything to do with healthcare. But professionalism does not mean divorcing the live connection with a faith community. Professionalising is not a bad thing in itself but actually it has been assumed uncritically by Chaplaincy and I think it has been because Chaplains have sometimes been searching for a way to justify their value, their contribution and their authenticity against an increasingly professionalised world. If everybody else is
  • 5. Faith based chaplaincy - 5 - | P a g e registered, why not register Chaplains is one argument about. To me, that’s a mistake because professionalism doesn’t entail you have to be on a register, devoid from the faith community. It entails that you can evidence and articulate why what you do is important. And any articulation of chaplaincy without a faith dimension is risky. It’s risky because: a. If chaplaincy is a talking intervention, why employ chaplains and not psychologists? b. If chaplaincy is a talking intervention, where’s the evidence for its effectiveness? c. Spiritual intervention without a connection to a faith community is meaningless to some faiths, and far from being inclusive, emphasises the embarrassment and awkwardness around faith in healthcare settings. Actually, being part of a chaplaincy for most faith communities and I appreciate this is not all, means coming authentically from that community. Being a Sikh Chaplain would not make any sense without connection to the temple here, the prayer life and the community. I know that much about Sikhism as a faith. Being a Catholic Chaplain would mean nothing without a connection to the faith community – I pick on these two faiths as an example. But even in more recent expanding Black Churches, the connection with the faith community is something very strong in that chaplains go out as part of the faith community. You can see it in the Muslim journey; you can see it in the Hindu journey. So professionalisation in the context of chaplaincy needs to take account of the faith community, as part of that professional context, as part of that multiple accountability. Now as part of my day job, I am accountable to elected members as well as directly to the Secretary of State for Health for how I do my job. There are lots of examples of people who have multiple accountabilities and yes they do conflict but to say to be accountable to a faith community means you don’t have decent standards of practice, given the tradition of pastoral care,
  • 6. Faith based chaplaincy - 6 - | P a g e particularly in the Anglican community and the reform communities in this country given their big departments of pastoral theology is a nonsense. 3. Another trend is secularism, where there are people who frankly have an agenda of moving faith out of the public sphere because they don’t believe it belongs. If you want to do some reading on this, the best source I could point you to is Rowan Williams’ book, Faith in the public Square, a series of talks where he discussed attempts to point out that the French idea of laïcité, the complete divorce of church and state, actually doesn’t work as some British secularists think. Nor does it work like that in America. In fact the US model allows faith to flourish more. It is important because secularism is often presented as neutrality – which it isn’t – what it is , seems more an attempt to deny faith communities an authentic mission led, vision led, value led ethos and practice of service to their community. a. We are in the middle of a development (The Nishkam) which feeds the homeless, which has a nursery, a primary school, a secondary school, a pharmacy, retail outlets and is regenerating this whole part of Birmingham – and it is all faith based. Why would you not want that? b. To summarise what could be an entirely different lecture, on secularism and faith in the public sphere, against all this background is my conviction that the secularists do not have a convincing argument. Frankly, I don’t know if you have read any of the books on the new atheism but philosophically, they are a leaky bucket. They are a diversion from discussions about the enduring social value of faith based action and witness, and the fundamental right of people of faith to have that faith respected. That is the thing we need to be doing, demonstrating our value to secular society coming from our equal rights with others, not defending our right to believe.
  • 7. Faith based chaplaincy - 7 - | P a g e 4. The fourth trend is religious illiteracy among health professionals (Bishop Tom gave a good example of the woman thought to be tampering with tubes in her face but discovered to be making the sign of the cross as she began her prayers). This even goes as far as not understanding the very basics of etiquette around people of faith. That often leads to embarrassment and can lead to resentment. So where is the NHS in teaching it staff about religious literacy? People of faith will fall back on their faith at times of illness. I found when I was in a hospital bed; I had to do more education of nurses around religious literacy than they had to do with me around my chemotherapy. It is not a place to be a vulnerable patient and it is not fair to expect our chaplains to bear the brunt of that and by Chaplains becoming more embarrassed about their faith and less comfortable with their faith, we treat faith as something more embarrassing. Working with a Dept of Health civil servant I undertook a survey of NHS Trusts in 2008 where we identified that the area of diversity most NHS trusts felt was problematic, and over which they felt most anxiety, was religion. Secularising and diminishing identities is not a way to resolve this. Understanding and respecting the role and boundaries of faith is. 5. The final trend is Social Fragmentation. We have become more individualistic and more atomistic. The NHS does not treat people in the context of communities, it treats bodies. We do not have a national health service; we have a national sickness service. The risk is that Chaplaincy becomes just another set of psychological interventions If all Chaplaincy is, is becoming unqualified psychologists without degrees in psychology, then we are wasting our time because NHS Trusts will wake up sooner or later and realise that Assistant Psychologists are cheaper, and in terms of psychological interventions, seen purely on a par, they are arguably more safe and effective than Chaplains at talking therapies if the big trend of safeguarding and protecting the public is the crucial one. . I don’t know if you saw yesterday a big publication of a large study that found that psychological therapies could do as much harm as they could do good. In fact, the wrong psychological therapies can do more harm than good. Now, the study’s findings are not news to many
  • 8. Faith based chaplaincy - 8 - | P a g e psychologists but they are news to a lot of people. This does have implications for chaplaincy if we conceptualise is as a talking therapy. The fundamental challenge: what does faith add? So we have five sets of problems, and against each of these problems we have the challenge of articulating “ what does faith add?” We now have a situation where NHS England which is commissioning Chaplaincy and there is a series of guidelines being written as we speak about how Chaplaincy should work and you can see over the new structure of the NHS that it is, at best, fragmented. I see no deep analysis of the dimension of what faith adds in much of the work going on. What I do see is a gradually increasing separation of Chaplaincy from the living faiths of faith communities, without any convincing signs of a proper articulation that that is either worthwhile or justified. There is a piece of work going on in NHS England just now to review Chaplaincy guidelines but the bodies that are working on this are the representatives of Chaplains, the UK board of Healthcare Chaplaincy and various others. My understanding of that is the presence of live faith communities as faith communities is not strong in that group. That I think is a mistake. There has been a trend in Chaplaincy in the last eight years to professionalise Chaplaincy and to turn it into an intervention and my worry is that the more we go down that line, without a faith connection, the more we mechanise Chaplaincy as a talking intervention that the NHS delivers, not faith communities in the NHS. That is a retrograde step when much policy and science on health identifies health as occurring in context, when we are trying as health policymakers and commissioners to re-connect with communities. Instrumentalising chaplaincy as an intervention without faith makes little sense other than as an attempt to seek professional status because it’s felt this is needed to justify its existence, and assure the safety of the public.
  • 9. Faith based chaplaincy - 9 - | P a g e Professionalisation in and of itself with registration and its trappings does not mean people are safeguarded. Values, accountability, ethos and evidence within a context of responsibility are the elements of safeguarding. Properly understood, the faith community needs to be a part of that framework. And the original 1992 guidelines NHS Chaplaincy understood that. Re-stating chaplaincy for the world of 2014 by divorcing the faith community role in assuring Chaplains are supported and effective is not the answer to either safeguarding patients or ensuring effective interventions. The more we put Chaplaincy into a context where it is instrumentalised and divorced from faith connections, the more we put it at risk of being subject to cuts in the austerity to come. You know we have massive public sector cuts. On any view civil servants are currently briefing that are only about half way through the expected public sector cuts that are going to come. We still have half the UK budget deficit to go. There is no magic fix. We have a long way to go. Now would you like to put Chaplaincy up against psychology and other interventions and talking therapies in that agenda in the NHS where Chaplaincy has failed to articulate its evidence base and failed to preserve its faith connection? Strategically, that is asking for trouble. Or would you like to put Chaplaincy up in the context of respecting peoples religion and belief guaranteed by the Public Sector Equality Duty and the NHS Constitution? ‘It is a fundamental right having spiritual care that speaks to our faith. Would you like to add to this the role, underpinned by a growing scientific evidence base, that a faith connection for people of faith is is an important part of the healing process , and an ability to discuss issues of ultimate meaning is also important for people who may not be of an organized faith but feel themselves to have spiritual issues and concerns which Chaplains may help in addressing and resolving? The scientific basis for the relevance of faith to the health of our population seems little understood and even less well used by chaplains. Even the recent UK based spirituality research work of Professor Michael King, the UCL psychiatrist famous for some ground-breaking studies of LGBT suicide and self harm, which suggests faith and faith with a faith
  • 10. Faith based chaplaincy - 10 - | P a g e connection has important health impacts, seems to have gone underused in chaplaincy. My contention today is that it is on the basis of faith adding value to people’s health and healing, and the live faith connection for at least some faiths and therefore some chaplaincy, that we should argue with NHS trusts and government for the provision of Chaplaincy. I would like to suggest to you that this latter approach is a safer and sounder approach and that doesn’t mean we cannot do Chaplaincy to people of no faith, it doesn’t mean we can’t do Chaplaincy to humanists or atheists. In fact, quite the contrary. It means that we need to be secure in our own identities of what we bring in order to speak to people of other identities and in order to be able to cater for them. I value what my Sikh sisters and brothers do, precisely because my Catholic upbringing is giving me a vocabulary and a context into which to put it in the service of humankind and in the service of God. I value my Muslim sisters and brothers for the same reasons. And I am blessed to feel valued by them. In my experience, it is the people not of faith, who have no context to understand another’s faith or their own spirituality, who feel more challenged by it. My faith is not an obstacle to me. I could not understand other faiths without being a Catholic because my experience is my experience and the more I see of other faith communities serving one another, the more I am reminded of how lucky I am to have my faith. I couldn’t do my job without my faith. Having recently served on some national policy commissions like the Birmingham Policy Commission on Ageing, we are seeing the rise of what can be described as “superdiverse” populations. Birmingham is one. Very diverse and with people themselves who have multiple diversities (faith, gender, disability, sexuality and race in one person.) We need – socially – conceptual frameworks into which to fit this superdiversity and with which to help people understand, celebrate and get the benefits from it. In this context the “common epistemological ground” between faiths – understanding and welcoming each other’s motivations and values precisely because we have been formed effectively to understand our own - is
  • 11. Faith based chaplaincy - 11 - | P a g e something we need to articulate as a resource to understand our super diverse world, not a challenge or embarrassment. The developing Science of Religion and Health Ironically, at a time when there is a movement in chaplaincy to divorce it from a faith connection, we are seeing a flourishing of application of science to religion and its role in health, resilience and human thriving. Recent advances in the psychology of religion, for example, have studied the importance of prayer and mysticism for human thriving. The growth of mindfulness in popularity is something most faiths have a language for in their mystical and contemplative traditions. Turning back to the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Health, it summarises scientific evidence on religion and health. We know from that evidence that religious faith is a help to health, and a help to longevity. It can also be helpful (as well as problematic) in the psychopathology and symptomology of mental disorders. But on the whole, it is a positive thing, it has health giving benefits, it helps you adjust and cope with reality. It gives you a sense of meaning and purpose. It enables you to take more control and have a (positive) outlook on your own health and it can help in the healing process. Crucially, if you are a person of faith and you are denied access to a representative of faith, your healing process and coping is set back and you can become more of a burden on the health system. There is also a Journal of Religion and Health that has published a series of important empirical papers on the links between faith and health; and there are now several international research networks including those in the US and Germany working on this. We need to bring this work to the US. Faith Action, which is a national multi faith agency and one of the strategic partners of the Department of Health will be holding a scientific symposium on the evidence between faith and health later this year which I have been lucky enough to take part in developing the concepts for and we will be bringing Daniel Koenig, the author of the Oxford Handbook, over from the States along with others.
  • 12. Faith based chaplaincy - 12 - | P a g e The enduring relevance of faith in Chaplaincy Homogenising faiths to dilute or remove distinctive identity is a failure to see that people of faiths can welcome people who don’t share their faith. This is a a clearly misguided approach to equality and diversity, a complete misreading of the equality duty and the public sector equality duty. We don’t expect heterosexuals not to value their identity in a team or a service aimed at LGBT people, or indeed vice versa. That would be a nonsense. And the key point about the psychology of diversity is that people who are valued for all of who they are do better in work, in services they use and in education. So it is important to challenge this ill-conceptualised (and contrary to evidence on diversity) suggestion that a homogenised blend of concepts without distinctive elements is what we need to do in approaching religion in public services like chaplaincy, because that is what some people think is the way equality should work. I want to suggest that it is more important that we faiths look like a rainbow, where you can tell us all apart but together we make up something rather wonderful, something rather beautiful and welcoming. We make a contribution which enriches the health care environment. On one level you look at a rainbow and can say that is an entity. Can we look at faith and see that is something welcoming? Can we then look at faiths and say that their ability to work across themselves is actually something that contributes much more than the homogenised blend? That’s what the developing learning from psychological studies of diversity suggest. An approach of welcome, not of suspicion. People are more productive when they feel they can be who they are (themselves) in the work place. People are more effective when they feel valued in the work place. People are happier and have better employee relations and that translates into better relations with partners, stakeholder, customers, and patients and so on, when an individual can be who they are in the work place. That is the reason that Tesco and other major employers invest so heavily in diversity. It has nothing to do with it being a good thing or that they have an equality duty. They will tell you it is good for business. The private sector is actually better at doing faith based diversity than we are in the public sector.
  • 13. Faith based chaplaincy - 13 - | P a g e Yet health care settings are those settings where issues of absolute meaning come up frequently, as people encounter major illness, disability and their own mortality. On the back of the survey I mentioned earlier which identified religion as an issue NHS trusts were anxious about, I edited for about four years a guide which went to every NHS Trust entitled ‘How to make religious diversity work for your Trust’. My experience from the workshops, discussions, consultancy and advice I did around this was that turning down the faith volume is not an answer which will result in productivity or harmony for the NHS, not will it result in an answer about people of faith in a secular NHS. Turning down or homogenising the faith volume is not an answer to the problem that our society has a problem with faith because of the five trends I mentioned earlier. It is a symptom, and as an HR and organizational practice it’s a mistake which runs contrary to the best evidence and practice on the rest of the psychology and management of diversity. Turning Chaplaincy into a professionalised faith neutral intervention is not really addressing some of the main issues that are a threat to Chaplaincy. Turning it into a well trained, well managed, appropriately accountable and supervised faith informed but open and welcoming intervention could be an answer. The opportunity to articulate the value of Chaplaincy Ironically, this opportunity – for chaplaincy to seize the benefits of faith for health and healing – is one which it seems not to be doing either systematically or pervasively. We saw several years ago a massive literature review on Chaplaincy which was done by John Swinton and Harriot Mowatt of the University of Aberdeen on Chaplaincy – the conclusions of which were Chaplaincy is a good thing but there isn’t an awful lot of research to prove why. I think that review asked the wrong questions, and if we redid it today we should do it differently.
  • 14. Faith based chaplaincy - 14 - | P a g e And I will tell you why, and why Chaplaincy is a good thing in scientific terms. You don’t need to go looking for research on the effectiveness of chaplaincy. You need to operationalise what chaplains do and then find the research and the literature that does that. Chaplains calm people in hospital and health care settings and enable them to make sense of what is happening to them and we know from psychological studies that this is a crucial part of the healing process. That’s the first thing chaplains do – you enable people to make sense of things. A Church of Scotland Minister, James McDonald, who was also a surgeon, said once that ‘health is a satisfactory response to reality, an adjustment to reality’. In the World Health Organization, they say that health is a complete state of total, mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. That latter model of health is aspirational and does not work for reality. James MacDonald’s model is functional and chimes with much of the scientific research on thriving and coping and managing one’s health. The second thing that Chaplains do is that they can help people of faith to use their faith based coping mechanisms to deal with the challenges they face and get on with the healing and hospital process. They can also help people not of faith find and use similar resources. The challenge is how to conceptualise and articulate this in a way which is different from psychology or psychotherapy. The most obvious difference is speed of access and intervention by chaplains. But there are, I suggest, others too, such as the direct link to issues of ultimate meaning rather than just addressing and adjusting to the immediate health challenge. The third thing that Chaplains do is that they can broach difficult, crises and problems with people who are not of faith or who may have left faith and who want some kind of spiritual sense but can’t see a psychologist. The fourth thing Chaplains do is that they actually prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in traumatic events. The fifth things Chaplains do is to help people motivate, manage and take part in healing themselves.
  • 15. Faith based chaplaincy - 15 - | P a g e The sixth thing Chaplains do is to help people adjust to reality through those five things and their hopeful, assuring presence The seventh thing Chaplains do is sometimes to help people understand their life is coming to an end and help them to cope with that. The eighth thing Chaplains do is take some of the burden of that away from clinical staff into an environment where they can deal with it. The ninth thing Chaplains do for people of faith is connect them to the specific rituals and rites which help people of that faith make sense of things, and provide dignity and a sense of personal identity and importance at a time when one can feel disconnected from everything, a time when the focus on one’s organic ill-health in body (or mind) can almost perversely disembody or depersonalise us. Divorcing Chaplaincy from faith is not the answer You look at those things and you can see why professionalisation of Chaplaincy could make some sense but I would say this – if you are going to create a professional register of Chaplains where you have to be registered and all the rest of it, why divorce it from faith communities? The law in England has always recognised that Chaplains are part of a faith community. What good does taking that faith context away do and my argument is that it does great harm. Psychological therapies that are badly done or are the wrong therapies, done by people who are not trained can be very harmful. I have a view that taking faith support away from people who have a right to that support at such a critical time is equally a traducing of the public sector equality duty, a betrayal of the person of faith and a fundamental violation of rights. If as Chaplains and those engaged with chaplaincy or health we sleepwalk into this agenda without realising its implications then we put ourselves at risk of a host of problems with employment, problems with outcomes of people, and problems with the embarrassment about faith which will not go away.
  • 16. Faith based chaplaincy - 16 - | P a g e And, at a time of ‘big society’ when you are trying to bring more people in, the last thing you want is to divorce chaplaincy from those societies, communities and sources of volunteer and other support. Is an elite of very professional chaplains, where each NHS trust can afford just about one an advance or creating a situation where even less access to good spiritual and religious care will be seen? The Chaplaincy system needs to be competent, yes. It needs to protect and safeguard the public – yes. It needs to be valuable. yes, but it needs to be evidence based and I feel we are going in the opposite direction from the evidence. We’ve seen several years of the Chaplaincy professional bodies in this country talk about evidence base and yet there has still not been one comprehensive evidence based statement of what a Chaplain does from any of them. I think that is the acid test and I think somehow, we have lost our way. Can we really not trust most faith communities to be able to differentiate between where the personal boundaries lie and getting beyond the etiquette of working with different faiths? It seems to me that because we are suspicious in Chaplaincy of chaplains proselytising says more about the unhappiness and unease in the system because of the five trends including secularism that I have talked about than it does about Chaplains and faith communities. That is something we have to work on and if you look across regeneration and if you look across education, the same unease about faith exists in much of the public sector. Taking the faith out of chaplaincy is not going to deal with that unease, it is pandering to that privatisation of religion – we are not France. We are Britain and religious rights are built into the NHS constitution But if you make Chaplaincy an intervention like smoking cessation is an intervention or giving someone a drug is an intervention, what kind of intervention is Chaplaincy? Chaplaincy and the science of complex interventions My argument is that Chaplaincy is a complex intervention made up of faith and personal interventions responsive to the presenting individual or group or context. That requires sensitivity and interpersonal agility in the Chaplain. It
  • 17. Faith based chaplaincy - 17 - | P a g e also puts the chaplain, like any person working with people, in a situation where they can help or harm. That’s nothing new and most faith communities have models and methods to protect and safeguard people, even if we need to make them work better. Why would you want to be a talking intervention that just talks. If all you have to offer is a talking therapy, I can see a time when you all have to be on a professional register as chartered psychologists - believe me, it takes eight years and it is not what you would want to do. It is important. Chaplaincy is a complex intervention and what do I mean by that? What I mean is it is not just a sit and talk to someone but a sit down and encounter people with an expectation of a variety of outcomes. It is much more complex than giving somebody a drug and we are rubbish in this country at evaluating and understanding the evidence. Trust me – I say that as Director of Public Health and as a person who sits on one of the NICE Boards and the NIH Boards. We have to begin articulating Chaplaincy as a complex intervention to really understand its value. The Leadership role of Chaplains I am going to finish with a comment on Invitational Leadership. Leadership is very popular at the moment and I have just completed some work on it for Public Health. In a period of Credibility crisis for religions and secularisation we need to be Invitational leaders, inviting people in, safeguarding them and enabling them to use our hospitality to help their journey. I call that Invitational Leadership. this is what the Nishkam does even if that is not what you call it. You improve the atmosphere, you improve the area, you improve your organisation’s image by the way you behave and by the message you give out and your fruits. You reduce negative messages that the church might send out. The child abuse crisis (in the Catholic Church) has made it very difficult in some respects and we have to tackle that. You have to build relationships with the community and that gets transmitted to the people you encounter. Invitational Leadership is something I think that Chaplains could excel at and could in fact model to the medical profession and others but that can only come when you are secure in
  • 18. Faith based chaplaincy - 18 - | P a g e your own context and secure in dealing with people who don’t come from your context. Conclusions We need to reconceptualise Chaplaincy as a part of the solution, not ditch the heritage because of the trends to secularisation and other trends I have mentioned above. I think we have a better answer to some of the equality problems by bringing people to be at ease with faith even where they are not of faith themselves, than de-religionizing chaplaincy. I think we have an answer to the professionalism and evidential contexts by keeping the live faith context and by a leadership model and by describing us as a complex intervention and by adhering to the very best ethical standards and through our faith communities, policing that with NHS trusts. And then we go to professional registers and bodies if we want to. We have an answer to secularism by describing what faith can do particularly for people of faith but also for the contribution it makes to a society which has no money. We have an answer to religious illiteracy by just quietly going about and educating about who we are and we have an answer to social fragmentation because if we model all the behaviours government wants, we can begin to be part of the solution and not the problem. Chaplaincy with a live faith connection as set out in the 1992 guidelines NHS Chaplaincy has been conceptualised as a problem. It is a problem only because we have allowed it to be in a wrong response to the five trends I mentioned above. It is time that Chaplaincy was conceptualised as a solution and something precious and important. But that is what I want to leave you with and what I think we need to do today now is look at how we as people of faith can work on this agenda Thank you for listening.

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