President’s Letter, March 2024

Dear Friends

The Exec has been busy behind the scenes putting the finishing touches to this year’s conference and at our last meeting there was a palpable sense of excitement amongst us, not only in terms of our theme and contributors, but also from knowing that the conference will be a chance for many of us to catch up again, face to face.

In contrast to our sense of excitement about the conference, some of our other business has been much more sobering, and is a source of concern for all of us as an association. In this letter I want to update you about the conference and put you in the picture regarding our recent concerns.


  • Only a few spaces left – because we have needed to hold a smaller conference this year, places are running out quickly. So, if you would like to come, please book ASAP to avoid disappointment. Check out our conference page for more information and booking forms.
  • Tech support – if you are planning to come to conference and would like to join our technical team please email Moorin for more information:
  • Conference Collage – in order to explore our theme in different ways we would like to invite all of our delegates, to bring to conference a visual representation on our theme of Spiritual Distress. It could be a photo you’ve taken, a picture that you’ve painted or something that you’ve come across in a book or magazine. At the beginning of the conference we will put all of our contributions together to create a collage which will be a talking point throughout our time together (contributions can also be 3D, but please don’t bring anything bigger than 50cm x50cm)!



Over recent weeks we have been made aware that 5 of our Hospice Chaplaincy colleagues who were working for Sue Ryder have been made redundant. Along with colleagues from CHCC and the FCG we have tried to advocate on their behalf but to no avail.

As an Exec, we are looking at ways in which we can use our time and resources as effectively as possible in the future to support our members, so we will be bringing some of our ideas for discussion to this year’s conference. In the meantime, please remember those 5 chaplains, the patients and families who were and would have been in their care, and the management of Sue Ryder in your thoughts and prayers.

And until we meet again, may you go well, and may you go gently,


President’s Letter, October 2023

Dear Friends,

Following a recent meeting of our Exec committee and the publication of new Chaplaincy guidelines we have written the following statement which we hope our members will find helpful:

The AHPCC Exec welcomes the publication of the new Chaplaincy Guidelines from NHS England, which replace those previously published in 2015, and wishes to recommend them to all those responsible for providing chaplaincy services in all healthcare settings. The guidance was developed with the input of people from a wide range of faith and belief groups and backgrounds, and we would like to thank all those involved for their time and effort.

As representatives of a network of Chaplains who work specifically in specialist palliative care settings we would like to draw attention to the following points:

  1. We warmly welcome the ambition, set out within the guidelines, for an inclusive chaplaincy service in all healthcare settings
  2. The term ‘chaplaincy’ is used in the guidelines to refer to the pastoral, spiritual and/or religious care and support that the NHS is expected to offer to all its users. So, while the term ‘Chaplain’ and ‘Chaplaincy’ have been adopted in these guidelines, teams delivering such care should use the terminology that they feel will best be understood in their local contexts, provided that consideration is given to inclusivity and equality e.g. Humanist Chaplain
  3. We are pleased to see the emphasis the guidelines place on training, support and supervision for chaplains and that the importance of high quality appointments is also recognised
  4. Having been involved in their formation we are also pleased to see that the guidelines recommend adherence to the UKBHC values
  5. We endorse the expectation within the guidelines for employers to seek the endorsement of a respective religion or belief community before the appointment of a chaplain and we support reference in the guidelines to the use of professional appointment advisors to assist with the recruitment process
  6. We support the view, set out in the guidelines, that Honorary Chaplains and Chaplaincy Volunteers should not replace the role of a paid chaplain in a chaplaincy service but extend the core provision already in place
  7. We also welcome and recognise the Scottish Spiritual Care Strategic Framework, which was launched in June 2023

May you go well, and may you go gently, until we meet again,


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