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Spiritual care and chaplaincy

Spirituality is important to our wellbeing. It can help us cope with illness, pain and life stresses, and to find meaning in our experiences.

Spiritual pain has been defined as how it feels when your deepest beliefs and values are undermined, and when your life doesn't make sense to you. Spiritual wellbeing is about being comfortable around your deepest beliefs and values and feeling secure around who you are.

Through spiritual care and chaplaincy, we seek to support patients in their own spiritual wellbeing and in their differing religions and belief traditions.

Intermediate Care Unit (ICU) chaplains

Each of the Intermediate Care Units across the Trust has chaplains. They come from a variety of professional backgrounds, religions and beliefs. Most are also qualified through Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust as Mental Health First Aiders. They are available to all patients on our Intermediate Care Units during their weekly visits. This is not an ‘on call' service.

Chapels and quiet rooms

There are chapels and quiet rooms across the Trust and our ambition is to develop more. Bognor Regis War Memorial, Zachary Merton, Horsham and Crawley hospitals have designated chapels. Some of our other buildings have quiet rooms to use for prayer and reflection, which are available to both patients and families. Please ask advice from the ward staff before taking a patient to a chapel or quiet room in the hospital. This is because these are public access spaces and not as safe for some vulnerable patients as a ward area.

Religion and belief resource boxes

At each of our Intermediate Care Units, there is a religion and belief resource box. Each one holds a selection of sacred texts including the New Testament, Bhagavad Gita, Sikh prayers, Bahai Essential Insight texts, The Dhammapada, readings from the Qur'an, Humanist poetry, and prose. They also contain rosary and mala beads, a holding cross, battery-powered candles, a rose quartz crystal, nature cards with meditations, and specially commissioned Pagan pathway cards. If you’d like to access one of these resources during your time with us, please speak to your chaplain.

Spiritual care and chaplaincy in the community

We do not currently offer chaplaincy for our patients in the community. The Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust staff supporting you can approach the Trust Spiritual Care Lead (details below) for advice on access to community sources of spiritual care appropriate to the individual’s religion or belief tradition.

Contact the Spiritual Care Lead

Dr David Knight is our Spiritual Care Lead at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and has oversight of spiritual care across the Trust.

You can email Dr David on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Page last reviewed: 18 March 2024
Next review due: 18 September 2024