The role of a hospital chaplain is to provide a ministry of presence for patients, whānau and staff. This spiritual pastoral care work is varied, depending on what people identify they need; for example, someone to listen, to pray, to laugh. The Chaplain honours each person whatever they are experiencing, they have time to sit with and accompany, witness to their questions, pain, hope and faith.

Innovation… the changing role of chaplains in our health care

The Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust is committed to supporting innovation in the role of hospital chaplains. We recognise that how hospital chaplains worked in the past has changed as health care in our hospitals has changed and continues to change.

In a generation the average length of stay in hospital has changed from 30 days to three days. Long term patients have been moved to community care, rest homes and hospices and treatment has changed from primarily bedrest to high tech solutions.

Chaplaincy Services needing to reflect these changes

Hospital Chaplaincy has traditionally been a Christian mission supported by the mainstream Christian churches. The mainstream Christian churches are declining and other religions and forms of spirituality are growing. Do patients and their family and whanau still seek the support of a chaplain?

How are chaplains trained for the changing role?

  • What special characteristics are needed for Hospital Chaplaincy
  • What characteristic are needed for competent chaplains
  • What formal training is there  for Chaplains in Aotearoa New Zealand.

How can the Wellington Hospital Chaplaincy Trust support innovation in the Hospital Chaplaincy?

Funding research into the changing role of Hospital Chaplaincy. Examples of initiatives the Trust has funded include:

  • research projects
  • contribution towards attendance of conferences
  • new initiatives in service delivery
  • For more information on how to apply for funding is available here.

Examples of Initiatives the trust has funded are here

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