Our Values: Compassionate | Aspirational | Resourceful | Excellent

Spiritual Healthcare


The Hospital provides spiritual healthcare specialist to help resource the provision of care within the hospital community (staff, patients and their visitors). This is facilitated by a lead chaplain in each of the three care groups and supported by volunteer ward visitors. The department is able to contact Honorary Chaplains from Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha’i and Hindu faiths in the local community to give support when requested. Hospital staff are trained to be sensitive to spiritual and cultural needs, so do make your needs known to them.

Spirituality broadly defined is whatever gives a person's life meaning, value and purpose.  Spirituality is about acceptance, integration, and wholeness. From a profound connection to nature, personal relationships, or a specific faith tradition, there are many expressions of spirituality. Admission into hospital can be very disorientating whether it be for a planned or an emergency procedure. The experience can give rise to deeply personal questions which may cause distress and emotional and spiritual pain. Visitors and staff are also affected by events that arise as a consequence of hospitalisation.

The spiritual healthcare specialists are there to be alongside people in the hospital community. They provide patients and their family members with support services that are sensitive to cultural, spiritual and religious diversity including those with no faith tradition. They can provide help for:

  • People in distress or wanting one-on-one or family support;
  • Those struggling with meaning in life and death; 
  • Those wrestling with experiences of loss, self-worth, hospitalisation or isolation; 
  • Relatives and friends seeking support in ethical decision making;
  • People desiring prayer or religious rites; 
  • Those wishing to explore their understanding of the Divine/God; 
  • People coming to terms with bad news or with a future which has become more uncertain. 

Contact us

Temporary Changes to the Chaplaincy Service during the period 26 May to 6 June 2017
There will be NO Sunday services on 28 May or 4 June.  There will be no chaplaincy cover overnight during this period.We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused and hope that the need for such temporary measures will not recur.  The Trust chaplain will be available on site Monday – Friday between 09:00 and 17:00hrs  and off-site on-call Saturdays and Sundays between 09:00 and 17:00hrs. This does not affect the service for Roman Catholic patients. (Roman Catholic Priest continues to be contactable via Switchboard).

To call a chaplain, please ask a member of staff to contact the department or self refer using the contact details below. If you need to make an urgent referral at anytime of day or night please phone the hospital switchboard on 0118 322 5111 and ask for the duty Chaplain. If you need a Roman Catholic Chaplain or the Imam please make this clear when speaking to switchboard.

Places for quiet reflection:

  • The RBH Chapel is open and lit during the day and night and for many people is a place of prayer and quiet. (The Chapel is shut after 10.00pm for security reasons.) The space is deeply rooted in the history of the hospital from a Christian perspective. It is located just inside the London Road entrance to the hospital in North Block.

  • The Sanctuary is designed to be used by people of all faiths or none and for this reason there are no religious symbols. It is a hope that people will find this space a haven of peace for quiet reflection and contemplation. It can be found on Level 2 in the Concourse in Centre Block a short distance down the corridor to the left of the ‘Welcome Desk’. Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated here at 11.00am on Wednesday. Muslim prayers are held here on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1.00-2.00pm and on Friday between 12.30-2.15pm.

  • The Peace Garden is located just below the Sanctuary on Level 1 in Centre Block and can be accessed off the corridor on Level 1 opposite the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU). There are features and plants to help relax the mind and engage the imagination.

Useful Contacts

Spiritual Healthcare Department (Chaplaincy)
Level 2 Main Reception
Royal Berkshire Hospital
Craven Road
Reading RG1 5AN

0118 322 7105


    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111