Our chaplains provide spiritual and pastoral care and support for all faiths to help people find strength, comfort and meaning at what can be a very difficult time in their lives.
Last updated: 19 April 2021
Illness doesn't just affect the body, and whether you are a patient or visitor, time in hospital can be an unsettling experience.
We recognise that meeting spiritual needs can be an important factor in a person’s well-being and that this is not limited to people who have a formal religious affiliation or belief.
Our chaplains provide spiritual and pastoral care as well as a listening ear, providing sensitive, non-judgmental support in confidence.
What we do
We provide space for people of all faiths, and those who hold no particular faith, to explore their spiritual and religious needs.
Our chapels and prayer rooms are open 24 hours a day and are available to the whole hospital community: patients, families, carers, staff, volunteers and visitors.
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
At Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, there is a spacious chapel by the Tower Block entrance. Here you will find a ‘prayer tree’ and a prayer book where you can request prayers.
People often spend time here away from the pressures and anxieties of hospital life. Christian morning prayer is shared by the chaplains every weekday at 9am. On a Sunday there is a service of Holy Communion at 8.30am.
The Gloucester Prayer Rooms are located close to Foster’s Restaurant and contain resources for many world faiths. Muslim prayers are held in the Prayer Rooms every Friday at 1.30pm, but they are available at other times for anyone who requires a private, quiet place for reflection or meditation.
Cheltenham General Hospital
Cheltenham has an attractive peaceful chapel near the Blue Spa Café in the West Block, close to the main 'pillars' entrance. It is also open 24 hours a day, and is a place where people often come to find space and stillness away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital. There is a prayer book where you can enter requests for yourself or a loved one. Christian morning prayer is offered at 9am each day to which all are welcome. We also offer Muslim prayers at 1:30pm on a Friday. A service of Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday at 8:30am. There are various resources available for Christians, Muslims and members of other world faiths.
Support at our hospitals
Whether you come to hospital as a patient, or a family member or carer, or you work here, the chaplains are here to support you.
We appreciate that patients are often unable to visit the chapels and prayer rooms, so our chaplains and volunteers ensure that bedside ministry is offered where appropriate. This may be a traditional rite, such as Holy Communion or a less formal way of marking a life-event according to the patients own needs, insights and experiences.
If you know that you will be coming into hospital, you can contact us ahead of time to arrange your spiritual care. Families, carers and friends are also welcome to contact the chaplains, to request support for themselves as well as for a patient.
For patients, as part of the admission procedure and your ongoing care, you will be asked about your religion. However, you will need to make a specific request if you wish to see the chaplain. We can also contact your local faith leader on your behalf if you ask us to.
You may ask ward staff to contact a chaplain at any time, and a member of the team will visit you as soon as they are able. Ministry is always available at your bedside and we can sometimes make arrangements for you to visit the chapel or prayer rooms.
If you would like us to visit you or someone you know while in hospital, you must contact the chaplains or make a special request on the ward that the chaplain is informed of your request. If you don't contact us, we may not know that you are in hospital and won't be able to support your spiritual needs.
You can find out more in our spiritual care guide.
How to contact us
The chaplains have an office alongside the chapels in both hospitals and you may call at any time. If there is nobody in the office, please leave a note in the letter box by the door and we will respond at the earliest opportunity.
You can also contact us by email and telephone and ask that you leave a message if it is not urgent.
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Department of Spiritual Care, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Great Western Road, Gloucester, GL1 3NN
0300 422 6200
Cheltenham General Hospital
Department of Spiritual Care, Cheltenham General Hospital, Sandford Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7AN
0300 422 4286
In an emergency, a duty chaplain can be contacted by the ward staff or via the switchboard by calling: 0300 422 2222
Annual baby remembrance services
For all those who have experienced or been involved with baby loss, our remembrance services are a chance to reflect and remember, at:
- Gloucestershire Hospital's Chapel on the last Friday of September
- St. Luke’s Church Cheltenham on the first Friday in October
Please contact us if you would like more information.
Other seasonal events
We have a programme of other seasonal events throughout the year, including Christmas and Remembrance.
Please get in touch for details.
We have a large team of volunteers in the department, working under the supervision of the chaplaincy staff.
All volunteers complete a 10 week training course, are selected by interview, and undergo DBS clearance.
Please get in touch if you are interested in joining our next course.
All Souls' service
All Souls is a moment in the Christian calendar where we set aside time to remember and commemorate those we know who have died.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, we held our 2020 All Souls virtual service in the chapel at Cheltenham College.