While most study and research is published in journals, there are some useful books available, in many cases written by chaplains, including AHPCC members. Some of the books listed below were recommended reading for our annual conferences, while others explore the theological or practical underpinning of our work. We would encourage members to recommend books they have found helpful, and also to submit brief reviews (ideally, of about 400-600 words).
Published in 2019
Rosie Deedes (2019) ‘Into the Depths: A Chaplain’s Reflections on Death, Dying and Pastoral Care’
Sacristy Press, Durham. ISBN: 9781789590326 £12.99
NB The AHPCC has been given a 10% discount – use the voucher code “TVB5H6”
Publishers’ Note: Pastoral care often takes clergy and other ministers into the depths of human life. As a chaplain and priest in prisons and a hospice, Rosie Deedes has encountered death and dying on many occasions. In this reflective and practical book, she considers the nature of pastoral care, particularly in situations that take minsters to the edge of institutions and society. This book will help those who engage in ministry to understand the key features of pastoral care; what qualities those who provide it need; and how those who offer it can remain resilient.
The book tackles some of the taboo subjects around death and dying; and it shows how listening to those we encounter, as well as reflecting on Jesus’ own death and dying, can enable good pastoral care to take place. She argues that chaplaincy, as a ministry on the edge, is vital to the life and work of the Church in the twenty-first century, and that pastoral care is an essential component of all ministry. She offers insights from her extensive experience of pastoral situations which will inform and enrich the practice of all who show care to others.
Jan Brind and Tessa Wilkinson (2019) ‘Funeral, Thanksgiving and Memorial Services with CD ROM – Creative Ideas for Pastoral Liturgies’
Publishers’ note: Arising out of many year’s experience of helping to lead local church worship and counselling work in a children’s hospice, this is the first of three new volumes that focuses on the occasions when many non-churchgoers visit a church: for christenings, weddings, funerals, and memorials. These rites of passage present key opportunities for occasional visitors to encounter the Christian faith. If they are imaginatively handled a lifelong interest can be aroused. If they are insensitively done, people can be put of for life. This practical resource offers prayers, forms of words and many tried and tested ideas for creating rituals that give support at a time of great need following a death. It will enable the creation of rites (based on the authorized liturgical texts) that are beautiful, memorable and meaningful. Particular help is given for that most difficult of pastoral challenges, the death of a child and the care of the bereaved family.
Jan Brind is a pastoral assistant for liturgy at St Andrew’s Church, Cobham, and has served on the Guildford Diocese Worship Committee. She lives in Surrey. Tessa Wilkinson is an artist and counsellor who has encouraged many to discover their creative gifts. She lives in London.
Published in 2018
George Fitchett and Steve Nolan (2018) ‘Case Studies in Spiritual Care’: Healthcare Chaplaincy Assessments, Interventions and Outcomes
Through a rich variety of case studies, this book provides insight into the patient’s needs and the chaplain’s perspective, as well as discussions of spiritual assessments and spiritual care interventions. Case studies such as a request to baptise a child complicated due to his admission for ‘psychiatric reasons’, as well as work with military veterans, such as a female transgender veteran who has been alienated from her faith, show the breadth and complexity of work that chaplains undertake daily.
Each section also includes critical responses to the case studies presented from a chaplain and related healthcare professional. This book will enable chaplains to critically reflect on the spiritual care they provide, and provide an informed perspective for healthcare professionals and others involved in chaplaincy services.
Pia Matthews (2018) ‘Ethical Questions in Healthcare Chaplaincy’
Publishers’ note: This textbook untangles the complicated ethical dilemmas that arise during the day-to-day work of healthcare chaplaincy, and offers a sturdy but flexible framework which chaplains can use to reflect on their own practice.
Tackling essential issues such as consent, life support, abortion, beginning and end of life and human dignity, it enables chaplains to tease out the ethical implications of situations they encounter, to educate themselves on relevant legal matters and to engage with different ethical viewpoints.
The book combines case studies of familiar scenarios with thorough information on legal matters, while providing ample opportunity for workplace reflection and offering guidance as to how chaplains can best support patients and their families while preserving their own integrity and well-being.
Clear, sensitive and user-friendly, this will be an indispensable resource for healthcare chaplains and all healthcare professionals interested in spiritual care.
Sam Wells (2018) ‘Incarnational Mission’
“In this follow-up to Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church, Samuel Wells explores what it means for Christians and churches to engage with the world. Drawing on the Gospels, Acts, and personal insights gleaned from more than two decades in ministry, he shows how `being with’ others includes experiences of presence, attention, mystery, delight, participation, partnership, enjoyment and glory.
His vivid narratives and wise reflections will help Christian readers better understand how to be with all kinds of people outside the church, including:
Being with Seekers; Being with Those of Other Faiths; Being with the Hostile; Being with Neighbours; Being with Government; Being with the Excluded.”
Published in 2017
Andrew Goodhead and Nigel Hartley (2017 ‘Spirituality in Hospice Care: How Staff and Volunteers Can Support the Dying and Their Families’
Publishers’ note: Publishing on the 50th anniversary of the opening of St Christopher’s Hospice – widely thought of to be the first modern hospice, combining pain and symptom management with education and training – this edited collection discusses what motivates professionals and volunteers to provide spiritual care.
This book shows how the world of hospice care is moving on from Cicely Saunder’s, founder of St Christopher’s Hospice, legacy to providing spiritual care in a more integrated manner. With entries from doctors, nurses and CEOs among others, this book informs good practice for professionals and volunteers providing spiritual care for patients and their families. It looks at how, for many of these professionals, spirituality does not have to be grounded in organised religion, but stems from understanding and providing for our human needs.
Karen Murphy and Bob Whorton [eds] (2017) ‘Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care’
“In an increasingly secular society chaplaincy is no longer widely accepted as a necessary element of palliative care. A meditative reflection on the role played by hospice chaplains, this book argues that chaplains have a vital part to play in the care of a patient, their family, and those supporting them.”
‘Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care’ is a collection of insights, and contains contributions from many AHPCC members.
Averil Stedeford (2017) The Long Way Down
Aspect Design, Malvern. £6.00
Publishers’ note: “Averil Stedeford was a GP while her children were small and subsequently trained as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She worked for twelve years in the Sir Michael Sobell House hospice in Oxford as a therapist and teacher of palliative care to a range of professional staff. Her book ‘Facing Death, Patients, Families and Professionals’ included a number of her poems in the second edition and she regularly used them in teaching, especially with medical students. Soon after she left the hospice, her husband was found to have inoperable cancer. The present volume is a moving account of the experience with him during his last illness and of her journey through bereavement. It is vivid, tender and demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit and of creativity in the face of death and loss.”
John Caperon, Andrew Todd and James Walters [eds] (2017) ‘A Christian Theology of Chaplaincy’
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. ISBN 9781785920905 £18.99
Publishers’ note: Chaplaincy is a rapidly growing ministry, but one that has been the centre of little theological discussion. Focusing on understanding what chaplaincy is and how it is exercised in different contexts, this book intends to support the work of chaplains by providing a theological examination of their ministry.
The chapters in this book discuss how the work of chaplains outside the structures of the Church and yet frequently carried out by ministers authorized by the Church relates to some of the key questions of how the Church understands itself in relation to the world (i.e. institutions and structures that are not part of the church), whether or not the chaplains should engage in converting non-Christians to Christianity, and how chaplaincy is carried out both from within Christianity and in a multi-faith environment.
This book explores the role of chaplains and the benefits of chaplaincy as a form of ministry as well as an examination of the personal characteristics and disposition best suited to serving as a chaplain. Chaplaincy and Christian Theology considers the nature of chaplaincy in public spaces and the implications of Christian theology within this ministry. Essential reading for chaplains, students of theology, and anyone involved in Christian ministry and Christian theology.
Published in 2016
Gordon J. Hilsman (2016) ‘Spiritual Care in Common Terms: How Chaplains Can Effectively Describe the Spiritual Needs of Patients in Medical Records’
Publishers’ note: Encouraging a broad, compassionate, humanistic approach to spirituality, this book shows how patients’ spiritual needs can be communicated well within interdisciplinary teams, leading to better patient wellbeing.
This book describes the art of charting patients’ spiritual perspectives in an open way that will help physicians and nurses to better direct medical care. It includes practical information on how to distil spiritual needs into pragmatic language, helping to demystify spiritual experience. Drawing on his extensive practical experience, the author also suggests key points to emphasise that will enrich chart notes for medical records, including brief, relative narratives, trusting one’s own impressions, reflecting holistically on the patient’s life, patient attitudes towards treatment and recovery, and describing families’ opinions on the health care situation of their loved one. The book shows healthcare professionals of all disciplines how to engage in a shared responsibility for the spiritual care of their patients.
Line Nyhagen & Beatrice Halsaa (2016) ‘Religion, Gender and Citizenship: Women of Faith, Gender Equality and Feminism’
Publishers’ note: How do religious women talk about and practise citizenship? How is religion linked to gender and nationality? What are their views on gender equality, women’s movements and feminism? Via interviews with Christian and Muslim women in Norway, Spain and the UK, this book explores intersections between religion, citizenship, gender and feminism.
Chapters include: (1) Towards Lived Religion and Lived Citizenship: Binaries and Complexities in the Study of Religion, Gender, Feminism and Citizenship. (2) Religious Identities and Meaning-making. (3) Religion and Citizenship as Lived Practice: Intersections of Faith, Gender, Participation and Belonging. (4) Religious Women and Gender Equality. (5) Religious Women, Women’s Movements and Feminism. (6) Faithful Women: Lived Religion and Citizenship, Gender Equality and Feminism.
Published in 2015
George Fitchett & Steve Nolan (2015) ‘Spiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare Chaplaincy’
Publishers’ note: “These diverse case studies make a compelling case for the importance of effective spiritual care in healthcare and provide unprecedented insight into the essential role of the chaplain within the healthcare team. Presented alongside critical reflections and responses from professionals within chaplaincy, psychology, psychiatry and nursing, they provide an honest and detailed look into how healthcare chaplains actually work with the people in their care and reveal the vital role of narrative and imagination in effective transformative practice.
From a 16 year-old with a belief that God would enable a miraculous recovery from paralysis, to an African man with a history of psychosis and depression whose cultural belief in witches complicated his treatment, to a dying Jewish man, aggressive and isolated due to his traumatic life experiences, each case includes insight into the patient’s needs and chaplain’s perspectives, discussion of spiritual assessments and spiritual care interventions, and accounts of significant encounters and dialogues.
The nine paediatric, psychiatric and palliative case studies and reflections in this ground-breaking book will enable chaplains to critically reflect on the spiritual care they provide and communicate their work more effectively, help healthcare professionals develop a clearer understanding of the care chaplains deliver, and provide an informed perspective for those who develop policy around spiritual care and need to make the case for chaplaincy services.”
Richard Morgan (2015) ‘At the Edge of Life: Conversations when Death is Near’
Drawing on sixty years of experience as pastor, hospice chaplain, volunteer, and friend to dying persons, Richard Morgan offers perspective and advice to people coping with a family member, friend, or patient who is approaching the time of death.
These thirty meditations take us from accepting our own mortality and the impending death of someone we care about through “making preparations,” “finding closure,” and “dying moments.” In each meditation Morgan uses personal stories and scripture to lead into a reflection question and prayer. The result is a sense of peace that gives readers confidence as companions to the dying.
Paul Nash, Kathryn Darby & Sally Nash (2015) Spiritual Care with Sick Children and Young People
Publishers’ note: Exploring both principles and best practice of the spiritual care of sick children and young people, this remarkable and inspiring book equips the reader to think critically and creatively about how to provide care in hospitals, hospices and other care contexts for ill and disabled children.
Written for staff from any allied health discipline, the authors explore the potential spiritual needs and issues faced by sick children and young people. They provide evidence-based practice principles, and a range of activity-based interactions that empower the child or young person and expand discussion of meaning and identity. The book includes stories and multidisciplinary practice examples, as well as many ideas; practical activities; discussion of work with families, and also of the various tensions and issues that can emerge.
Based on evidence-based practice and research carried out by the Chaplaincy Team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the book will be helpful and inspiring reading for chaplains, nurses, play and youth workers, therapists and anyone else involved in the care of sick children and young people.
Ali Khan Mansur, Sophie Gilliat-Ray & Stephen Pattison (2015) ‘Understanding Muslim Chaplaincy’
Publishers’ note: Understanding Muslim Chaplaincy provides a lens through which to explore critical questions relating to contemporary religion in public life, and the institutionalisation of Islam in particular. Providing a rich description of the personnel, practice, and politics of contemporary Muslim chaplaincy, the authors consider the extent to which Muslim chaplaincy might be distinctive in Britain relative to the work of Muslim chaplains in the USA and other countries. This book will make a major contribution to international debate about the place of religion in public life and institutions.
This book derives from research that has depended on exclusive access to a wide range of public institutions and personnel who largely work ‘behind closed doors’. By making public the work of these chaplains and critically examining the impact of their work within and beyond their institutions, this book offers a ground-breaking study in the field of contemporary religion that will stimulate discussion for many years to come about Islam and Muslims in Western societies.
Douglas Ellory Pett (2015) ‘The Healing Tradition of the New Testament’
Publishers’ note: Healing is crucial to Christian theology and ministry and has a great evangelistic power. Over the last fifty years, there has been a radical shift in social attitudes towards sickness and healing. Though there has always been a clear ministry for spiritual and pastoral care, the responsibilities of those ministering to the sick – and even the definition of sickness itself – have been challenged. Meanwhile, the popularity of ‘alternative’ healing and magical cults has grown. There is certainly no lack of accounts of those who have ‘miraculously’ recovered from ‘incurable diseases’, even at the point of death – scientific proof, however, is often wanting.
It is frequently said that ‘healing is central to the Gospel’. In this book, Douglas Ellory Pett asserts that although this is inaccurate, the statement raises essential questions: how did the early Christians interpret the healings of the New Testament? Was the interpretation of the various writers always the same and, if not, which should be accepted? Did healing continue in the early Christian communities? What is the theological basis for the Church’s healing sacraments? The answers to these difficult questions are interwoven with our contemporary understanding of medical science and of society.
‘The Healing Tradition of the New Testament’ is a scholarly analysis of the New Testament texts about the healing ministry of Jesus and an examination of the evidence for healing in the first four centuries of the Early Church. By returning to these earliest sources, Dr Pett reveals the original spiritual significance of the healing miracles of Jesus. He shows how this understanding of the true healing tradition can enrich the practice of Christianity today, restoring the health of the Church, society and the individual.
Jonathan Pye, Peter Sedgwick & Andrew Todd, Eds (2015) ‘Critical Care. Delivering Spiritual Care in Healthcare Contexts’
Publishers’ note: A collection of essays focusing on spiritual care within the delivery and provision of healthcare today. The contributors combine academic and professional expertise to discuss themes including: spirituality, pluralism and multi-faith practice, healthcare ethics, legal and policy issues, mental health, and beginning and end of life issues.
Providing a bridge between research in healthcare and spirituality and practitioner perspectives, these essays on chaplaincy in healthcare continue dialogue around constructing, negotiating and researching spiritual care and discuss the critical issues in chaplaincy work, including assisted suicide and care in children’s hospices. Each section of the book is introduced by an academic theologian, giving the book a strong theoretical base, before serving healthcare chaplains offer their perspectives and experiences with material drawn from practice in a broad spectrum of healthcare contexts. The integration of theory and practical application in these essays will be of interest to chaplains, healthcare practitioners, and students of theology and healthcare.
Victoria Slater (2015) ‘Chaplaincy Ministry and the Mission of the Church’
Publishers’ note: Victoria Slater explores the significance of chaplaincy for the mission and ministry of the contemporary Church. She discusses the reasons for the recent growth in new chaplaincy roles in the contemporary cultural and church context and provides a theological rationale for chaplaincy along with practical suggestions for the development and support of chaplaincy practice. The book provides conceptual clarity about what chaplaincy actually is and will move beyond the common polarisation of chaplaincy and Church to position chaplaincy as a distinctive form of ministry with its own identity and integrity that, together with other forms of ministry, makes a significant contribution to the mission of the Church.
Victoria Slater is a practical and pastoral theologian and Anglican priest, who has spent nearly 20 years working as a Healthcare Chaplain in both Acute and End of Life Care. In 2014 she returned to practice in the NHS providing spiritual and pastoral care within cancer services whilst continuing her interest in research, writing and professional development.
Christopher Swift, Mark Cobb & Andrew Todd (2015) ‘A Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies: understanding spiritual care in public places’
Publishers’ note: A Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies explores fundamental issues and critical questions in chaplaincy, spanning key areas of health care, the prison service, education and military chaplaincy. Leading authors and practitioners in the field present critical insight into the challenges and opportunities facing those providing professional spiritual care. From young men and women in the military and in custody, to the bedside of those experiencing life’s greatest traumas, this critical examination of the role played by the chaplain offers a fresh and informed understanding about faith and diversity in an increasingly secular society. An invaluable compendium of case-studies, academic reflection and critical enquiry, this handbook offers a fresh understanding of traditional, contemporary and innovative forms of spiritual practice as they are witnessed in the public sphere. Providing a wide-ranging appraisal of chaplaincy in an era of religious complexity and emergent spiritualities, this pioneering book is a major contribution to a relatively underdeveloped field and sets out how the phenomenon of chaplaincy can be better understood and its practice more robust and informed.
Bob Whorton (2015) ‘Voices from the Hospice’
Publishers’ note: Hospice chaplain Bob Whorton takes us deep into the human experience of suffering and waiting. Framed as a train journey, we are invited to travel through various stations and stop for a while in many different station waiting rooms. The counter-cultural message is that there are difficult situations in our lives which we cannot escape from and must be lived; there are no short-cuts, and the stations must be travelled through one by one. However, in following this path we will find a new orientation to life, and we will find ourselves mirroring the way of Christ.
In these pages we listen to the voices of patients and family members in a hospice; they become our teachers. And we listen also to the ancient voice of the psalmist who was well versed in the ways of suffering love.
At the time of writing, Bob Whorton was a hospice chaplain in Oxford and a Methodist Minister; a pastoral supervisor and spiritual director. He is the author of Reflective Caring: Imaginative Listening to Pastoral Experience (SPCK 2011).
Published in 2014
Paul Nash, Madeleine Parkes & Zamir Hussain (2014) ‘Multifaith Care for Sick and Dying Children and their Families’
Publisher’s note: “What do you need to know in order to provide the best possible care for sick children of different faiths? What, in the context of the young person’s faith, might it be helpful to know to support the child and the family, improve care, communicate sensitively and avoid causing offence?
Drawing on extensive, evidence-based research and practice, this practical resource addresses the multi-faith needs of sick and dying children and young people in hospitals and the wider community. Covering Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism, it provides the key information needed to help multi-disciplinary healthcare staff offer the best, culturally-appropriate care to sick children and their families. The book discusses daily, palliative, end of life and bereavement care in a range of settings, including hospitals, hospices, schools and home. The information provided covers those aspects of the religions discussed that are essential for healthcare staff to understand, including modesty and hygiene, taboos, food and prohibited products, age-related issues, sacred objects, visitors, and the expectations of the family. It includes important information on the issues of disability and mental health in each faith as well as addressing the significance within different faith traditions of the transitions from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. A comprehensive resource that uniquely focuses on the care needs of sick children from different faiths, this book will be of immeasurable value to multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, bereavement support and palliative care workers, carers, counsellors, chaplains and art therapists.”
Christopher Swift (2014) ‘Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-First Century’
Publisher’s note: “The place of religion in public life continues to be a much-debated topic in Western nations. This book charts the changing role of hospital chaplains and examines through detailed case studies the realities of practice and the political debates which either threaten or sustain the service. This second edition includes a new introduction and updated material throughout to present fresh insights and research about chaplaincy, including in relation to New Atheism and the developing debate about secularism and religion in public life. Swift concludes that chaplains must do more to communicate the value of what they bring to the bedside.”
Revd Dr Christopher Swift is from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK. He has been a Health Care Chaplain since 1994 and Head of Chaplaincy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals since 2001. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Spirituality, Religion and Public Life at Leeds Metropolitan University and a past President of the College of Health Care Chaplains (2004-7).
Published in 2013
Terrence McGillicuddy (2013) ‘Sacred Dreams & Life Limiting Illness: A Depth Psychospiritual Approach’, West Bow Press
Christopher Cook (2013) ‘Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health – Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, SCM Press, Norwich
Wilfred McSherry (2013) ‘Making Sense of Spirituality in Nursing and Health Care Practice? An Interactive Approach’, 2nd ed. JKP, London
Published in 2012
Mark Cobb, Christina Puchalski & Bruce Rumbold, Eds (2012) ‘Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare’
Steve Nolan (2012) ‘Spiritual Care at the End of Life’, JKP, London
Tom Gordon (2012) ‘With an open eye’, Wild Goose Publications, Glasgow.
Ewan Kelly (2012) ‘Personhood and Presence’, Bloomsbury, London
Published in 2011
Fiona Gardner (2011) ‘Critical Spirituality: A Holistic Approach to Contemporary Practice’, Routledge
Peter Gilbert (2011) ‘Spirituality and Mental Health’, Pavilion, Hove
Albert Jewell (2011) ‘Spirituality and Personhood in Dementia’, JKP, London
Bob Whorton (2011) ‘Reflective Caring: imaginative listening to pastoral experiences’, SPCK
Tom Gordon, Ewan Kelly & David Mitchell (2011) ‘Spiritual Care for Healthcare Professionals: Reflecting on Clinical Practice’, Radcliffe, Oxford
Published in 2010 and earlier
Wilf McSherry & Linda Ross (2010) ‘Spiritual Assessment in Healthcare Practice’
Tom Gordon (2007) ‘New Journeys Now Begin: learning on the path of grief and loss’, Wild Goose Publications
Simon Robinson (2007) ‘Spirituality, Ethics and Care’, JKP, London
Mark Cobb (2005) ‘Hospital Chaplain’s Handbook’, Canterbury Press, Norwich