1st Edition

Non-Religious Pastoral Care A Practical Guide

By David Savage Copyright 2019
    184 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This ground-breaking book is a guide to non-religious pastoral care practice in healthcare, prisons, education, and the armed forces in the UK. It brings a new perspective to our understanding of care services traditionally offered by chaplaincy departments. The book charts the progress from a Christian to a multi-faith and on to a fully inclusive care service. Compelling evidence is presented showing strong and broad support for non-religious pastoral care provision.

    A practical guide, it outlines the beliefs and values on which this care is founded and its person-centred approach. The role, skills, competencies, and training requirements for non-religious pastoral carers are described. Institutions need to consider their policy responses to the rapid development of non-religious pastoral care provision. A number of policy aspects are explored, including understanding service users’ needs, recruitment, and communications.

    This book is essential reading for non-religious pastoral carers and those thinking of entering this field. Chaplains and institutional managers responsible for chaplaincy or spiritual care departments will find this book gives them valuable insights into the positive contribution non-religious pastoral carers can make in building stronger, more inclusive pastoral, spiritual, and religious care services.

    Acknowledgements ; Foreword ; 1 Introduction; PART I: THE SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT; 2 The Development of Pastoral, Spiritual, and Religious Care Practice; 3 Public Perceptions of Chaplains and Non-Religious Pastoral Carers; 4 Religious, and Non-Religious Beliefs in Society; Part II: NON-RELIGIOUS PASTORAL CARE PRACTICE; 5 Beliefs and Values; 6 Roles, Skills, and Competencies; 7 Death, Rituals, and Memorials; 8 Ethical Behaviour; Part III: THE ROLE OF THE INSTITUTIONS; 9 Introduction; 10 Understanding People’s Needs; 11 Effective Communications; 12 Better Recruitment; 13 Policy and Practice Development; Index


    David Savage took a leading role in establishing the non-religious pastoral care programme at Humanists UK. In 2012 he started to provide pastoral care at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and was the first non-religious person to successfully complete their spiritual healthcare department’s two-year professional training course. He continues to provide care at the Trust and is helping to found a non-religious pastoral care role at the University of Surrey. Dr Savage is chair of the board of the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network.

    'This is a much-needed intervention on the growing phenomenon of non-religious pastoral care within chaplaincy contexts. It will undoubtedly raise challenges for chaplaincies and institutions across a wide range of settings in British public life.' - Ben Ryan, Researcher at Theos Think Tank, author of A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK

    ‘This timely book sketches an innovative and inspiring view of pastoral care that is relevant for professionals and managers involved in spiritual/pastoral care provisions and chaplaincy, both within and beyond the UK. Using both scientific evidence and case examples, David Savage makes a well-founded and passionate plea for a more inclusive pastoral care service in which pastoral care needs of all people are taken seriously and can be addressed.’ – Carmen Schuhmann, Assistant Professor, Dep. Globalization and Dialogue Studies, University of Humanistic Studies