University Chaplaincy

All universities in Scotland have chaplaincy centres with designated chaplains to help meet the spiritual needs of students and staff. Chaplaincy centres can be used by staff, students and faith groups from all faiths and none. Chaplaincy centres provide worship spaces for students. Some universities provide individual worship spaces for different religions as well as worship space for people from all faiths. There may also be a space for faith groups to meet together to discuss issues of faith, prepare food and celebrate events such as festivals.

Chaplaincy centres usually have a main chaplain from the Christian tradition who can direct students to chaplains from the different faith communities to meet their individual needs. A list of chaplains for each university along with a contact telephone number can be found on the website for that university or by asking at the university reception.

Health Care Chaplaincy

Following a directive from the Scottish Government in 2002, Healthcare Chaplaincy within the NHS has been orientated towards Spiritual Care rather than Religious Care of patients. In this inclusive approach, Health Care Chaplaincy aims to meet the 'spiritual' needs of patients from any Faith and Belief or none. However if a person does not feel that their Religious or Spiritual needs are being met by the Health Care chaplain (the majority of whom are Protestant Christian), the chaplain will contact the faith representative from the different faith communities to be of assistance.

A number of useful documents have been produced by the NHS:

  • Religion and Belief Matter, An Introduction for Healthcare Staff
  • Spiritual Care Matters
  • A Multi-faith Resource for Healthcare Staff
  • Reflections of Life

Most of the above can be downloaded from our Publications page

To more read about the work of Interfaith Scotland in Health Care chaplaincy please click here.

To view the document "Mind Body Care" on the importance of spiritual care in the healing process click here.

Prison Chaplaincy

Prison Chaplains seek to offer pastoral care to those in custody. The approach is person centred and is based on an understanding that all human beings have some ultimate questions to address. Some prisoners will say ‘it is good to know the Chaplains are there’,  others will actively take up the offer of a listening ear and value some accompaniment as they explore where they find themselves in life or the direction in which they would wish to travel. ‘Prison’ presents people with a particular set of circumstances that profoundly affect their lives. Remorse, guilt and the quest for forgiveness, self-esteem, purpose and a belief in a future, relationships with family and those ‘on the outside’, addressing offending behaviour and re-forming, anxiety, grief and hope, the wish to contribute and make restoration, these and others matters are often touched on in conversations between prisoners and Chaplains.

Chaplains work together with prison Staff and those from other disciplines, taking part in Mental Health Team Meetings, Case Conferences, Family Mediation and Pre-release preparation. For those who wish to explore faith or practise their religious observance whilst in prison, Chaplains will either conduct Services of Worship themselves or make arrangements for Visiting Ministers or Religious Leaders from all the faith traditions to do so, as required. A number of volunteers work together with Chaplains in some establishments.

For further information please contact the Prison Chaplaincy Advisers at:
The Scottish Prison Service, Carlton House, Room G43, 5 Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ. Tel: 0131 244 8745


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