Welcome to the website and blog of the Association of Chaplaincy in General Practice.
We will use these to keep you in touch with news from an area of health care that is currently showing potential for rapid expansion.
The Association of Chaplaincy in General Practice hopes to facilitate connections between people who are interested in this concept and is creating a database of those people and individuals. If you would like to be part of this, please let us have your details with a brief description about yourself which can be shared with others. You could send this information via the contact form on the website or by email to the administrator on gpchaplaincy@gmail.com

We also hope to facilitate a sharing of information that relates to GP Chaplaincy, through our blog.


Turning the Tide – Conference. A day of inspiration

The conference presented by the ACGP, Turning the Tide: Establishing Spiritual Care in General Practice was held at the Medical School in the university of Birmingham, and was well attended and greatly appreciated.

Dr Ross Bryson set the scene by laying out some of the conflicting currents between medicine and the spiritual.

Gordon MacDonald , a GP working in Scotland and Sarah Griffin a Primary Care chaplain each gave a presentation of the research that has been carried out with compelling evidence of proven benefits to recovery and health as a result of spiritual care and effective referrals.

There were presentations from a variety of chaplaincy services up and down the country – rural, urban, inner city, multi cultural which highlighted the different experiences that have developed and are working effectively.

Seminars looked at ways of establishing a chaplaincy service in General Practice and how to maintain professional standards with training, supervision and accreditation.

Bishop James Newcome closed with a call to chaplains to be Prophets, Listeners, Interpreters , Connectors, Pastors and Presence.

Turning the Tide. Should GPs provide spiritual care? A conference not to be missed. January 2019

Establishing Spiritual Care in General Practice, 10th January 2019

‘Patients expect GPs to heal their souls’, so said an article in The Times (18th April 2018). It continued: GPs are increasingly seeing patients with complex problems driven by social and emotional difficulties. ‘There is an urgent need to recognise the value of community, connection and self-esteem and look at meaning and purpose in life’.

‘Should GPs provide spiritual care?’ is also debated professionally (BJGP December 2017) where it is stated that ‘spiritual care can be defined as care that recognises and responds to the needs of the human spirit when faced with trauma, ill health, or sadness. It includes the need for meaning and self-worth, to express oneself, for faith support or simply for a sensitive listener. It is usually given in a one-to-one relationship, is person centred, and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation. Spiritual care is not religious and it is an important aspect of holistic patient care’.

  • Why has there been such resistance to the concept of spiritual care being part of modern scientific healthcare?
  • Are there examples of spiritual care actually being part of the holistic care which General Practice aspires to offer?
  • If so has it been shown to be of value and how is it organised?
  • Since 2015 Chaplaincy in General Practice has been recognised as part of the range of Chaplaincy in UK, but what kinds of people provide this service and how can their work be accredited by professional standards?

This one day conference will consider these issues and will create the opportunity to learn from those actively involved in offering spiritual care in British General Practice.

For full programme please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/ttt2019.

Course Details

One day.

Centre for Professional Development, Medical School, University of Birmingham

Standard Registration – £70

How to apply
Registration will open soon, please register your interest by emailing the events team at med-cpdbookings@contacts.bham.ac.uk

For more information about this event please contact the CPD office:
Email: med-cpdbookings@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 414 8605/8606/8608

Website: www.birmingham.ac.uk/ttt2019.

Chaplaincy in General Practice: the potential of this unique service will be discussed as part of a 4 day conference / retreat at Lee Abbey.


Honouring Personhood in Healthcare 5–9 February 2018 (Mon–Fri)


Can a clearer understanding of our God designed humanity enable us to more fully care for people? How can we care for others if we don’t also care for ourselves and live in a restorative way?  What are the challenges and opportunities for God’s people in healthcare today? Join us as we explore these issues, seek God together and ask that His Kingdom may come in and through our lives.

Who’s speaking?

Ross Bryson a follower of Jesus, has worked in primary healthcare in the developing world, in community paediatrics, in drug addiction and has been a GP for 30 years. He sees in General Practice a unique opportunity to care for the needs of the whole person and facilitate change in communities. He leads an organisation that enables churches to be part of this process. Recognising that there are universal needs in the human spirit led him to develop the role of Chaplaincy in General Practice.

For further information and booking:


Primary care chaplaincy: a valid talking therapy?

The British Journal of General Practice, February 2017, published an article about GP Chaplaincy. The reported research showed that the service showed equivalent improvements in wellbeing to antidepressants.

The evaluation and their experience suggests that primary care chaplaincy is a valid talking therapy and could be considered as a reasonable alternative to medication.

Read more:

Primary care chaplaincy: a valid talking therapy? Gordon Macdonald

Br J Gen Pract 2017; 67 (655): 77. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp17X689221

GP Chaplaincy Handbook

September 2016

With the increasing awareness that patients who attend their GP have a wider range of needs than can be met by current primary mental health services, more people are considering the value of adding GP Chaplaincy to the options available for patient care.

The Association of Chaplaincy in General Practice has many years of experience in delivering this kind of care and is preparing a handbook through which to share this knowledge. It will a valuable resource for anyone considering developing this type of service and for individuals interested in finding work in this new service within the NHS.

Details as to how to order this GP Chaplaincy Handbook will be available on the ACGP website soon.

The Impact of Faith on Mental Health

If you are interested in the impact of Faith on Mental Health, a one day conference in Birmingham on  17th September offers chance to learn share and network. For details of speakers see the full programme below.

God, Mental Health and Wellbeing

There is no health without mental health. One in four[1]of us will experience a major mental health problem at some time in our lives and people of faith are not immune. Depression costs European business’ £77 Billion[2]as well as diminishing the quality of life of those affected. Christian faith provides resources and resilience for coping with mental illness and many church activities enhance people’s wellbeing.

In this conference we will explore the links and overlaps between faith, mental health and wellbeing.  The conference speakers come from a Christian worldview, but we welcome those of all faiths and none to enrich our dialogue.

We have confirmed two exciting keynote speakers.

June Boyce Tillman is based at the University of Winchester where she heads up the Centre for Arts as Well-being. June is a published author and expert on Hildegard of Bingen, women’s spirituality and musical healing.

Chris Cook leads the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Durham University. Chris has broad experience as a Professor of psychiatry, past chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Spirituality Special Interest Group, and Anglican Priest and has several books to his credit on prayer, spiritual disciplines and on spirituality, theology and mental health.

There will be space for you to network with others working and serving in similar fields, and there will be the opportunity for you to present your  research and praxis as a poster, or for larger groups to book a stall in the market place.

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference on 17th September.

Revd. Dr Alison J Gray

For the Whole Person Health Network conference organising committee.


Draft Programme – Keep checking for updates

 08.00 Registration of stallholders
 09.00 Registration of delegates and refreshments
 09.30 Welcome
 09.40 Keynote  address
“Constructions of Mental Health and the Creative Spirit”
Professor June Boyce -Tillman OBE
Professor of Applied Music and Convenor of the Centre for the Arts as Well-being, University of Winchester
 10.30 Praxis
“Staying in touch, listening to people with dementia.” 

Revd. Wes Sutton
Director Acorn Christian Healing Foundation
 11.00 Refreshments and Posters 
 11.30 Workshops (repeated after lunch)
 12.20 Lunch 
 13.15 Workshops
 14.15 Praxis

1. Introducing the Edward Cadbury centre for the public understanding of  Religion, health stream
Revd. Dr Ali Gray
Honorary research fellow, Cadbury Centre, University of Birmingham

2. Centre for Health and Pastoral care
Elizabeth Baxter

 15.15 Refreshments and Posters 
 15.40 Mental Health and discipleship

Revd. Prof Chris Cook
Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health, Durham University

16.30 Closing summary 

Revd. Stanley Baxter
Chair Whole Person Health Network, Vice-Chair Guild of Health

Programme subject to change.

Chaplain for Wellbeing in Birmingham and Sandwell

Chaplain for Wellbeing P/T

£27,901 pro rata, depending on experience

An exciting opportunity is available within the expansion of our Listening and Guidance Service. We are looking for an experienced pastoral person of faith to become part of our growing team.

The post is a part-time Chaplain for Wellbeing, working between 8-16 hours per week. The role involves providing pastoral and spiritual care for patients on a sessional basis in a one-to-one setting.  Training and Supervision will be provided. The Chaplain will be based in different settings, including Karis Medical Centre in Birmingham South and Central CCG, and Malling Walk-In Centre in Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG. Applicants should be of pastoral standing in their own faith community and have proven counselling skills. To find out more information about this type of chaplaincy please visit www.gpchaplaincy.com

Please apply via the NHS Jobs website www.jobs.nhs.uk

Vacancy reference:           J183-A-15-1377

Closing Date:                       28 April 2015

Faith, Health & Wellbeing Seminar Wednesday 15th April Birmingham

Faiths For Our City in partnership with Birmingham Council of Faiths

Faith, Health & Wellbeing Seminar (free of charge)

Wed 15th April 10.00-4.30 (registration 9.30)

University of Birmingham Orchard Learning & Resource Centre

Weoley Park Road, Selly Oak, B29 6QW


Programme will include

‘What is new in Health Care?’ Dr Peter Rookes, 3rd Sector Liaison Officer, Birmingham Council of Faiths, Lay Adviser Bham CrossCity CCG

‘Birmingham & Solihull Dementia Strategy’  Mary Latter, Joint Commissioning Manager

‘Dementia Friends’ Jennifer Karim & Terry Cheung, Home Instead Senior Care

‘The Work of CLAHRC’ (Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care)

Nathalie Maillard & Rev Barry Clark.


To be Confirmed

Chaplaincy in General Practice

Hospital Chaplaincy from a Muslim perspective


Tea and coffee can be purchased at the refreshment bar, but please bring your own packed lunch.

The Orchard Learning and Resource Centre is accessible by the 61, 63 and 98 buses from the City Centre and approximately 15 minutes’ walk from Selly Oak Station. Free parking is available around the site.There is no charge for the event, but please contact Dr Peter and Jean Rookes to book a place at pjrookes@gmail.com, phone 477 2282, 077 033 360 88