The National Secular Society are suggesting that the chruch should fund Chaplains in UK hospitals. This would save the NHS £40,000,000 per year.
I am far from a religious person. I believe there is something bigger and more powerful in this universe than I can understand. I have no idea if its some kind of intelligent entity designing the universe to some kind of plan. I seriously doubt it but thats just me. But I have seen the effect these chaplains can have on my patients lives. They are a crucial part of a lot of patients care. It is important to appreciate that most hospital inpatients in a general hospital will be elderly. They are from a generation which has led them to go to church every week. It is important for them to feel their God(s) havent abandoned them when they are ill or dying. A few months ago I had a patient who was incredibly ill, she was dying and frankly we couldnt explain why she was still alive. She was in an incredible amount of pain and understandibly terrified, until she saw our chaplain. After a bit of a chat and a couple of prayers this patient faced her imminent death without any noticable fear. It was incredible. This is the basis of my opinion that faith is a beautiful thing, it can lead you to do things that you are not capable of and it can bring you peace. I dont necessarily mean faith in God(s), faith in yourself, faith in science, etc. The problem is religion is political. You are told to believe like this, or worship like that otherwise you are going to be punished.
As I said I am far from a religious person but as a student nurse I cant help but recognise the significance of Holistic Care(caring for the whole. physical, emotional, spiritual, etc). I am deeply worried that if the job of financing these chaplains goes to the church they will be subject to the churchs politics the same as any other priest, vicar, etc. And this may well effect the emotional wellbeing of my patients.