Atheist Chaplain Begins New Role in UK Hospital

Jane Flint has a nifty new job title: “Non-Religious Pastoral Carer for Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust.”

She’s basically a secular “chaplain” for people in the hospital. Instead of a Bible-bearing priest coming buy to offer religious advice, this is a wonderful option for people who aren’t religious — a label that includes about a quarter of people in the UK according to the last census.

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The 63 year old trained psychotherapist will undertake the role for a two-year trial period, after which it could be made permanent.

“I’m there to witness their pain. I’m there to discuss their thoughts without any agenda of my own, and simply being there for somebody, giving them your undivided attention, is something we rarely experience in life.

“At a very important time when you’re potentially facing your imminent death, feeling really seen and met by another person is very important and very comforting.”

Just to state the obvious, Flint isn’t telling patients they’re going to become “worm food,” as Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) once assumed an atheist chaplain would.

How anyone could argue against the necessity of Flint’s role, I don’t know. But the U.S. military still doesn’t have a single Humanist chaplain available to soldiers.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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