Chaplains are on the frontline of our Christian ministry to the wider world. Those who work in hospitals, prisons, universities, armed forces, schools and colleges are in a unique position. They provide pastoral and sacramental support to staff in their workplace, patients, inmates and students in their daily and life events and walk alongside them during challenging times, and may offer worship services in site-located chapels.
The Revd Jo Winn-Smith, Chaplain to Bishop Andrew, is the Diocesan lead for the Armed Forces, Healthcare and Prison Chaplains. Contact Jo for more information.
Schools, Colleges and Higher and Further Education are looked after by the Bishop of Dorking.
School chaplains work in all kinds of schools – those set up by the Church of England or other religious bodies, and those which have no formal connection with the church at all. For many pupils, that might be their main contact with the Church.
They are there for all staff, pupils, parents, governors and the community served by the school, regardless of the faith or belief of those groups and individuals.
Every school is different and so there is no one single model for school chaplaincy: chaplains themselves have different backgrounds. Some are clergy and some are lay people; some teach and others do not; and some combine their chaplaincy with another role, for instance in a local church.
Below you can access a list of the schools and higher and further education establishments our Chaplains serve and their contact details.
Hospital and hospices
A hospital chaplain will visit patients on the wards or in other areas of the hospital on request. The chaplain is there to provide a listening ear, emotional support and spiritual support to patients, relatives and friends, and hospital staff. They can provide support during a crisis as well as during ongoing recovery. They will often also support bereaved family members. The Lead Chaplains may be contacted via the switchboard of all the major hospitals in the diocese or via the Chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford.
Prison Chaplaincy teams face a number of unique challenges when serving their populations. Reaching out to those in prison is a command give to us by Christ. Daily interaction brings challenges and enormous rewards and is fulfilled by dedicated teams of people, all led by experienced lead chaplains from across the faiths. Chaplaincy teams are often small and the process of recruiting volunteers to support the programmes run by the chaplaincy can be long.
There are four prisons in the Diocese of Guildford with a combined population of over 2,000 people.
A women’s prison, close to Woking, for up to 281 prisoners, with a wide geographic origin, and a diverse mix of people, some engaged with long term therapeutic courses and interventions through to short term prisoners only with us for a few months.
A prison that holds 355 women and young offenders in Sutton. The characteristics of the population is varied and diverse, with the majority of our prisoners originating from the London area or the South East of England.
A training prison with a capacity to hold 513 men working towards resettlement in the community, located at Bisley, near Woking.
HMP High Down
A men’s “local” prison, next door to Downview, with the capacity to hold 1163 prisoners
Contact or get involved
If you wish to contact with the Lead Chaplains of prisons within the diocese or your church are able to welcome ex-offenders into your worshipping community please get in touch with the Chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford.
There are also a number of community organisations and projects that lay and clergy support as Chaplains across the diocese. You can view and contact them here.