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New lead chaplain joins 'top-notch' team at hospital

27 January 2016

Health Care

Last week the hospital welcomed the arrival of its new lead chaplain, reverend David Childs, a former parish priest in Essex and Oxfordshire and chaplain at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.

As lead chaplain David joins what he calls a 'top-notch' team of chaplains that is able to provide a 24-hour on-call service ensuring somebody is always available day and night.

David said: "I may be the lead chaplain or the face of chaplaincy but there's a really good team of people around me. It's a privilege to be in a role where I meet people of every possible outlook, background.  You realise 'wow' humanity is exciting. I'm also looking forward to getting to know the staff.  If the ones I've met so far are anything to go by, then there's some really good friendships to be made out there and I'm really looking forward to that."

David was quick to point out the similarities between his faith and the trust's values: "For me, the values of the trust represent my understanding of the Christian faith - treating people with the utmost dignity, respect, honouring their differences, cherishing them and treating their needs as the most important thing. That to me is a reflection of my understanding of how to be a good minister."

Part of being a good minister also means helping all people whatever their spiritual, emotional and pastoral needs are. David wants every person to be able to have the support of their own faith whether they are Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish or any other faith or belief system.

In the chaplaincy suite, there are a number of faith resources which are available for patients and staff to borrow. These include copies of the Bible, Christian prayer books, the Hebrew Bible, the holy Quran and major texts of other religions. 

"It's fundamentally important to honour a person's beliefs," David says, "and enable that to be their source of strength.  That's what really spurs me on."   

Outside of work, David has many interests and passions such as researching the Saxon and Norman history of the area, the music of contemporary composers including the likes of Pierre Boulez and David Bowie as well as everything in between. More recently, David has even taken up swimming lessons.

"I'm a terrible swimmer," confesses David. "It's not going too well but I'm really enjoying it. I'm not brave enough to go in the sea just yet. Maybe it's a midlife crisis thing!"

Visit our chaplaincy department page for more information.