Chaplaincy Support to Bereaved Parents - Part 2

Balancing Options, Openness and Authoritative Action

Authors

  • Mark Newitt Chaplaincy Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i1.20543

Keywords:

Chaplaincy, Communitas, Koinonia, Liminality, Openness, Performative Utterances, Pregnancy Loss, Religious Care, Spiritual Care, Words Against Death

Abstract

The second of two articles, this installment reflects on the way bereaved parents valued the support of a chaplaincy following the death of their baby. The article describes how some parents wanted options and others “authoritative action” and notes that co-creation of ritual is not always appropriate. Chaplains are described as authoritative in both religious matters concerning the eternal destiny of babies and spiritual matters of identity. The notion of a sharp divide between religious and spiritual care is questioned. A lack of clarity among chaplains as to their role is connected to the contradictory tensions of a society that has rejected religious authority and yet of parents wanting authoritative statements/recognition. Anthropological insights concerning ritual are drawn upon to help understand the chaplain’s identity. It is recommended chaplaincy support be written into guidelines/protocols for the care of bereaved parents. Chaplains are encouraged to learn more about transferential or intersubjective responses.

Author Biography

Mark Newitt, Chaplaincy Department, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield

Revd. Dr Mark Newitt BSc, BA, DThM, is a chaplain at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham, and was a curate in Northampton before taking up his current post in 2006. Since his first degree in Pharmaceutical Management he has maintained an interest in healthcare, ethics and spirituality. He has a Doctorate in Theology and Ministry from Durham University, where the focus of his research was chaplaincy support to bereaved parents following the in utero or neonatal death of their baby. He is book review editor of Health and Social Care Chaplaincy.

References

Atkinson, J. M. (1992) “Shamanisms Today”. Annual Review of Anthropology 21: 307–30. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.21.100192.001515

Austin, J. L. (1962) How to Do Things with Words. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Austin, J. L. (2000) “Performative Utterances”. In Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language: a Concise Anthology, ed. R. J. Stainton. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 239–52.

Buber, M. (2000) I and Thou. Translated by R. G. Smith. London: Continuum.

Caring for the Spirit NHS Project (2003) Caring for the Spirit: A Strategy for the Chaplaincy and Spiritual Healthcare Workforce. Sheffield: South Yorkshire Workforce Development Confederation.

Church of England (2010) Health Care Chaplaincy and The Church of England: A Review of the Work of the Hospital Chaplaincies Council Report. London: Church of England.

Cooper-White, P. (2004) Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Davies, D. J. (2002a) Anthropology and Theology. Oxford: Berg.

Davies, D. J. (2002b) Death, Ritual and Belief: The Rhetoric of Funerary Rites,. London: Continuum, 2nd edn.

Fraser, D. J. (2004) “Clarity and Cost Effectiveness in Chaplaincy”. Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy 7(1): 26–30.

Gennep, A. van. (1960) The Rites of Passage. Translated by M. B. Vizedom and G. L. Caffee. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Hicks, D., ed. (2010) Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion, Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 3rd edition.

Jakobsen, M. D. (1999) Shamanism: Traditional and Contemporary Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits and Healing. New York: Berghahn Books.

Kelly, E. (2007) Marking Short Lives: Constructing and Sharing Rituals Following Pregnancy Loss. Oxford: Peter Lang.

King, M., P. Speck and A. Thomas. (2001) “The Royal Free Interview for Spiritual and Religious Beliefs: Development and Validation of a Self-Report Version”. Psychological Medicine 31(6): 1015–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291701004160

Kottler, J. A. (2010) On Being a Therapist. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 4th edn.

Lyall, D. (2001) Integrity of Pastoral Care. London: SPCK.

Mann D. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points and Techniques. Hove: Routledge.

McMillan, D. W., and D. M. Chavis (1986) “Sense of Community: A Definition and Theory”. Journal of Community Psychology 14(1): 6–23. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1520-6629(198601)14:1<6::AID-JCOP2290140103>3.0.CO;2-I

Meert, K. L., S. H. Briller, S. M. Schim et al. (2009) “Examining the Needs of Bereaved Parents in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: a Qualitative Study”. Death Studies 33(8): 712–40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07481180903070434

Newitt, M. (2010) “The Role and Skills of a Hospital Chaplain: Reflections Based on a Case Study”. Practical Theology 3(2): 163–77. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/prth.v3i2.163

Newitt, M. (2014a) “Chaplaincy Support to Bereaved Parents – Part 1: Liturgy, Ritual and Pastoral Presence”. HSCC 2.2:179–94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v2i2.20542

Newitt, M. (2014b) “New Directions in Hospital Chaplaincy: Chaplains – the Church’s Embedded Apologists?” Theology 117(6): 417–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0040571X14547481

Nolan, S. (2011a) “Chaplain as ‘Hopeful Presence’: Working with Dying People”. Practical Theology 4(2): 165–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/prth.v4i2.165

—(2011b) “Hope beyond (Redundant) Hope: How Chaplains Work with Dying Patients”. Palliative Medicine 25(1): 21–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269216310380297

Norwood, F. (2006) “The Ambivalent Chaplain: Negotiating Structural and Ideological Difference on the Margins of Modern-day Hospital Medicine”. Medical Anthropology 25(1): 1–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01459740500488502

Orchard, H. (2000) Hospital Chaplaincy: Modern, Dependable? Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Perschbacher, W. J., ed. (1990) The New Analytical Greek Lexicon. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

Rappaport, R. A. (1999) Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814686

Swift, C. (2009) Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-first Century: The Crisis of Spiritual Care on the NHS. Farnham: Ashgate.

Threlfall-Holmes, M., and M. Newitt (2011) “Introduction”. In Being a Chaplain, eds M. Threlfall-Holmes and M. Newitt. London: SPCK, xii–xix.

Todd, A. (2011) “Responding to Diversity: Chaplaincy in a Multi-Faith Context”. In Being a Chaplain, eds M. Threlfall-Holmes and M. Newitt. London: SPCK, 89–102.

Turner, V. W. (1969) The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. London: Penguin Books.

—(1974) Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society. London: Cornell University Press.

—(2010) “Religious Specialists”. In Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion, ed. D. Hicks,. Plymouth: AltaMira Press, 3rd edn, 138–49.

Winkelman, M. J. (1990) “Shamans and Other ‘Magico-Religious’ Healers: A Cross-Cultural Study of Their Origins, Nature, and Social Transformations”. Ethos 18(3): 308–52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/eth.1990.18.3.02a00040

Published

2015-06-10

How to Cite

Newitt, M. (2015). Chaplaincy Support to Bereaved Parents - Part 2: Balancing Options, Openness and Authoritative Action. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 3(1), 23-40. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i1.20543

Issue

Section

Articles