Newsletter from the Coordinator of the Network

Fr Simon Evers


Dear representatives, members and friends of the ENHCC,

First off all I like to offer you my sincere and heartfelt wishes for a blessed 2017! May you find love, comfort and support in your personal lives with the ones that are dear to you. May you find satisfaction, inspiration and creativity in your spiritual care for those who come on your professional path.

This the second newsletter after Debrecen in June 2016, and I am proud to announce you that we have been working towards the achievement of the goals we set in our last consultation.

Follow up on the founding of a European Research Institute for Chaplaincy in HealthCare (ERICH):

During the consultation in Debrecen, June 2016, we valued the research on chaplaincy that was presented and were even more conscious of the importance of research on chaplaincy by chaplains. The consultation in Debrecen was a perfect follow up on the Salzburg statement of 2014 ( which especially stressed outcome related research. In Debrecen the vast majority of the representatives approved the founding of a research institute connected with ENHCC and a continuation with the Scottish PROM research in other European countries. The promise was made that members Anne Vandenhoeck (Belgium) and Ewan Kelly (Scotland) would move forward in communication with the coordinator, the committee and the members of ENHCC. What happened so far?

1. Ewan Kelly started working (40%) for the Academic Centre for Practical Theology, KU Leuven, Belgium, on October 1st 2016. He thus devotes two days a week working on the foundation of the institute, networking, searching for funding etc. Anne Vandenhoeck, who is the chair of the Academic Centre, works closely with Ewan. Both are investing a lot in the founding of the institute.

2. NHS Scotland, who is the intellectual owner of the PROMS, very kindly gave the permission to the future ERICH to use the PROMS under a few conditions, which we intend to honor. Sheila Mitchell, representative of NES, came over to Leuven to talk through the use of the PROMS by ERICH and gave her blessings.

3. Ewan, Anne and Simon Evers, coordinator, were in contact several times to discuss preliminary financial plans, operational documents, research plans and a mission statement for ERICH. Simon Evers communicated with his committee on the matters at hand. As agreed in Debrecen, the documents will be send to all representatives for approval and feedback. They will be send to you on February 15th, 2017. You will be asked to react with your comments before April 1st , 2017.

4. Anne and Ewan met with possible sponsors and will have news in March 2017 about the results of the discussion on the proposals at hand. One possible sponsor was impressed and stated a few times that the chosen research fitted well within their program. If their board decides to sponsor our research plans, they propose an additional dimension: researching the impact of spiritual care on health care costs. This is groundbreaking and very exciting. It would strengthen both the case of chaplaincy in healthcare systems and the work of ERICH.

5.Ewan Kelly and Austyn Snowden are connecting and discussing with possible participators in the PROM research in The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Belgium.

6. Because of the opportunities of sponsorship, the financial investment of the KU Leuven in preparing the foundation of ERICH (which is limited to October 2017) and not in the least the urgency of research results on outcomes, expressed by several professional associations in different European countries, we will have to move faster with the launch of ERICH than we thought in Debrecen. As soon as the committee gives the green light documents will be send to all members. If funding is approved in March, the funding organization will ask for a regular update on results, which means we will have to start sooner with ERICH. In an optimistic state of mind, we plan the launch of ERICH on June 6th, 2017 in Leuven. George Fitchett and Christina Puchalski, both international leaders in the advocacy of spiritual care and in the research on spiritual care, have kindly agreed to participate in the event and give a lecture. Every member of ENHCC will be invited and given the opportunity to participate through the web.

We will keep you updated on any further development.

Membership application by the Israeli association and the constitution of the ENHCC

After having heard the opinions of the committee members and after consulting the constitution, we agreed to admit the Israeli professional organization of chaplains (Association for Spiritual Care in Israël). They applied for membership after the consultation in Debrecen, where one of their founding members, Mike Schultz, was present and invited to give a lecture. As an associated member the Israeli Association does not have a right to vote and their representative cannot be a member of the Committee. The present constitution allows us to do this, but we feel that the constitution needs to be clearer on issues of membership of the ENHCC. The committee therefore will propose a new text by the consultation in 2018.

Dates to remember

- Meeting of the Committee in 2017: Monday June 5th till Thursday June 8th in Louvain, Belgium. Please contact me if there is any issue that you would like to be discussed by the committee (

- The launch of ERICH on Tuesday June 6, 2017 from 11 am till 4 pm in the main hall of the University in Leuven, Belgium. Part of the launch will be broadcasted live through the web.

- Consultation of the ENHCC 2018 in Blankenberge, Belgium: Friday June 15th till Tuesday June 19th, 2018. Please note that there has been a change of dates since the last newsletter due to availability in the hotel. Axel Liégeois has already done a lot of work to make this consultation a memorable one.

Finances of ENHCC

The invoices for the memberships of 2016 were sent out by Siimon Haamer, treasurer. We are delighted that 25 organizations already paid their fees. We encourage every organisations to do so and if for some reason this is not possible, please talk to the coordinator.


I had contact with the new representative of the 'Archevêché de Luxembourg - Service de la Pastorale' Jutta Filot-Förtsch (Référente pour la Pastorale specialise). She is planning to come in 2018! We missed Luxemburg during our last Consultation. I also try to renew the contacts with the Italian organisation (Associazione Italiana Pastorale Sanitaria ( We missed Italy the last Consultation.
I had several contacts with participants who were present in Debrecen and do notice with gratefulness there involvement and engagement.


From March 15th till 17th, 2017 Anne Vandenhoeck and I are invited by the German Protestant and Catholic Organizations of Chaplains for the '1.Ökumenischer Kongress der Seelsorgenden im Krankenhaus und Gesundheitswesen' in München. (
I was asked to play a role in a workshop about moral decision-making. Anne Vandenhoeck is invited there to speak about international developments.
Our known colleagues Toni Jung-Hankel (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland) and Hans-Gerd Angel (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz römisch-katholische Kirche) asked us to be there.

Wishing you the best in your work and personal life I shall get back to you on February 15th.
Please, if you have any suggestions or feedback feel free to mail me (

Simon Evers,
Coordinator ENHCC
15 January 2017