Newsletter from the Coordinator of the Network

Fr Simon Evers


Dear representatives, members and friends of the ENHCC,

This email is to remind you of our question a few weeks ago to give us some feedback on the texts preparing the launch of ERICH. The initiation of a European Research Institute for Chaplaincy in HealthCare was approved by the consultation in beautiful Debrecen in June 2016. We went ahead and started to draft the founding mission and goals and everything you need to start with a Research Institute. In order to keep you all involved and be enriched by your thoughts, we sent you all the documents in the fourth newsletter (see underneath) and attach them again. Please give us your feedback before April 1st! We are also happy to invite you to the launch on Tuesday June 6th! More about that later.

Wishing you all the best

Simon Evers
Coordinator ENHCC

This is the fourth newsletter after Debrecen in June 2016, and I am proud to announce you that we have been working further 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. Today I can send them to you. You are asked to react with your comments before April 1st, 2017 to:

4. Anne and Ewan met with possible sponsors and will have news in April 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. If funding is approved in April, 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. Hereby you find the invitation and you will be given the opportunity to participate through the web.

I shall keep you updated on any further development and do hope to hear your reactions.
It is all very exciting!

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.

Wishing you the best, also on behalf of the members of the committee, in your work and personal life I shall get back to you in May to let you know the results of your reactions to the presented plans.

Please, if you have any suggestions or feedback feel free to mail me (

Simon Evers,
Coordinator ENHCC
23 March 2017