Pastoral & spiritual care

Pastoral Care and Spirituality Services (PCSS) at the Women’s is concerned with the wellbeing of the human spirit. The pastoral care and spirituality service is a free confidential service. 

Our team offers emotional and spiritual support to all patients, their family and friends, and staff at the hospital during times of change and challenge. We offer support that is sensitive to, and respectful of, each person’s individual needs.

Spending time in hospital may cause feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and stress. Our pastoral care workers are dedicated to working with people from diverse cultural and spiritual backgrounds.

Telling your story in a supported environment may help you to express your feelings. You may wish to see a pastoral care worker if you:

  • are feeling lonely, upset, overwhelmed or fearful
  • are celebrating a defining stage
  • are grieving or experiencing a crisis
  • are struggling with future decisions
  • are having difficulty with your illness
  • wish to explore questions of faith
  • simply want a friendly, listening ear.


The Women’s PCSS works as part of a multi-skilled team offering:

  • emotional and spiritual support
  • opportunities for prayer or reflection
  • rituals at times of personal significance
  • support and guidance on issues of death and dying
  • pastoral counselling
  • access to sacred texts
  • sacraments such as communion and baptism, with anointing upon request
  • visits on the ward at your request (Pastoral Carers visit wards most days of the week.)
  • contact with a representative from most religious traditions
  • support to those who have no allegiance to a particular faith or religious belief.

Representatives from various traditions can be requested. Please ask a pastoral care worker which representatives are available, as they can change.

Sacred Space

The Sacred Space is located on the ground floor in the corridor connecting the Women’s and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Look out for the passage lined with artwork and scared texts.

The space is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm for patients, family, visitors and staff, offering a peaceful place for prayer and reflection. Lighting of candles or incense can be arranged by request. The Sacred Space displays universal symbols of water, fire, earth and air, to respect and acknowledge spiritual expression in our diverse community.

Sacred texts are provided for prayer or reflection and a prayer journal for recording your thoughts or prayers. A memorial book is also available for bereaved parents upon request.