Who we are?

At present, non-religious people are not effectively provided pastoral support in UK institutional and community settings. We are a network of trained and accredited non-religious pastoral carers, who are there to meet that gap in provision and support people at some of the most challenging times in people’s lives. We ensure the highest standards from our members, by sustaining a mutually supportive community of practice. We also promote the need for non-religious pastoral support within organisations across the UK, making sure people have access to the care they need, when they need it.

What do we want?

We want everyone engaging with and working in public institutions to have equal access to pastoral emotional, moral, and spiritual support regardless of their religion or beliefs. This support must be provided by likeminded individuals, who can provide the empathy and compassion needed at the most challenging of times. We believe in the necessity of increasing the availability of non-religious pastoral carers to ensure the availability of this provision across all sectors and services.

What do we do?

We provide and promote a highly effective network of pastoral carers to support people who need help. Through our bespoke induction programme, we are able to train, assess, and endorse non-religious providers, to ensure the highest quality of service. We also offer ongoing support to our members through clinical supervision and CPD, developing their practice and supporting their careers.

We work with strategic bodies like the NHS and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPSS), as well as various chaplaincy groups involved in the provision of pastoral, spiritual, and religious care. Our aim is to make sure these bodies better understand the pastoral care needs of non-religious people and cooperate with us in implementing policies, plans and practices so that those needs are met. Our ongoing engagement with key governing bodies continues to increase equality of pastoral care provision for all patients, prisoners, and students and ensure that everybody is able to access pastoral support that fits their worldview. The NRPSN continues to raise awareness of this kind of support so non-religious people know where to turn when they need it.


The NRPSN was set up, developed, and constituted by Humanists UK in 2016 under the banner of Humanist Care. Membership of the NRPSN is not limited to humanists and is open to all those who hold a non-religious belief system that is consistent with a democratic society.