The Church believes and confesses that among the seven Sacraments there is one specially intended to strengthen those who are being tried by illness: the Anointing of the Sick. The Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament only for those who are at the point of death. Hence as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for them to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.

If a sick person who received this Anointing recovers their health they can in the case of another later illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious this sacrament may be repeated. It is also fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.


Please contact a priest as early as you can. If you are in doubt and in order to understand the Sacrament more deeply, a simple change of thought might help: DON’T THINK OF IT AS THE SACRAMENT OF THE DYING BUT A SACRAMENT OF THE LIVING. Please notify your parish priest if you are going into hospital for an operation or are seriously ill.



It is most important that on admission to hospital a patient (or his/her carers) inform the admission staff that they are Catholic. The hospital will not ask for this information, it is up to the patient to make it known and to make sure that a note is made.

If you are Catholic and have been admitted to Cheltenham or Gloucester hospital, and require a chaplain IN AN EMERGENCY please ask the nursing staff to contact the CHAPLAINCY OFFICE at the hospital (or ring 03004 222 222 and ask for the Catholic Chaplain).
ANY and ALL requests for visits within the hospital must go through the Chaplaincy office at the hospital 
(and not directly to your parish priest)



If you need a priest in an emergency, other than for the hospital, and you can’t contact the parish priest at Sacred Hearts please contact the Cheltenham Dean at St Gregory the Great, 10 St James Square, Cheltenham, GL50 3PR, on 01242 523737