[Telegraph] 9 Feb 2009--Hospitals began in the Eastern part of the Christian Church, inspired by Christ’s example of serving and caring for the poor, the sick and the needy. They spread rapidly to the west and were closely associated with religious orders and their duty to offer hospitality to any in need. The oldest hospital in the land, I believe, is in Rochester and it is called St Bartholomew’s, like its more famous name-sake in London. The names — St Thomas’s, St Richard’s, St Mary’s — betray their origins and quite often these foundations continue to have connections with the Church. How is it, then, that the Christian faith is becoming more and more marginal in the very places that owe their origin to it? Why are chapels being replaced by “multi-faith rooms” and how can it be that a nurse, Caroline Petrie, can be suspended for offering to pray for a patient who could have and did say “no, thank you”. Why did the matter not end there?