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Forces chaplaincy applications increase

The Committee for Chaplains to Her Majesty’s Forces will ask the Kirk’s General Assembly to express its gratitude for the outstanding ministry given by all commissioned, officiating and honorary chaplains. As the atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan continue, whenever and wherever service personnel are involved in the dangers of operational duties it is imperative to the spiritual wellbeing and morale of each individual that the ministry of the Church is offered.

The Assembly will be assured by the committee’s report of its confidence in the work of its chaplains as they are faced with difficult and powerful challenges.

The Assembly will learn of the recent difficulties in attracting applications for military chaplaincy but will be encouraged by last years increase in applications for the Army and Royal Navy. While opportunity exists for ministers to serve as chaplains within all three Services, the committee will express its concern at the very low number of chaplains serving in the RAF from the Scottish church.

The last year has seen the relocation of the RAF Chaplaincy HQ from Gloucester to High Wycombe and has also been impacted by loss of all civilian support staff.

The report concludes with notification of changes within senior posts. The Rev Scott M. Rae who was principal Church of Scotland and Free Churches chaplain (Naval) and director of the Royal Navy Chaplaincy Service was medically discharged from the Royal Navy in November 2006. The Assembly will hear of his 25 years of distinguished service in both sea and shore appointments.

The Rev Scott J. Brown is his appointed successor. The Rev John Whitton has retired from the post of deputy chaplain general, after 30 years service within the Royal Army Chaplains Department. The committee welcomes the appointment of the Venerable Stephen Robbins as deputy chaplain general.

• Full story at the Church of Scotland.

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