As Interim Chair of Police Chaplaincy UK, it gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to our website and I hope you will find it informative and useful.
As I as reflected on the content of this article I was reminded of the key characteristics of a Chaplain as defined by the Methodist Church.
- offers ministry beyond the walls - to where people are;
- is an invited guest and not the host;
- is vulnerable - not powerful;
- is commissioned by our faith leadership and accredited by the host;
- is an intentional presence - rather than gathering;
- is an authentic expression of active faith - sharing in what God is doing in the world.
If we unpack that definition and apply it to our own work, we can see clear parallels with the pattern of our own ministry. We go beyond the confines of our places of worship and find ourselves grounded and challenged in the reality of everyday life and the pressures that the men and women of the police service feel and experience every day.
Quite rightly we have no power and we are in every sense servants to those whom we serve, but that servanthood is both vulnerable and empowering. We walk alongside listening to stories and sharing journeys, but we are also called to recognise and confront injustice whenever we see it.
The prophetic element of our calling to speak out for others is a vital but often the most challenging, and it speaks of our own vulnerability. We also embody faith in the presence of a secular society but also in a climate where people are searching for meaning and a sense of self-worth. The richness of our religious diversity is our greatest strength when irrespective of our faith tradition we are not in competition but recognising the image of God in all people.
Chaplaincy is not so much taking God to the front line, but rather disclosing his presence in the toughness of life and living.
Charles Nevin - Interim Chair