Royal Army Chaplains' Department
For centuries the Royal Army Chaplains' Department (RAChD) has ministered to soldiers in times of peace and war. We are proud to provide spiritual leadership, moral guidance and pastoral support to all soldiers and their families, irrespective of religion or belief.
Our members are ordained ministers sent into the Army with the authority of our various sending Churches. The wealth and diversity of experience each chaplain brings helps create a department that is continually evolving at the cutting edge of multi-denominational and multi-faith ministry. Teamwork lies at the heart of what it means to be an Army chaplain.
We wear the uniform of the British Army but do not carry arms. We are non-combatants who accompany our units in war and on operations around the world, providing the service of the Church in difficult situations.
Initially we receive a three-year commission, which, with satisfactory service, can be extended to age 55. Our postings are normally between two and three years. This means that in a 15-year career we have opportunities to experience a great range of ministerial opportunities, in a variety of places.
The role of Army chaplains
In simple terms we provide for the spiritual wellbeing of soldiers and their families. In order to achieve this we work in the following three key areas.
- Spiritual leadership to all levels of the Army from private soldiers, through to the most senior officers.
- Moral guidance through both the formal teaching of the core values of the Army (selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline and courage), and the many informal opportunities we have to minister to our soldiers and their families.
- Pastoral support for all who seek it, whatever their religion, beliefs or background might be. This could also include the care of enemy combatants.
In practice, how we do this depends on our own experience and the type of unit that we are serving with. An infantry battalion works in a very different way to a training regiment, and so we would provide accordingly.