Chaplains are latest British military shortage

Written by BAFF Admin on . Posted in Archive

General Synod to hear reports of falling numbers despite rising demand for services

Military chaplains are busier than they have been since the second world war but the armed forces are struggling to recruit clergy because of a diminishing pool of priests, the Church of England's governing body will be told this week.

In a report to the General Synod, which opens tomorrow, chaplaincies from across the armed forces will highlight the discrepancy between staffing and demand.

The navy chaplaincy has dropped its minimum age requirement from 52 to 49 to attract more people. The RAF, which deployed 12 chaplains in 2009 to Afghanistan alone, says it has launched a recruitment campaign because of the shortages.

The Royal Army Chaplains' Department has experienced one of its busiest decades since the second world war, with more than 30 staff deployed simultaneously around the world on several occasions because of Britain's military operations. It has 27 people in Afghanistan and nine in Iraq. ...