Chaplain

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Chaplaincy
Level:Officer
A Royal Navy Chaplain preaching and leading a service for personnel on board ship.
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At a glance

What you’ll do

The Chaplain is a vital member of any naval or commando unit, with a unique congregation. The team of 30,000 men and women who make up the Naval Service come from all walks of life. They do extraordinary jobs in extraordinary circumstances, all over the world, 365 days a year. It means your congregation – and crewmates – need a unique type of support. We welcome people who practise all faiths (including those with none), so you’ll need to be a friend, adviser and spiritual guide to them all in a multi-faith environment. You’ll be there for whoever needs you to be. You’ll serve the people who serve our nation. 

Chaplain

Your role

  • Just as in civilian life, you’ll preach the word, administer the sacraments, visit the sick, baptise, confirm, marry, bury, and counsel the bereaved, anxious and lost. 
  • With no rank of your own, you share that of the person you’re talking with, from Rear Admiral to the most junior rating. 
  • Develop a wide range of new skills through military training, including firefighting and first aid. You’ll need to apply these skills in operational environments, as well as on exercises.
  • Travel the world, giving crucial guidance to serving personnel and their families. The work you do when mobilised will make a vital contribution to protecting our nations interests. 

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • The opportunity to study for a PGCE or Masters degree

    The opportunity to attend Staff College

Skills you'll develop

  • Communication skills working with Navy personnel, who may have no church background
  • Gain experience working with young people
     

     

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • You’ll need to be aged 25 to 48
  • Be a clergy member of one of the following churches: Anglican, Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland, Congregational, Presbyterian, Baptist, United Reformed, Assemblies of God, Elim Pentecostal, Methodist or Churches in Community
  • A theological degree or an equivalent recognised qualification
  • To be employed by a church at the point of application, with a view to having three years of experience behind you by the time you complete your training 
  • You need to be able to pass the Royal Naval Fitness Test (RNFT) & Royal Naval Swimming Test (RNST).
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth citizen or Dual National

Skills and interests

  • Understanding of the diverse rigours of Naval life 
  • Ability to work individually, without the structure and support of your church 
  • Physically and mentally fit for the challenge
  • Ability to work as part of a diverse and ecumenical branch
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

  • Submit an application

    Starting your career: Register your interest by contacting the Naval Chaplaincy Recruiter on 02392 625552, Mob 07811 991822.

  • Acquaint visit

    This experience will give you a taste of Naval Service and what it means to be a Naval Chaplain. This can be arranged by the Chaplain Recruiter at the number above.

  • You will require approval from Church's endorsing
  • Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) For Chaplains

    This stage takes place over a day and a half. It’s a competency-based assessment that confirms that you’re physically and mentally ready to become a Royal Navy Chaplain.


Initial training

As a new-entry Chaplain, your initial training lasts 18 weeks.

Your initial training will include time at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) Dartmouth. This will provide the military background and sea-awareness for your ministry.

After your initial training, which will include 6 weeks at sea, you'll carry out further Chaplaincy-specific training at sea and on shore, to prepare you for your first appointment.

If you are going to serve with the Royal Marines, you will be given the opportunity to try and complete the Commando Course held at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone.  However, you can still serve with the Royal Marines having completed a 'green skills' course if the Commando Course is not for you.

After you’ve completed your training, you will be invited to sit the Naval Chaplaincy Service Board at Navy Command Headquarters. This will test your knowledge and competence to minister in the Naval Service.