Royal Army Chaplains' Department
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|British Army arms and services|
|Royal Armoured Corps|
|Army Air Corps|
|Combat Support Arms|
|Royal Corps of Signals|
|Royal Army Chaplains Department|
|Royal Logistic Corps|
|Army Medical Services|
|Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers|
|Adjutant General's Corps|
|Small Arms School Corps|
|Royal Army Physical Training Corps|
|General Service Corps|
|Corps of Army Music|
As of 2007, there are about 150 serving regular chaplains (commonly known as "padres") in the British Army; these can belong to one of several Christian churches, or to the Jewish faith, although currently all active chaplains are Christian. Uniquely within the British Army, the Royal Army Chaplains' Department has different cap badges for its Christian and Jewish officers. There are also chaplains in the Territorial Army and the Army Cadet Force.
Army chaplains, although they are all commissioned officers of the British Army and wear uniform, do not have executive authority. They are unique within the British Army in that they do not carry arms. At services on formal occasions, chaplains wear their medals and decorations on their clerical robes (many chaplains have been decorated for bravery in action, including three Victoria Crosses).
The RAChD's motto is "In this Sign Conquer" as seen in the sky before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge by the Roman Emperor Constantine. Its regimental march, both quick and slow, is the Prince of Denmark's March, erroneously known as the Trumpet Voluntary.
From 1946 until 1996, the RAChD's Headquarters, Depot and Training Centre were at Bagshot Park in Surrey, now the home of The Earl and Countess of Wessex. In 1996, they moved to the joint service Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre at Amport House near Andover, formerly the home of the Royal Air Force Chaplain Branch.
The Army Chaplains' Department (AChD) was formed by Royal Warrant of 23 September 1796. Previously chaplains had been part of individual regiments, but not on the central establishment. Only Anglican chaplains were recruited until 1827, when Presbyterians were recognised. Roman Catholic chaplains were recruited from 1836, Methodist chaplains from 1881, and Jewish chaplains from 1892. The Department received the "Royal" prefix in February 1919 for its services during World War I. Some 4,400 Army Chaplains were recruited between 1914 and 1918; 179 lost their lives on active service and three were awarded the Victoria Cross.
The RAChD is the only branch of the Army to perpetuate the tradition of dividing supporting troops into "departments" (officers only) and "corps" (other ranks only).
The Museum of Army Chaplaincy is located at Amport House near Andover, Hampshire.
Representative denominations in the RAChD
Chaplains are either classified as Jewish (currently only in the Territorial Army) or as a member of one of the following seven Christian denominational groups:
- Anglican (Church of England, Church of Ireland, Church in Wales and Scottish Episcopal Church)
- Presbyterian (Church of Scotland and Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
- Roman Catholic Church
- Methodist Church
- United Board, incorporating the Baptist Church, United Reformed Church and Congregational Church
- Elim Pentecostal Church
- Assemblies of God
However, an Army chaplain is expected to minister to and provide pastoral care to any soldier who needs it, no matter their denomination or faith or lack of it.
Chaplains are the only British Army officers who do not carry standard officer ranks. They are officially designated Chaplain to the Forces (CF) (e.g. "The Reverend John Smith CF"). They do, however, have grades which equate to the standard ranks and wear the insignia of the equivalent rank. Chaplains are usually addressed as "Padre" //, never by their nominal military rank.
- Chaplain-General (CG) = Major-General
- Deputy Chaplain-General (DCG) = Brigadier
- Chaplain to the Forces 1st Class (CF1) = Colonel
- Chaplain to the Forces 2nd Class (CF2) = Lieutenant-Colonel
- Chaplain to the Forces 3rd Class (CF3) = Major
- Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class (CF4) = Captain
The senior Church of England Chaplain is ranked within the church hierarchy as an Archdeacon – he or she holds the appointment of Archdeacon for the Army whether or not he or she is also the Chaplain-General. The Senior Roman Catholic Chaplain (usually a CF1) is sometimes ranked as a monsignor.
- Chaplain-General: the Revd Jonathan Woodhouse (Baptist)
- Archdeacon for the Army: the Ven Peter Eagles (Anglican)
Order of precedence
Army Air Corps
|Order of Precedence||Succeeded by
Royal Logistic Corps
- Royal Air Force Chaplains Branch
- Bishop to the Forces (Anglican)
- Bishopric of the Forces (Roman Catholic)
- Military chaplain#United Kingdom
- International Military Chiefs of Chaplains Conference
- Religion in the United Kingdom
- Toc H
- Category:Royal Army Chaplains' Department officers
- Some notable Army chaplains
- Bergen, Doris. L., (ed), 2004. The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Century. University of Notre Dame Press ISBN 0-268-02176-7
- Kennedy, Geoffrey Anketell Studdert The Unutterable Beauty, ISBN 1-84685-110-6
- Loudon, Stephen H. Chaplains in Conflict. The Role of Army Chaplains since 1914. Avon Books, London: 1996. ISBN 1-86033-840-2
- MacDonald, David R. Padre E. C. Crosse and 'the Devonshire Epitaph': The Astonishing Story of One Man at the Battle of the Somme (with Antecedents to Today's 'Just War' Dialogue), ISBN 978-1-929569-45-8
- McLaren, Stuart John (ed.) Somewhere in Flanders. A Norfolk Padre in the Great War. The War Letters of the Revd Samuel Frederick Leighton Green MC, Army Chaplain 1916–1919. The Larks Press, Norfolk, UK (www.booksatlarkspress.co.uk): 2005. ISBN 1-904006-25-6
- Montell, Hugh (2002) A Chaplain's War. The Story of Noel Mellish VC, MC. ISBN 1-84394-008-6
- O'Rahilly, Alfred The Padre of Trench Street (about Jesuit Father William Doyle), ISBN 1-905363-15-X
- Purcell, William Woodbine Willie. An Anglican Incident. Being some account of the life and times of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, poet, prophet, seeker after truth, 1883–1929. London: 1962
- Smyth, Brigadier The Rt Hon. Sir John, Bt, VC, MC In This Sign Conquer. The Story of the Army Chaplains. London: 1968
- Snape, Michael The Royal Army Chaplains' Department, 1796–1953. Clergy under Fire. Boydell Press, 2007. ISBN 1-84383-346-8
- Teonge, Henry The Diary of Henry Teonge Chaplain on Board HM’s Ships Assistance, Bristol and Royal Oak 1675–1679. Edited by Sir E. Denison Ross and Eileen Power. London: Routledge,  2005.
- Thornton, Sybil "Buddhist Chaplains in the Field of Battle" in Buddhism in Practice, ed. Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995)
- Wilkinson, Alan The Church of England and the First World War. SPCK, London: 1978, reprinted by SCM, London: 1996. ISBN 0-334-02669-5
- Padres at war: Army chaplains bring comfort to the front line. Royal Army Chaplains' Department webpage. British Army official website.
- Royal Army Chaplains' Department official webpage. British Army official website.
- Museum of Army Chaplaincy webpage. British Army official website.
- The Role of Army Chaplains. British Army official website.
- Army Chaplains' History. British Army official website.