Final Message From National Chaplain



Dear All,

Just a few lines as I stand down as National Police Chaplain this coming Sunday to say both a thank you and goodbye.

I have, in various guises been around Policing for 45 years and have [largely] enjoyed that time immensely and consider it a privilege that both my vocations have been, for the most part, a ‘paid hobby’. Ironic though it sounds the one constant is change!

There have been huge changes in Policing and huge changes in Police Chaplaincy. Over the past 20 or so years Police Chaplaincy has grown tremendously both in terms of quantity, diversity and especially in its scope and engagement with the service. It once would have been commonplace to have described Police Chaplains as ‘guests of the Police’ whereas now chaplains have a unique role and are very much part of the Police family. It has been one of my tasks to be an advocate for the role and work of chaplains across the service as we have developed chaplaincy and it is a great encouragement that today Police Chaplaincy is valued and held in high regard across the service.

British Policing comprises many different forces and it is the hard work, committed service and local engagement of you as Police Chaplains that has earned that respect. Many years ago I came across the phrase ‘to be real it must be local’ and I do think that is true in so many ways. My advocacy and efforts are just one side of the coin, the other is the daily work of Police Chaplains – together it makes sense.

More than ever Policing today needs the involvement of you as individual chaplains serving and supporting our people, regardless of faith or belief, engaging where faith and operational issues come together and especially at times of pressure and crisis whether professional or personal.

Thank you for what you do in all manner of different ways it has made it a joy to serve and be part of that ongoing story.

I will remain involved with National Police Memorial Day through the Police Roll of Honour Trust and with some other projects so I guess not a complete goodbye to policing but a time for my successor, in due course, to write the next chapter for chaplaincy.

On Sunday my last ‘official’ duty is to speak at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The set readings record the journey of two people walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus at a time of real bewilderment, confusion, anxiety and deep loss following the death of Jesus of Nazareth. As they walk and talk they are joined by a third person. This we come to understand is God himself, in the person of Christ, and the passage includes the phrase ‘were not our hearts burning within us on the road’. Though drawn from the Christian tradition I think this speaks much of the ministry of all chaplains, of whatever faith or tradition. We have the unique privilege of walking alongside people day by day, sharing their joys and sorrows, their good times and bad, their great joys and deep heartaches. It is our prayer and hope that as we do so they may discover something of the numinous, something deep and profound, perhaps even of God, for themselves and are supported, encouraged and gain renewed hope as they journey. Even more wonderful we may never know!

One unique joy of standing down from my role is you discover, just a little, about some of those walks!

Thank you all for your support, friendship and shared partnership in this great venture as we seek to bring ‘chaplaincy to the heart of Policing’


David and members of the Police Chaplaincy UK Board at his surprise leaving do last month!
Read more about that here



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Work is well underway for the appointment of a new National Chaplain although someone is not expected to be in place until the Autumn. The Chair of Police Chaplaincy UK, Rev’d Dom Jones will be seconded as Acting National Chaplain until this time.

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