Skip to main content

Chaplains

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many chaplains are serving with the (a) Royal Navy and Royal Marines, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Air Force; how many in each category are (i) Christian, (ii) Jewish, (iii) Muslim, (iv) Hindu, (v) Sikh and (vi) of other religions; and what the total cost was to public funds of providing chaplaincy services in the last year for which figures are available. (87381)

There are a total of 376 chaplains serving with the armed forces. The breakdown per service is as follows:

Number

Royal Navy and Royal Marines

74

Army

221

RAF

76

All

15

Total

376

1 There are five chaplains who serve all three services from the following religions, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish. All are civilian chaplains and do not deploy.

The breakdown by religion is as follows:

Number

Christian

371

Jewish

11

Muslim

1

Hindu

1

Sikh

1

Buddhist

1

Total

376

1 The Jewish chaplain is an honorary officiating chaplain.

In addition, there are 207 officiating chaplains to the forces (OCF) who are fee earners and are used by the armed forces in the United Kingdom only.

There are also three Hindu Pandits who are engaged as locally employed civilians specifically to provide pastoral care and support to Gurkhas.

The last available figures for the total cost to public funds for providing chaplaincy services to the armed forces are as follows:

£

Uniformed Chaplains1

29,200,000

Civilian Chaplains2

240,000

OCF3

636,000

Total

30,076,000

1 The figures are based on capitation rates as at October 2005. 2 This category includes Buddhist, Hindu (including Pandits), Sikh, Muslim, and Jewish faiths. It is an estimated cost and includes travel and subsistence. 3 Estimated costs of officiating chaplains to the forces.