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Chaplains

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many chaplains of each denomination are serving in each of the armed forces; and how many there were in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002. (97317)

The number of trained chaplains in the UK regular forces broken down by Service and denomination is shown in the following table. It is not possible to show chaplains in the Naval Service broken down by denomination at April 1997 and April 2002 as historical data are not held centrally. In addition to the Christian chaplains shown in the table, chaplains from the four main non-Christian faiths were appointed in October 2005, one each from the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Sikh faiths. These chaplains are MOD civil servants rather than Service personnel. There is also an honorary officiating chaplain to minister to those of the Jewish faith.

1 April 1997

1 April 2002

1 April 20061

1 September 20061, 2

Naval Service3

70

70

65

70

Baptist

n/a

n/a

4

4

Church of England

n/a

n/a

35

35

Church of Scotland

n/a

n/a

10

10

Free Church of Scotland

n/a

n/a

4

4

Methodist

n/a

n/a

4

4

Roman Catholic

n/a

n/a

10

10

Army

150

150

145

145

Baptist

4

5

5

5

Church of England

80

75

70

70

Church of Ireland

10

10

10

10

Church of Scotland

15

15

15

15

Church of Wales

4

5

4

4

Episcopalian—Scottish

4

4

4

4

Free Church of Scotland

0

0

4

4

Methodist

10

10

10

10

Presbyterian—Ireland

4

4

4

4

Presbyterian—Scotland

4

4

0

0

Roman Catholic

20

25

25

20

Unified Reformed Church

4

4

4

4

Royal Air Force3

80

75

75

570

Baptist

4

4

4,5

n/a

Church of England

55

50

545

n/a

Church of Ireland

0

4

4,5

n/a

Church of Scotland

5

5

55

n/a

Free Church of Scotland

4

0

50

n/a

Methodist

4

5

55

n/a

Presbyterian

4

4

4,5

n/a

Roman Catholic

10

10

510

n/a

Unified Reformed Church

4

0

50

n/a

n/a = not available

1 Naval Service totals for April 2006 and September 2006 include five Christian Chaplains of unknown denomination. Army totals for April 2006 and September 2006 include fewer than five Christian Chaplains of unknown denomination.

2 Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system, a breakdown of RAF Chaplains by denomination is not available at September 2006, and the breakdown of RAF Chaplains by denomination at April 2006 is provisional. The total figure for RAF Chaplains at September 2006 is provisional pending review.

3 Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

4 denotes fewer than five. All other figures have been rounded to the nearest five.

5 denotes provisional

Note:

UK Regular Forces includes Nursing services and excludes Full Time Reserve Service personnel, Ghurkhas, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists.