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Chaplaincy Staff

Volume 454: debated on Thursday 14 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many publicly funded full-time equivalent chaplaincy staff there were on average in 2005-06; what the cost was of such chaplaincy staff in 2005-06; what estimate he has made of the cost in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and whether he has assessed the merits of providing equivalent pastoral support for those who are not religious and who may not wish to receive such support from a religious chaplain. (105331)

The last available figures are as at 1 October 2005 and these show a total of 313 publicly funded full-time chaplaincy staff. The cost, based on capitation rates is £295,000.

The cost for 2006-07 and 2007-08 are expected to remain the same except for any adjustments in inflation.

The chaplain provides “an all souls ministry” and as such provides spiritual, moral and pastoral care for all religions and none. The chaplain is an integral part of the unit or headquarters in which they serve. The majority of pastoral work is not denominational or religious. Other support organisations are also available to all personnel in the form of Welfare Services, a Confidential Support Line and the Womens Royal Voluntary Service.