Charting the UK chaplaincy explosion
Chaplaincy operates on the edge of the church but at the heart of the gospel
That will be the message from the Revd Jonathan Woodhouse, CB (pictured), former Honorary Chaplain to the Queen (QHC), who will speak at CRE National 2019 on Chaplaincy: the new missional frontline (12pm, Wed 16 Oct).
‘There is an explosion of chaplaincy ministry in the UK, from the community of faith to the community of work and play,’ explained Jonathan, who was head of the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department from 2011 to 2014 and the first-ever Baptist to become Chaplain General.
‘Chaplaincy is a soft-skilled, inclusive, relational and incarnational ministry offering spiritual support, pastoral care and ethical questions in contemporary public spaces.’
His talk will introduce visitors to effective ways to listen and discuss contentious issues with people of different faiths and no faith in fluid, life situations – and how chaplains work in teams with those of other faiths whilst remaining true to their Christian journey.
‘I will also look at the emerging opportunities of chaplaincy in every locality and region,’ he said.
Jonathan has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Falkland Islands, Germany and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
‘Because of the issues dealt with in the army, especially on operations – mortality, relationships, pastoral support, purpose and forgiveness – there’s a great call for chaplaincy that isn’t necessarily there in the civilian world,’ he explained. ‘Chaplains live, breathe, socialise and go on exercise and operations together, dealing with powerful issues. I don’t know of a comparable relationship that a priest or minister might enjoy in their parish.’
Jonathan lectures at Moorlands College, part of the exhibition’s Study Zone.
Almost 200 organisations have booked stands at CRE National 2019 to display everything from card donation kiosks to communion wine, musical instruments to motorcycle funerals.
More than 4000 local church leaders and members are expected to visit the three-day event which will be opened by former Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones and actress Fiona Hendley.
CRE National 2019 at Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey opening hours: Tue 15 and Wed 16 Oct, 10am-5pm; Thu 17 Oct, 10am-4.30pm.