The Bishopric of the Forces is Catholic community without geographical boundaries. Service personnel and their dependants are served by Regular and Reserve Chaplains as well as a number of Officiating Chaplains. These chaplains are drawn from Dioceses and Religious Congregations and are clergy of the Bishopric for their duration of their military service.

Prior to 1917, the Archbishop of Westminster was Vicar Delegate to the Royal Navy and to the Army, remaining Vicar Delegate to the Royal Navy until 1954.

From 1917 until 1946, Ordinaries to the Army and (after 1918) the Royal Air Force were appointed.

From 1946 until 1954, Apostolic Administrators were appointed for the Army and the Royal Air Force.

In 1954, the Vicariate of the Forces was established and in 1997, the status was changed to that of a Military Ordinariate.

Former Bishops:

  • William Keatinge (b. 1869; Ordinary to the Forces 1917; d. 1934)
  • James Dey (b. 1869; Ordinary to the Forces 1935; d.1946)
  • David Mathew (b. 1902; Bishop 1938; Vicar of the Forces 1954, d.1975)
  • Gerard Tickle (b.1909; Vicar of the Forces 1963; d. 1994)
  • Francis Walmsley CBE (b. 1928; Vicar of the Forces 1979; Bishop of the Forces; 1987; now retired)
  • Thomas Burns SM (b. 1944; Bishop of the Forces 2002; now Bishop of Menevia)
  • Richard Moth MA JCL KC*HS (b. 1958; Bishop of the Forces; now Bishop of Arundel and Brighton)