Our Mission: To provide the very best operational, spiritual and pastoral support, primarily for Catholic servicemen and women (and their families) and chaplains, wherever, whenever and in whatever form it is needed. Additionally, to respond to the needs of anyone of any creed or none, who turns to a Catholic chaplain for support.
Lenten Pastoral Letter 2021
from the Bishop of the Forces
RAF RC Community is available by clicking on the image above.
The Army RC Community Newsletter is available by clicking on the image above.
Bishop Paul Mason
Welcome to the website of the Roman Catholic Bishopric of Her Majesty's Armed Forces. We are a Roman Catholic diocese whose boundaries are not geographical but take us wherever the British Military are serving. As you may imagine, that makes us a particularly large diocese.
Providing pastoral ministry to our Armed Forces is essential. It is a concrete example of the Church’s outreach in bearing witness to Christ which we endeavour to achieve in a military environment. Pope Francis tells us the Church should be like a Field Hospital. Well, in our case that can, of course, be taken literally. Our chaplains are to be found in the most challenging of times and places bringing prayer, sacraments, friendship and fellowship to those they serve.
As you browse the pages of this website you will discover much about life in the Bishopric and its work in the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force. You will meet our chaplains and gain some insight into life as a Catholic in the military. You can read about our pilgrimages, retreats, associations and groups, and perhaps find something you would like to join.
As Bishop of the Forces I witness on a daily basis the faith and selfless commitment of so many dedicated servicemen and women, whether at work on their home unit in the UK or while serving overseas. The personal sacrifices they make along with the selfless support of their loved ones means we can all be safe. Just as Christ came “not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many” so our military can offer a powerful example of selfless service.
If you are seeking opportunities to live out your Catholic faith with others in the Forces community, I hope these pages will help you navigate the many and varied activities we provide. Even if you are a not a Catholic yourself our chaplains are there to be alongside and support you. If you are a deacon or priest interested in becoming a military Chaplain, or perhaps you are interested in becoming a Catholic, I warmly invite you to get in touch with any of the contacts you discover as you browse the various pages.
With every prayer & blessing,
Congratulations to Fr Paschal Hanrahan who has been promoted to Assistant Chaplain General and has also been appointed as Principal Catholic Chaplain to the Army, taking over from Fr Michael Fava whom we thank and wish well in his retirement from military service.
For the sick:
Fr John Ryan, former Royal Navy Catholic Chaplain.
For those who have died:
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow (13 January 2021)
Bishop Vincent Logan, Bishop Emeritus of Dunkeld (14 January 2021)
Archbishop Juan del Río Martín, Military Archbishopric of Spain (28 January 2021)
'Become A Chaplain' also features podcasts, individual forces links and general over view into life as a Military Forces Chaplain
For the latest RAF Chaplains' Branch Brochure, full of information for those interested in joining the RAF as a Chaplain, click HERE.
Stories & Features
Thy Kingdom Come - Light Up The World With Prayer
13 - 23 May 2021
Now in its sixth year, Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) is an 11-day ecumenical prayer initiative which takes place between Ascension and Pentecost.
See Cardinal Vincent Nichol's message for TKC here.
Defence Christians of all denominations are encouraged to join the following events:
Thu 13 May at 1700 - Ascension Day launch service of Evening Prayer with a sermon by Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley.
Fri 14 May to Sat 22 May - A novena of daily devotions. During the novena a short pre-recorded daily devotion will be offered each morning.
Pentecost Sunday 23 May - Attend your local church service in person or on-line.
All events will be hosted on the Defence Christian Network YouTube channel.
HRH Prince Philip
With great sadness I heard the news of Prince Philip's death. His example of duty and service over so many decades is an example to us all. Seeing active service in the Royal Navy during WWII as well as his ongoing support of the Armed Forces has brought a great sense of pride and inspiration to military personnel. A faithful husband and loving father, his loss will be felt so deeply felt by Her Majesty and their children. I pray for the Royal Family and for the repose of Prince Philip's soul.
Rest In Peace.
Dn Dave Skillen, Principal Catholic Chaplain, (RAF), is asked by Sacred Heart Parish (where he attends Mass with his family) to reflect on who the Deacon is, by vocation and ministry.
Click on the image to view website article. Link here to download .
Welcome and congratulations to AB Tony Deans RN who was received into the Catholic Church and Confirmed by Bishop Paul on Easter Sunday at HMS Collingwood. Our picture shows from left to right Bishop Paul, Tony, and Fr David Conroy, Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain (Naval) .