Welcome to the Army section of the Forces’ Bishopric web-site. As current Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain to the Army it is my pleasure to invite you to explore the contribution of serving Catholic personnel who enrich the life of the Army by their faithful presence, and to learn more about the ministry of Catholic clergy who minister across the Army community within units, brigades, divisions, and garrisons. Army chaplains support service personnel of all ranks together with their families, alongside the extensive network of civilian support staff who work across defence.
“If you can’t pray with them then pray for them” this is a great phrase that was uttered by one of the First World War Chaplains, the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy MC, and is as accurate today as it was all those years ago.
The Army Chaplain is a Vocation within a vocation, let me explain what I mean and how that differs from your Parish Priest. Army Chaplains are ordained having completed their seminary training and appointed by their bishop or superior. In order to become a Chaplain in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Clergy are required to have had 5 years, post ordination, pastoral experience, in order to allow them to grow and develop in their ministry. It’s a bit like you only learn to drive after you have passed your driving test (or some might say after you have experienced your first accident).
The Congregation of an Army Chaplains is that of his Regiment or Battalion, they are the people who he engages with every day and supports in times of crisis or in the challenges and up and downs of life. Once a Priest has completed his basic military training, he is assigned to a unit for circa two year period. During this time, you accompany them wherever they might go, be it on exercise or deployed for a six month tour of duty in areas of conflict. You are integrated into their family ethos and live, eat and sleep alongside them daily. The role can be isolating and peripatetic, as you might be the only unit at that location.
Army chaplains support service personnel of all ranks, faith and some who have not heard of Jesus together with their families, alongside the extensive network of civilian support staff who work across defence. We practice an ALL-SOULS Ministry, alongside that of our Sacramental Role. Priest will have the added task of administering a Church within the barracks too. As I am sure you can imagine it is a unique and privileged role to journey alongside 500 or more personnel daily. It’s great to feel wanted, cared for and loved as they look on you as being THEIRS, there is a real sense of belonging.
Fundamentally you remain a part of the Diocese or Religious Congregation that you were ordained for and are on-loan to the Bishopric of The Forces for the duration of your Military Service. Chaplains in the Army receive a Queens Commission and Rank and are accountable. They are professionally qualified Officers in the British Army and are required to set annual personal objectives, they have a mid-period appraisal and an annual report where they are graded, based on their interactions, achievements and engagement in the course of that year.
Chaplains teach the Values and Standards of the British Army:
Respect for Others
Chaplains are fortunate to carry the baton of faith and service passed to them by generations of such illustrious predecessors for over 200 years, and so minister to those in adversity and danger in our present challenging times. The profile of Catholic personnel in the Army is widespread and respected, and opportunities to gather and celebrate our faith together feature throughout the year – most notably at the annual International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes every May.
I am privileged to hold the role of The Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain, a role where I have the additional responsibility to support and care for the chaplains in my care. Of all the Sector Ministries that exist, having served as a School Chaplain and Hospital Chaplain; Army Chaplaincy has been the most unique, challenging, yet rewarding opportunity I have experienced in 28 years of Priestly Ministry.
As the Reverend Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy MC, pointed out that personnel will forgive anything in a chaplain except a lack of courage and devotion, and so urged them to approach soldiers with love in their hearts, and while living alongside them, “Laugh with them. Joke with them. You can pray with them sometimes but pray for them always.”
I hope that what you learn here of our Army life and faith will interest and inspire you. Please pray for our chaplains and for our service personnel. Our wonderful, gifted, and diverse community welcomes your interest, but especially your prayers. Thank you.
Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain (Army) and Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General, HQ Army Scotland
Click here to find out about becoming a Catholic Chaplain in the Armed Forces.
Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain (Army) Rev Ian Stevenson VE CF (RC)
Senior Chaplain Scotland HQ 51Brigade Redford Cavalry Barracks, Colinton Road EDINBURGH EH13 0PP Email: Ian.email@example.com
Chaplains 2nd Class:
Rev Ian J Stevenson (Paisley) 03 Sep 01
Rev Mgr Canon Robert Corrigan (Clifton) 15 Sep 08
Chaplains 3rd Class:
Rev Stephen Sharkey (Galloway) 15 Sep 08
Rev Paul McCourt (Hexham and Newcastle) Sept 14
Rev Mgr John F Nelson (Portsmouth) Sept 18
Rev Phillip Smith (Southwark) Sept 15
Rev PJ O’Driscoll (Cloyne) Sept 17
Chaplains 4th Class:
Rev Kevin Dow (Edinburgh)
Rev John Moriarty (Lancaster)
Rev John Power (Liverpool)
Rev David Burke (Westminster)
RESERVE CHAPLAINS Rev Duane Reilly (Leeds)
Army Cadet Force:
Rev Dr Gerard Fieldhouse Byrne (Salford)
Rev David A Gamble (Liverpool)
Rev Francis J Lynch (Wrexham)
Pastoral Administrative Assistant
Mrs Karen Horn MBE Email: Armyrcpaa21@gmail.com
Vicar General The Revd Nicholas Gosnell SRN BTh(Hons) MA(Ed) MA(CL)
St Michael’s House Queen’s Avenue Aldershot
GU11 2BY Tel: 01252 315042 Email: Stmichael.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cathedral of St Michael & St George, Queens Avenue, Aldershot GU11 2BY
Mass: Sunday at 11:00 Wednesday at 1200
Rev Fr Pip Smith CF (RC) Chaplain 1st Battalion Irish Guards Mons Barracks Aldershot GU11 2LF Email: Phillip.email@example.com BULFORD, Wilts Church: Our Lady Queen of Peace, Kandy Road Bulford Camp, SP4 9AA Mass: Sunday 10:30
Rev John Power CF (RC) Chaplain The Royal Lancers Cambrai Barracks AVA Road Catterick Garrison DL9 3PZ Email: John.firstname.lastname@example.org Mass: Sunday at 1030 – St Joan of Arc, Hipswell Road, Catterick Garrison DL9 3BP EDINBURGH
Rev Ian Stevenson CF (RC) Senior Chaplain Scotland HQ 51Brigade Redford Cavalry Barracks, Colinton Road EH13 0PP Email: Ian.email@example.com
EPISKOPI – CYPRUS
Rev Mgr John Nelson CF (RC) Chaplain 2 Yorks Salamanca Barracks Episkopi Garrison Episkopi BFPO 53 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday Mass: Episkopi 0900hrs St Pius X Church Akrotiri 1030hrs Christ the King Church Dhekalia 1700hrs St Barnabas Church (1st & 3rd Sunday of the month)
Rev Stephen Webb St. Joseph’s Presbytery 281 Skipton Road Harrogate HG1 3HD Email: email@example.com
Rev Father John A Moriarty CF (RC) Chaplain 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery Purvis Lines Larkhill Wiltshire SP4 8QT John.Moriarty101@mod.gov.uk
Rev Paul McCourt CF (RC) Chaplain Defence School of Transport & 25 Regt RL Normandy Barracks Leconfield HU17 7LX Email: Paul.firstname.lastname@example.org
Altcar Army Training Unit North West OCM Rev David Gamble Altcar Training Camp Hightown Liverpool L38 7JE Tel: 07711 637713 Email: email@example.com
LONDON DISTRICT OCM
The Revd Nicholas Gosnell VG St Michael’s House Queen’s Avenue Aldershot GU11 2BY Tel: 01252 315042 Mob: 07775 237099 Email: Stmichael.firstname.lastname@example.org
MARKET DRAYTON OCM
1 Royal Irish OCM Rev Canon Jonathan Mitchell Tudor House 2 Fish Street Shrewsbury SY1 1UB Tel: 07590196795 Email: email@example.com
Rev Kevin Dow CF (RC) Chaplain 30 Royal Sig Regt Gamecock Barracks Bazzard Road Bramcote Nuneaton CV11 6QN Email: Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev David Burke CF (RC) Chaplain 15 Signals Regt
Perham Down Andover SP11 9LQ Email: David.email@example.com
PIRBRIGHT Served from Sandhurst
Rev P J O’Driscoll CF (RC) Chaplain 29 Commando Regt RA The Royal Citadel Plymouth PL1 2PD Email: Patrick.Odriscoll100@mod.gov.uk
The Revd Msgr Canon Robert Corrigan CF (RC) STB MTh Academy Chaplain, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Camberley, Surrey GU15 4PQ
SHRIVENHAM DEFENCE ACADEMY
Sunday Mass at 09:30, Church of St Alban
THORNEY ISLAND12 Regt and 16 Regt RA OCM:
Rev John Humphreys TD 96 Horndean Road Emsworth Hants PO10 7TU Civ: 01243 430158 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Mass 9:00 St Patrick & St George, St Michael’s Avenue, Tidworth SP9 7BS
RESERVE CHAPLAIN 212 (Yorkshire)
Fd Hosp (V) Rev Duane Reilly A Squadron Queen’s Own Yeomanry Fulford Barracks Fulford Road York YO10 4ES Email: email@example.com
CADET ASSOCIATIONS ACF GREATER MANCHESTER
Rev Gerard Fieldhouse Byrne Senior Chaplain Greater Manchester ACF The Colonel Mary Creagh County HQ Spenleach Lane Hawkshaw Bury BL8 4JJ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev David A Gamble St George’s ACF Centre Altcar Rifle Range Hightown Merseyside L38 7JD Email: email@example.com
AFC GREATER LONDON SOUTH WEST SECTOR
Rev Francis J Lynch Greater London South West Sector ACF 27 St John’s Hill London SW11 1TT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org