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Principal Chaplains

Royal Navy - Fr David Conroy QCVS QHC

Fr David Conroy QHC

Fr David Conroy was ordained priest on 19 September, 1992 and subsequently served as a school chaplain, hospital chaplain, prison chaplain and Parish Priest before joining the Royal Navy in September 2000. On completion of his training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth he was appointed as chaplain to 2nd Frigate Squadron, deploying immediately with HMS SHEFFIELD on a 6 month deployment participating in counter-drug operations in the Carribean. Several shorter deployments with the rest of the squadron followed, ending with a move to HMS PORTLAND for her 6 month deployment to the Gulf as she enforced the no-fly zone off Iraq.


In 2002 he was appointed to HMS COLLINGWOOD as Catholic Chaplain and later also took on the role of Chaplaincy Team Leader, heading up chaplaincy provission in western Europe's largest military training establishment. Toward the end of his tour he participated in an exchange with the Royal Australian Navy as part of ‘EX LONGLOOK’. His time at HMAS CRESWELL ended with a Commanding Officers Commendation for his introduction of a ‘Command Watch’ Duty of Care monitoring process.

In 2006 he took over as Chaplaincy Team Leader at HMNB Portsmouth and in 2008 moved to be chaplain to the small ship world, providing pastoral care to the Hunt and River class ships, spending the vast majority of his time deployed.


In 2010 he was appointed Chaplaincy Team Leader at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. In 2011 he deployed to Afghanistan as Joint Aviation Group (JAG) Chaplain on HERRICK 14 for which he received a QCVS in the Operational Honours List. During this time he was the only UK catholic priest in Afghanistan.


In 2012 he was appointed chaplain to the aircraft carrier HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and remained with her until she decommissioned in 2014, participating in OP PATWIN as HMS ILLUSTRIOUS delivered humanitarian relief to the Philippines following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan.


In 2015 he was appointed to Bahrain as chaplain to the United Kingdom Maritime Component Command (UKMCC), providing pastoral care to all Gulf units and personnel as well as providing Catholic cover for units of the United States Navy Fifth Fleet.


He took up his appointment as Catholic Chaplain and Chaplaincy Team Leader at HMS RALEIGH in February 2016 where he remain until returning to UKMCC in February 2018 to set up the chaplaincy provision within the newly opened Naval Support Facility. In September of that year he took up his appointment as CTL at HMS SULTAN, later appointed Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain (Naval) in early 2019 and at the same time appointed as Honorary Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen (QHC).

"Friend and Advisor To All Onboard"

Fr Paschal Hanrahan CF MTh

Army -Revd Fr Paschal Hanrahan CF MTh

            Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain. 

fr paschal hanrahan1.jpg

Fr Paschal hails from Ennis, Co Clare, Ireland. After studying for the priesthood at St
Patrick's College, Maynooth he received a Dip in Philosophy & Arts, BD in Theology and a HDip in Pastoral Studies.



He was ordained priest for the Diocese of Killaloe, on the 31 May 1998 and served as curate in the town of Kilrush, in West Clare.
He commissioned into the RAChD in Sep 05 and was assigned as Chaplain (CF4) to the
QRL. A tour of Iraq (Op TELIC IX) followed and he was subsequently assigned to 1PWRR and another tour of Iraq (Op TELIC XIII). Assignments with 7 & 16 Sig Regts at Elmpt Station, 3RHA in Hohne, an exchange with the Australian Defence Force on Ex LONGLOOK, and the Irish Guards in Aldershot followed. 

He was selected for promotion to CF3 in 2011. During this time, he also deployed to Afghanistan (Op HERRICK 17/18). Hecompleted an MTh in Chaplaincy Studies at Cardiff University in 2012.He was selected for Bde Snr Chaplain in 2012 and served with 12X in Bulford beforeattending Intermediate Command Staff Course 12(A).

His next assignment saw him servingwith the 11 (RSS) Sig Regt at Blandford. While there he was selected for promotion to CF2and assigned to 4X and HQ North East in Catterick. He joined the Staff at Army HQ in 2017where is was Staff Chaplain to the Chaplain General. He was released from Army HQ forgood behaviour and assigned to HQ 7X and HQ East on their move to Kendrew Barracks Cottesmore. In July 2020 he was selected for promotion to CF1 and assigned to HQ

Interests include Munster & Irish Rugby for my sins, a taste for gin, a lust for travel, a glutton
for cooking, a pride in British military, a greedy reader, an enviable singer and just don't have
time for sloth! I enjoy running, trekking and walking and occasionally talking to myself..

"In this Sign Conquer"

Rev Deacon (Sqd Ldr) David E. Skillen RAF

Royal Air Force - Deacon David Skillen


Born in 1975 Padre Dave Skillen grew up in west Cumbria.  He attended University College, Bretton Hall (West Yorks), graduating in 1996 with a BA (hons) in Popular Music Studies (Leeds).  Returning to Cumbria Padre Skillen joined Cumbria Constabulary as a Constable and on exiting the service, after almost five years, he entered the world of Catholic Education where he remained until joining the RAF in 2014. 


As a police officer Padre Skillen undertook duties as a Tutor Constable, in community and rural policing, and in public order. Sensing a religious vocation, he left the police in 2002 and trained as a secondary school RE teacher. In his teaching career he taught RE and Music. In 2006 Padre Skillen moved from a teaching role to a Chaplaincy role. He also began training for ministry within the RC Diocese of Lancaster, and was ordained Deacon in July 2010. He served the parish of St Begh (Whitehaven) and in 2011 obtained his Master’s degree in Catholic Pastoral & Educational Studies from The Maryvale Institute, Birmingham (OU).


Ready for a fresh challenge Padre Skillen joined the RAF Chaplains’ Branch in April 2014. Upon graduation from RAF College Cranwell he was posted to RAF Brize Norton as Station Chaplain. During his first tour Padre Skillen was awarded the CO’s Commendation for his work during Op Tailpin (repatriation of 30 British Civilians shot on a beach in Tunisia in 2015).  He also completed a four month detachment to BFSAI as Force Chaplain at the end of which he received the CBF’s Commendation for outstanding service. In July 2016 he was posted to RAF Halton as Station Chaplain, and in January 2019 he was deployed on Op SHADER.  On 1 July 2019 was posted to RAF Odiham as Station Chaplain and on 11 July 2019 he was appointed by The Bishop of the Forces as the Principal Roman Catholic Chaplain for the RAF.


Beyond work, Padre Skillen spends time with friends and family. He is married to Nichola and they have three boys: The family home is always full of visitors! He enjoys sport, especially running, rugby, cycling and snooker. To remain sane, Padre Skillen listens to, plays and writes most types of music.

"Not to be served, but to serve"

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