The Role of a Chaplain

For those who are considering appointing a chaplain, we answer a few common questions below.

What is a chaplain?

A chaplain is an appointed and accredited member of the local Christian church who visits your premises regularly, on a voluntary basis, to provide support to staff and (if appropriate) customers. Chaplains usually have considerable commercial experience and are able to identify with issues which can arise in the workplace. They do not “push religion”, but are motivated by their own faith to help where they can – mostly by giving time so that people can talk about what is important to them.

Why have a chaplain?

  • Work – and life – can be stressful. A chaplain can help people make work more fulfilling, and work through any issues or problems by being available to talk.

  • A chaplain is independent of the company, and conversations are confidential. They are an important extra resource to staff who would appreciate support.

  • A chaplain is a key community link, able to build bridges with other sections of the local community.

What will a chaplain do?

  • Visit the premises for (typically) a couple of hours a week, or as agreed.

  • Go everywhere allowed – the shop floor, offices, warehouse – to talk to colleagues whilst taking care not to interrupt work.

  • Be available, such as in a staff restaurant.

  • Vary the time of visits if appropriate, so that all staff have an opportunity to chat if required.

What will a chaplain NOT do?

  • Push any type of religion.

  • Break confidences.

  • Talk to anyone who does not want to talk to them.

  • Discriminate against anyone in any way.

  • Work as if they were a member of staff.

  • Provide a formal counselling service.

How can we make the most of having a chaplain?

  • Appoint a key contact in the organisation – e.g. an HR/personnel manager.

  • Induct the chaplain into the organisation’s culture and procedures.

  • Involve the chaplain in general communications and events.

  • Invite the chaplain to be a “member of the team” in whatever way is felt appropriate.

  • Ensure staff are aware that you have a chaplain – perhaps by circulating a leaflet and putting up posters.

What about people of other faiths, or none?

We’re not there to “convert people”, so this should not be an issue. However, we would talk about faith issues if asked. If an employee would value talking to a representative of another religion or denomination, we will be pleased to put them in touch.

How can I explore this further?

We would be delighted to call on you to chat through how chaplaincy could work for your organisation. If you would like us to do that, please ring us on one of the following numbers.

Revd John Chandler (01206) 366930

Revd Ray Gibbs (01206) 843926