Chaplaincy: a pioneer ministry?

I’ve been reading A Christian Theology of Chaplaincy. The title is something of a misnomer, as Andrew Todd, one of the editors, effectively acknowledges in his conclusion: rather than “a definitive theology”, it’s a range of “contextual responses”. (p159)

It’s an important area of mission and ministry, and that’s underlined by the figures from a report Todd co-authored (PDF) for the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council. According to that piece of research, in 2013 there were 1415 reported chaplains, of whom 516 were ordained Anglicans paid by the institutions other than the Church of England, and another similarly paid 209 part time chaplains. The Church of England itself paid an additional 47 full-time and 121 part-time. That represents a substantial proportion of the numbers of the ordained. (The 2016 official statistics (PDF) don’t offer this precise breakdown, but reveal that 15% of licensed clergy work outside parish ministries, of whom over half are in chaplaincy.) Yet there is very little written about such a key plank of ministry, than there is about its sexy younger sibling “pioneer ministry”, though both are equally about approaches arising outside the church and parish context. Continue reading “Chaplaincy: a pioneer ministry?”