I worked in international banking for 30 years, and then completed a degree in Theology to become a Baptist Minister, as well as acting as Hospital Chaplain in two establishments. I retired from pastoral ministry in 2004 and at that stage I wanted to be useful, so when I was approached to see if I wanted to be a Police Chaplain I said yes and started my new ministry that year.
I have been available to staff when they need me – to go through traumas, personal and professional. I have taken funerals for police relatives, conducted marriage ceremonies and renewals. Being a Chaplain is not without difficulties as I have watched personnel being put under pressure and being constantly posted in and out. This results in a lack of continuity in policing action and in my ability to maintain relationships. But I know I have had impact. For example one constable who was considering resigning, eventually heeded my advice and is still with the force today.
I love being part of a team – the camaraderie of the police station – not to mention having a high-viz jacket over my driving seat and watching speeding drivers put on the anchors as they spot it through the rear window! Brian Stenner
My career was in nursing, particularly for children with cancer and leukaemia. I experienced a call to ordination for about 10 years before having the courage to explore it. God just kept nudging me to join in!I trained for ordination for three year’s part-time while still working, I was then a non-stipendiary curate and assistant priest.I left nursing in 2010 for a full-time ministry role as Bishop’s Chaplain where I had oversight of all chaplains on behalf of the Bishop.I was involved in Prison, School, Hospital and Police Chaplaincy as well as many Uniformed organisations. The role involved being a strong advocate for Chaplaincy and ensuring recruitment was completed professionally across the various organisations. I am now in Parish Ministry and I’m privileged to be chaplain to 188 Squadron Ipswich Air Training Corps (ATC). Although I did not have formal training for the chaplaincy role I read lots and attended study days and conferences to give me specific insights and skills. For ATC there is an Adult Volunteer Initial Training day and Safeguarding training alongside ‘Heartstart’ training that is compulsory for all adult volunteers.
I enjoy being an advocate to organisations for the provision of good chaplaincy.I love being alongside people and seeking to ensure that the spiritual and pastoral needs of people who work in high pressure jobs are met, as best as is possible, within the resources that are available. As ATC Chaplain (or Padre) I love being with the cadets and making a difference to their lives, helping them consider the values they have signed up to, we have fun too. They are a shining example of young people.I also support the amazing staff who make it all possible.
I offer a confidential listening ear, and the opportunity to talk about the big questions in life and express complex emotions in a safe place. I am genuinely interested in them, their work and their well-being. In the ATC it is about being alongside them and as I am neither staff or cadet I am a neutral person. This is not an easy role, there is never enough time to do as much as I would like to, and I still dream of providing chaplaincy in the community and schools. The Revd Mary Sokanovic
Having trained in youth work and pastoral ministry, I started working for Boost (a Christian Youth Work Charity in Felixstowe) in 2011. After three years of running a youth cafe, we formed a partnership with Felixstowe Academy to explore what chaplaincy might look like in a school with no-religious affiliation, and this launched as 'Academy Chaplaincy' in 2014. It has been a joy and privilege to work on our three focus areas of supporting staff and students, exploring faith and building community. The biggest challenge was not having any particular model to work from, as this type of work hadn't really been done before; but over the years, Academy Chaplaincy has become a fantastic asset to the school, the local community and described as providing 'excellent support' from Ofsted. It is a fantastic example of how churches can fully support and champion young people and their school communities. Joshua Hunt Chaplain to Felixstowe Academy and House Leader - www.boostfelixstowe.org.uk
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Supporting constabulary ‘a real privilege’ for Suffolk police chaplains www.ipswichstar.co.uk//news/what-suffolk-s-police-chaplains-do-1-5873112?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons