Summer 2019 Newsletter

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patrick samuels 

From the Chair

As Chair of Police Chaplaincy UK, it gives me immense pleasure to welcome you to our newsletter and I hope you will find it informative and useful. Police Chaplaincy UK supports police chaplains across the United Kingdom as well as promoting chaplaincy within the police service and our vision is to establish and bring uniformity to chaplaincy across all police forces in the UK. Police Chaplaincy UK exists to offer support, guidance and a range of resources for all police chaplains who respond to the new and increasing challenges faced by all within the police family.

The basic principle of chaplaincy is to provide safe, independent, confidential support to individuals of all faiths/beliefs and none, therefore you do not have to have or be affiliated to a faith or a belief to access chaplaincy support or guidance.

Within the police service, we do this: by offering personal, practical and spiritual care to all officers, staff and their families; through operational support, being a resource where faith and operational issues interact; by supporting police personnel when dealing with major and critical incidents.My hope is that, through the work of Police Chaplaincy UK and in partnership with forces we will continue to build on the recognized good work already done and through sharing good practice, innovative ideas and resources will continue to build effective and valued Chaplaincies. My vision is that this is best done in a way that serves each force but also recognises the requirement for standards and training that will enable collaboration and interoperability across the Service.

Going forward in due course, our hope here at Police Chaplaincy UK, is that we become not only a resource for those engaged in police chaplaincy, but a source of information for those who seek to establish new or refresh the existing models of chaplaincy as well as finding out more about the work of Police Chaplaincy UK.

Patrick Samuels

Chair, Police Chaplaincy UK


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The Bereavement Charity CRUSE has developed a training resource for use by Emergency Service personnel. CRUSE are willing to run workshops for interested groups and you may feel that your Chaplaincy Team would benefit from organising such a course both for chaplains or as a resource for officers and staff.



Click here for further information

 Police Carepolice care

The Police Dependants Trust has now relaunched under the title of "Police Care". Police Care UK is a charity caring for serving and former police officers and staff, volunteers, and their families. They provide practical, emotional and financial support that is confidential and impartial for serving and former police officers, staff and volunteers who suffer harm as a result of their policing role. Police Care also provide a range of other support services, including training. A number of chaplains recently attended the "Suicide Prevention" workshops held in different parts of the country.

Click here for further information


 College of Policingcollege of policing

All chaplains are eligible to become members of the College of Policing. You are required to register and log in with a valid Police National Network (PNN) police email address, but this will give access to College of Policing publications as well as the use of its extensive library.




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Oscar Kilooscar kilo

Emergency services staff work in an extremely challenging environment and are frequently exposed to traumatic events. Leaders at every level of each service must acknowledge this and ensure that staff are recognised and valued for the work they do. There is undoubtedly a great deal of pride in public service which motivates staff to put themselves in harm's way on a daily basis. We must match this with support from leaders. This is an essential undertaking, not only in order to be a responsible and caring employer, but also because we, as a society, have an obligation to look after the welfare of the men and women whose job it is to keep our communities safe. Our response as a national police working group has been to work with the College of Policing, various police and mental health charities and Public Health England to understand the problem and to support employers by providing them with research, funding and guidance on how to improve their response to wellbeing. This has led to the introduction of the "Blue-Light Wellbeing Framework" and "Oscar Kilo". Launched earlier this year to provide a "hub" of resources and information around the "Well-Being" agenda, the "Oscar Kilo" website is a source of useful information for chaplains and a useful place to "signpost" those you are supporting.

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New in postnew in post

There are new Lead Chaplains in post in a number of forces including:

  • Merseyside - Claire Henderson-Davis
  • Sussex - Michael Turnbull
  • Warwickshire - Matthew Hopley
  • Northamptonshire - Stephen Trott (Acting)








Birthday honoursbirthday honours

Congratulation to John Butcher (West Midlands Police) who was recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to Police Chaplaincy. John has been awarded a British Empire Medal, which is given for outstanding military or civil service. In John's case, this was in acknowledgement of his work in expanding the force's multi-faith chaplaincy and its contribution to modern-day policing.








 Thoughts from the National ChaplainDavid Wilbraham

I was recently in the City of London with various commitments and at lunchtime, went into the ancient & historic City Church of St Martins within Ludgate. There has been a church on this site since 1174 and, over the centuries, the building has been adapted, destroyed, rebuilt and discovered new forms of ministry in an ever-changing context.

Looking around the building, I spent some time looking at a large picture of St Martin of Tours. It shows St Martin cutting off a piece of his cloak and giving it to a beggar. During the Middle Ages, Martin's cloak (cappa) became a relic that French kings would take into battle. The person whose job it was to care for the cloak was often a priest and he was called a cappellanu. Ultimately, all priests who served the military were called cappellani. The French translation is "chapelains", from which the English word "chaplain" is martin of tours

Two things struck me as I reflected: firstly, the long, historic but ever-changing service given by the Church I was sat in and the way, through all manner of circumstances, that it had adapted and served its community. Secondly, I thought of the service provided in a similar way by all chaplains and, for me, especially police chaplains in our own, ever-changing situation. I noted that St Martin did not give away all of his cloak. This is, perhaps, a timely reminder that, in giving of ourselves, we do need to be mindful of our own needs, and not to give so much that we become dry and empty, with nothing left to share with those in need.

The world of police chaplaincy is equally adaptable across all forty-three forces and is in good heart, with much to be encouraged about. The number of chaplains continues to grow and several forces are looking to resource the chaplaincy role. I am always encouraged when I attend various conferences, events or meetings, by people speaking of their own force chaplains in very positive ways and with a warm affection. We have good working relationships nationally with the staff associations, staff support networks and the other organisations within the policing family, such as the College of Policing, police charities and retirement organisations.

The key to any successful chaplaincy ministry, whether local or national, is the strength and quality of our relationships with people. I have now had almost a year as dedicated National Police Chaplain. It has been a very busy time where I spend a lot of time "on the road" promoting, resourcing and encouraging police chaplaincy, as well as providing chaplaincy to individuals. It has included commitments across the UK at various conferences, meetings and events. These have ranged from those concerned with well-being or diversity, religion and belief, to occasions such as the Royal Ulster Constabulary George Cross (RUCGC) Remembrance Services, staff association conferences, the National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) Centenary event and a presentation on modern slavery - to quote just a few examples. These are sometimes combined with my additional role as coordinator of the National Police Memorial Day - a valuable link for police chaplaincy. It has been especially good to be part of the gatherings of local police chaplains at force or regional training meetings; to hear of what is being done and to offer encouragement. I am always willing to join with you if you have such an event.

chaplain at work

The same evening of my visit to St Martin's, I attended the "Eid in the City" event at The Guildhall and joined with many Muslim friends and others to celebrate our shared commitment, as people of faith, to living out our belief by serving others. Leaving the history of the Guildhall, surrounded by the high rise, hi-tech, glass & steel buildings of the City of London, my walk back to Waterloo was punctuated by the sights, sounds and sirens of the "night-time economy". I witnessed the police dealing with various situations, with blue-lighted vehicles heading to deal with who knows what in the situations that you support them in daily: the homeless sheltered under the archways and in doorways. A random conversation with a stranger about an experience of abuse brought to a close an eventful day. It was a vivid reminder of the reality that in our own, ever-changing world, alongside other people of faith, we continue to share our cloak (capel) with those in need.

Canon David Wilbraham - National Police Chaplain

The National Police Memorial Day

 The National Police Memorial Day (NPMD), an official annual national day, provides a dignified and sensitive service of remembrance to honour the courage and ultimate sacrifice of police officers throughout the United Kingdom. Since an act of parliament, in 1792, which created the first salaried Constables, almost four thousand police officers have been killed on duty, often in brutal circumstances. For those brave souls to be remembered, on at least one day a year, is long overdue. They did not die in vain. They leave a lasting legacy. Their selfless devotion to duty, and supreme valour are an example to us all: a clear indication of why the British Police Service is the best in the world.  police memorial day logo

 The NPMD is supported by royalty, HM Government and UK police services. The magnitude of the day is indicated by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales having become Patron in 2006. The service, which rotates around each of the four countries, is held on the nearest Sunday to 29th September. This coincides with Saint Michael's day - The patron saint of police officers. The 2019 National Police Memorial Day takes place in Glasgow on 29th September and is open to all to attend.

Click here for further information

 knowledge is power

 Induction Course

Friday 13th September - Rochester, Kent. 10.00am-5.00pm

Wednesday 2nd October - Basingstoke, Hampshire. 10.00am-5.00pm

Any Lead Chaplains with chaplains wishing to attend, please advise Adrian Gatrill as soon as possible.

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pcuk conference 2020


As we inhabit a changing world, with global migration, political upheaval, the threat of terrorism and considerations of identity and gender on a personal level, what does faith look like in this environment? What are the threats and gains? What values will we take with us as chaplains in order to serve the police?

Save the date

Monday 29th June - Wednesday 1st July 2020

at The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.


 A year in the life of...

Lead Chaplain Helen Arnold reflects on one year with Thames Valley Police.

July 2018

helen arnoldStarted new role as Lead Chaplain, following a career as volunteer chaplain in Northumbria Police and later Cambridgeshire. This was alongside ministry as an ordained priest in the Church of England, serving both in parish and college and having an enduring interest in chaplaincy in the community.

One of my first duties is to engage with Operation Manifold: the visit by President Trump to the UK. I get the chance to mingle at feeding stations and to support our officers. I also meet officers from all of our other UK forces deployed on mutual aid, both out in the field (literally) at Blenheim, then at Chequers and Windsor racecourse during that long hot summer. What an exciting and varied role this is!

 tvp crest


August Reginald Rumbles dies at 103. I am honoured to conduct the funeralhelen arnold biker of our longest surviving retired officer. I am introduced to "Major Incident Planning". As Lead Chaplain, I will be assigned to Gold Command. I meet with emergency services to draw up plans for a Faith response. I attend emergency exercises to rehearse and learn lessons from Grenfell about dealing with tragedy and the important role of faith groups in rebuilding communities during the aftermath of an incident.


I continue touring the vast geographical area that is Thames Valley: from Windsor, Slough, and Reading in the East, bordering the Metropolitan police, to Hungerford on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border; then Newbury in the South, and Milton Keynes and Banbury in the North. There are many major road networks, as well as small, rural hamlets and urban conurbations.

 tvp chaplains  We have a number of VIP residences and journeys to protect. I was passed by our motorcycle escort on the M4 just the other day as they escorted the Prime Minister - still Mrs May as I write! I have now met most of my tweenty-two volunteer chaplains.


A terrible week of road deaths. Thirteen people are killed between a Friday and a Tuesday. Our Road Traffic Police (Joint Operational Unit with Hampshire) are stretched to the limit in real-time as well as emotional terms, attending consecutive fatalities. While this is exceptional, it nevertheless takes its toll on the teams who have to go out repeatedly, with little time to debrief, to these scenes of horror and grief.

I visit one evening but the teams are still out on the roads. Empty desks! I leave a box of chocolates. It's the least I can do, but it is well received and gets a mention on Twitter! Luckily I have recruited two very skilled new chaplains for Roads Policing. We have the second royal wedding of the year. Hurrah! After planning for the first, followed by the visit of President Trump, Thames Valley Police is well rehearsed at policing major public events!



Remembrance. Lighting candles in the garden of the police station provides some comfort for a team whose colleague died suddenly. We hold the annual Road Deaths Memorial Service at Thame St Mary's Church. Very moving to see how important this remembrance is for families, shared with the emergency services, year upon year.

Celebration! It is fifty years since the three counties of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire joined together to become Thames Valley Police. We celebrated throughout the year with a number of cheerful events, including a Black Tie Ball and culminating in a multi-faith service of celebration at Christchurch Cathedral.


Lead Chaplains

Can you circulate the newsletter to all your chaplains and, if they have yet to do so, encourage them to register on the Police Chaplaincy UK website? This not only helps us build an accurate picture of Police Chaplaincy across the UK, but also means that we are able to circulate appropriate information to them.