Spring 2020 Newsletter


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Bringing chaplaincy to the heart of policing

 Charles Nevin

Some words from Charles

With the advent of Covid-19 the shape of our ministry has changed as we find ourselves separated from the women and men to whom we minister, but the work we are called to undertake remains important if not even more critical at this time.  The pressures on police officers, police staff and their families are even greater and the sense of isolation from what is familiar is exacerbated by the unreality of our High streets, a quiet atmosphere that can so easily become threatening and disconcerting.  But there is still hope that there is a new future, one which has changed in some ways but a future that still has within it the strength of family and community ties.  As Chaplains we are called to live in the present offering care and companionship and to proclaim an emerging future of hope and new beginnings.

However, during this present period we must do things differently.  No longer can we walk openly in our stations and offices.  We need to think of new and different ways. Our ministry of presence has become one which is in part offered through technology, from simple telephone calls and skype calls to Social Media, Zoom and other IT platforms.  Our physical separation from those we serve requires us to think of other ways to provide that caring presence.  I hear of different approaches by Chaplains and it would be really encouraging if you could share your present model or approach to Chaplaincy during this pandemic.  Please email us your ideas and thoughts using the email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will then set up a separate area of the website so that they can be shared across our Police Chaplaincy network.

What can unite us and provide a powerful sense of God’s presence is through the practice of prayer.  The Cistercian monks have a motto that is very pertinent to our present time.  It is ‘Laborare est orare’ to work is to pray.  We can offer all our work and all those for whom we care to God in prayer.  Why not use the members section of our web site as an aid to your prayer life at this time.  I encourage you to as part of your daily prayers to pray through our membership list holding each Force and each Chaplain before God.  If you start at the beginning of with Avon and Somerset and pray for two Police Forces a day than in little more than three weeks you will have reach Wiltshire and covered our whole Police service.  Then you can begin again.
Thank you for being Chaplains, for seeing this as your special calling and for faithfully carrying out that calling each and every day.  We are needed now and will be needed in the future; hold on in faith and love.

Every blessing


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Our members only COVID-19 resource section is full of useful resources for chaplains to use with everything from prayers and reflections at the time of death to guidance from the Muslim National Burial Council , the United Synagogue and a helpful chart which lists the death, dying and funerals requirements for the world’s major faiths



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Ever been asked to bless a police station? Open a memorial garden, welcome a new Lead Chaplain or write a Force Prayer? Our resources section on the website has examples of all of these and more for you to use but we are always looking for other examples.


Get in touch if you can add to our resources.






  From the world of Twitter  
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David Wilbraham Thoughts from the National Chaplain

 Whatever the origin of the phrase ‘may you live in interesting times’ it could not be more true than in the present day. As we began 2020 with all that the year may have had in store who could have imagined what our world would look like as we got to Spring. The world has changed globally, nationally, locally and for us all at a personal level. At some stage a new ‘normal’ will emerge. As people of faith our prayers, hope and vision is that from the present crisis, we may emerge having rediscovered what it means to be fully human, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. However, before that day comes we must be alongside those who are suffering, those whose path is through ‘the valley of the shadow of death’, those whose homes, livelihoods and existence is threatened and destroyed. Sometimes all we can do in the face of such situations is to ‘weep with those who weep’.

These weeks’ mark for many faiths important seasons of InterFaith Conference Logossignificance which in the midst of dark days speak of hope replacing despair, light shining in darkness, love conquering evil, life emerging from death. Whatever our own faith or tradition, as chaplains we bring those powerful metaphors into our ministries. 

Within Policing never has chaplaincy been more important as we support the officers and staff who are committed to protecting life and property and maintaining the Queen’s peace in very challenging circumstances. Thank you for all that you are doing and the innovative ways you are finding to maintain contact, offer support, engage with the operational response and make your own contribution to daily life. Sadly, we have seen officers and staff die during this time and our thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and colleagues.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis many events in the Policing calendar, both in force and nationally, have been cancelled or cancelledpostponed. These would have been occasions when the Police Chaplaincy flag would have been flown as we attended conferences, seminars, award ceremonies so I am not able to report back on many of those. The autumn is beginning to look very busy as things are moved to later in the year though quite where we will be remains to be seen. ‘Foreseeable’ is a word of limited value these days!


Prior to the ‘lockdown’ both Charles and I did attend the joint summit of Chief Constables and Police & Crime CommissionersNPCC PCC Summit where we were able to engage with a lot of people and promote chaplaincy. It was encouraging to hear very positive feedback of the value people placed on their chaplaincy teams and the recognition of what they brought in very positive ways into the life of individual forces. Many years ago I came across the phrase ‘to be real it must be local’ and those comments, alongside the present crisis, demonstrate just how true that really is.

An exciting ongoing venture is the development of a programme of Continuing Professional Development for Police Chaplaincy. This project, in conjunction with the University of Wales, Police Chaplaincy UK and the College of Policing would see a continuum of learning opportunity from the initial Induction course right the way through to a Master’s degree in Police Chaplaincy. Various Post graduate qualifications would provide points along the way with the choice of how far people wanted to utilise these opportunities lying with individual chaplains. The focus would be on subjects not only relevant to Police Chaplaincy but those subjects and skills that chaplains could also use in their ‘day jobs’. From PCUK the work is being led by Charles Nevin [GMP], Tom Evans [Dyfed-Powys] and myself.

Another project is working alongside the Police Firearms Officers Association to build a stronger working partnership as well as looking together at how we can better support vulnerable officers and staff.

Thank you for all you are doing. Stay well, safe and faithful.



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Police Chaplaincy UK Board of Directors bod



The management of Police Chaplaincy UK is vested in the Board of Directors, as set out in our Articles of Association. This arrangement was set up when we became a private company, governed by the Companies Act 2006. Currently, Directors are elected by the membership at the biennial National Conference (AGM) and serve for a period of two years. Of the six elected Directors five are lead chaplains and one is a volunteer chaplain. We meet four or five times a year, and sometimes have a ‘residential meeting’ with an overnight stay.


The business of the Board covers a number of strategic areas: Communication (both internal and external), Training and CPD, Job Specification & Recruitment, engagement in the Wellbeing programme across forces, and operational engagement. Some of this work is easily visible: for example, our website has been refreshed and new leaflets produced, our membership list has been reviewed and updated, and work is ongoing to produce a new induction course and link this in with university-based Continuing Professional Development. In addition, the Board supports the work of the National Police Chaplain (Canon David Wilbraham).

As you will see below, we have had to postpone this year’s National Conference due to the coronavirus situation until 2021. At our last Board meeting (held via Zoom) the Directors decided to postpone the next election until 2021 as well, and agreed to continue serving on the Board for an additional year. This is permitted under our Articles of Association.zoom meeting

However, you may know that Patrick Samuels (Surrey) has had to stand down from his directorship, following his acceptance for training for ordination. We therefore have a vacancy on the Board. At our last meeting the Directors resolved to fill the vacancy by co-opting a temporary Director to serve until the next Board election in 2021. We are therefore inviting any lead chaplain who would like to be considered for co-option to get in touch with us. We must stress that this is a temporary position: ALL directors must stand for re-election in 2021, and we cannot guarantee that our co-optee will continue after that election (the same as the other Directors). If you are interested, would like to put your name forward for consideration, or would like to talk this through, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 12 June.

Uncle Sam pointing finger

 National Police Chaplain ‘humbled’ to be awarded MBE

National Police Chaplain Rev Canon Wilbraham, this week received the accolade from Prince Charles for his contribution and dedication to policing for more than 40 years.

David works for Police Chaplaincy UK and coordinates National Police Memorial Day (NPMD), as well as being involved with a number of other police charities. He was also force chaplain at Thames Valley Police for 11 years up until 2018.

But it was back in the 70s where his journey within policing started – sporting a pair of cuffs instead of a clerical collar.

He passed out becoming an officer in Merseyside Police in 1977 where he served as a Police Motorcyclist before joining Surrey Police in 1988 as a welfare officer where he remained until 2003.

PFEW National Chair John Apter, who is also NPMD Chair of Trustees said: "On behalf of all of us, massive congratulations to David, who is so deserving of this recognition.

"He puts his heart and soul into everything he does and is so well respected amongst the policing family and beyond.

"David has done so much for policing and for police chaplaincy over the years and this honour is very much deserved."

Speaking about his reaction to being awarded an MBE David said: "Policing, in one guise or another, has been my vocation and passion for over 40 years.

"I am humbled and thrilled to receive this recognition and award. It was totally unexpected, and I feel very accepted and appreciated. Thank you to all whose lives, over the years, have helped shape who I am. I am grateful for their influence.

"It was an amazing day. Being awarded by Prince Charles was such a nice touch as he is the patron for National Police Memorial Day."

With thanks to PFEW for the article

 david wilbraham receiving mbe credit

Conference Postponed

Conference 2020


It will come as no surprise to you that this conference can no longer go ahead due to COVID-19 and will be postponed until 2021.

We have been able to move the conference to
21st to 23rd June 2021
at the same location (The Hayes, Derbyshire).

We are currently working with our speakers to try and re-book them as we were so exicted to bring you this programme and will be in touch nearer the time. Anyone who has already paid will be hearing from our treasurer soon about refunds.







 Trauma Teddies

Trauma Teddies for Slough

A TVP Chaplain writes "A few weeks ago a lovely parishioner, approached me as the church knitting group is in need of a new project. She asked if Thames Valley Police in Slough did anything for young children as some other police services do. Norma wanted to get the group to knit bears - known as Trauma Teddies - if there  was a need. She made me 4 of these little guys as prototypes.

I dutifully took my 4 little cuties and approached the brilliant PC Wildridge with the idea. She loved it and has put the wheels in motion - got the right permission, made posters, etc. The plan is to have one in each patrol car and they can be used when young children are on scene at a domestic incident whereby one parent has to be arrested, for interviews, missing children located by officers, when children are taken into police protection just to list a few.

While this is a great idea and I’m super excited about getting this set up in Slough...it makes me very sad that the little kids who will receive a bear are in the worst of moments for them. But then I’m glad that responding officers have something to give out as a comfort and a way of building bridges with young children.

Can’t wait to deliver these little bears this week! Please pray for the knitters, the officers when they have to hand out these bear and the little ones who will be on the receiving end."


Lead Chaplains

Thank you to those of you who are regularly letting us know of changes to your team, it really helps to keep our databasse up-to-date. Please encourage all chaplains to register on the website - due to GDPR they must register, we can't add them.