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Squadron Chaplains

ACP23, the appropriate manual covering chaplains in the Corps has these Vision & Mission statements.

Our Vision: “To provide appropriate pastoral care for all personnel within the Air Cadet Organisation irrespective of religious belief or status”.

Our Mission: “To represent the Kingdom of God and its values, to meet the pastoral, spiritual and moral needs of the Air Cadet Organisation and to enable that body to practise its various faiths”.

Each Squadron in the Region is required to have a Chaplain or “Padre”. He or she may be from any of the main-line Christian denominations. The Chaplain does not have to be an ordained minister, they could be someone who carries accreditation from their denomination – eg. local preacher, lay reader, authorised youth minister. Assistant Chaplains (of other denominations or even of other faiths) may be appointed. There are over 100 Squadron Chaplains in the North Region.

Chaplains are not commissioned and therefore do not wear uniform. They are unpaid, even on camps. Chaplains do not receive pay but can receive remuneration for attending Training Days, Summer Camps etc. They will also be able to claim their travel expenses.

The task of the Squadron Chaplain is, in the words of the Regional Chaplain, “To be a friend to the Squadron”. It is the responsibility of the Squadron Commander to make provision in the training programme for the Padre to meet all members of the unit regularly. The Chaplain is expected encouraged to regularly hold a “Padre's Hour” (not necessarily one hour in length and of varied format) once a month, but Padres will often “pop in” to the Squadron to see the members informally at other times as well. In the Padre's Hour the main topics are the Christian Faith, Moral Issues and Good Citizenship. The chaplain has access to the official training manual known as ACP9 or “Patterns for Life”.

Enrolments of cadets are normally conducted by the Squadron Padre, either in Squadron HQ or during in a Church Parade. It is the custom in this Region to present an ATC crested New Testament to cadets on Enrolment. (See NM&AFBS below).

Church Parades are may be held, usually in the Padre's Church but also or in town-centre churches or ones closer to the Squadron, if these are not the Padre's church. Parades to mark ATC Sunday (nearest Sunday to 5th February) may be arranged on a Wing or Sector basis. If not the Padre is encouraged to arrange one for the squadron to attend. Squadrons are likely to be involved in services marking Battle of Britain Sunday (September) and Remembrance Sunday (November). The Padre might like to encourage his squadron to attend a Cadet Carol Service during the period leading up to Christmas. Parades should be held on ATC Sunday, Battle of Britain Sunday (allowing for Wing Parades if also held), and on at least one other occasion in the year.

The Squadron Civilian Committee includes the Padre, who, like the Squadron Commanding Officer, is a non-voting ex-officio member, having no vote.

Annual Camps – The Squadron Padre should be consulted at an early stage of preparation and if possible should attend Camp. Each year the squadron will be offered an allocation of places to attend Summer Camps on RAF bases. There is always a place available for a Chaplain to be in attendance, either for the full duration or for part of the week. Squadron Chaplains are encouraged to consider applying for one of these opportunities. They should ask their Wing Chaplain to put their name forward. As mentioned earlier, the chaplain is entitled to a daily remuneration and for his travel expenses to be covered.

New Squadron Banners need to be Dedicated (not Consecrated). The Squadron Chaplain should liaise with the Wing Chaplain who would then arrange to come for the Dedication Ceremony.

Wing Chaplains

The Wing Chaplain is a key member of the ATC Chaplaincy Service. He/she is there to help the Wing Commander and his staff and oversee the appointment and support of Squadron Chaplains. He/she attends Wing functions and Wing Staff meetings, officiates at Wing Parades and is an ex-officio member of the Wing Staff/Civilian Committee. He/she should take part in the planning of the Wing's Annual Camp programme. Each Wing in the Region has a Wing Chaplain in post, and they are he is encouraged to have an Assistant Wing Chaplain.

The Appointment of Squadron Chaplains is initiated by the Squadron Commander, who should consult the Wing Chaplain at an early stage. The Wing Chaplain interviews the candidate and, signs the application form, when the form of nomination comes to him from the Squadron via Wing HQ, he is able to recommend the appointment, having first obtained the approval of the appropriate Ecclesiastical Authority. When the appointment is made, the Wing Chaplain inducts the Squadron Chaplain in a ceremony, either at Squadron HQ or in a Church Parade service.

The support of Squadron Chaplains is given by the Wing Chaplain by personal contact, by organising Wing Training days for chaplains and encouraging attendance at Regional Training days and at the Annual Convention of ATC Chaplains at Amport House.

The Regional Chaplain

The Regional Chaplain is appointed by the Commandant Air Cadets, in consultation with the Regional Commandment and the Corps Chaplain. He/she helps the Regional Commandment and his staff, and supports the 5 Wing Chaplains in their key role. He The Regional Chaplain is an ex-officio member of the Regional Council and attends Regional Staff Meetings.

He/she organises Regional Training days for chaplains and encourages them to attend Wing training days and the Annual Chaplains' Convention.

He/she, along meets with the 5 other Regional Chaplains in is a member of the Corps Chaplain's Committee, a committee of the Air Cadet Council, which advises the Air Cadet Council on matters affecting the spiritual and religious welfare of Cadets and Staff.

Training Courses for Cadets

These are held at Amport House, several times a year, and also at Carronvale (organised by the Scotland and Northern Ireland Region) once a year. Information about these is transmitted to Squadrons and can also be obtained from the Chaplains. Cadets who have attended these courses have found them tremendously helpful and squadrons are strongly urged to send cadets to one of them. They are designed to hep help equip the cadet for life, leadership and fulfilment.

The Naval Military & Air Force Bible Society (NM&AFBS)

This society provides the ATC with the New Testaments presented to Cadets on Enrolment, and also with a wide variety of very helpful booklets, used by Squadron Chaplains in their ministry. It is a Charity and the gifts are free, but Squadrons the Squadron Civilian Committee is invited to send donations to help cover costs.

North Region's Chaplaincy Branch

Rev. Allen Bagshawe, (Regional Chaplain) Contactable through the Regional HQ's 01347 848261Ext 7460 or on 01482 702220 and

Wing Chaplains are contactable through the respective Wing Headquarters.

Rev’d Michael Bowman - Central & East Yorkshire Wing

Rev’d Richard Lee - Cumbria & Lancashire Wing

Mr Paul Harper - Durham/Northumberland Wing

Rev’d Alan Pierce-Jones - Greater Manchester Wing

Rev’d Trevor Dixon - South & West Yorkshire Wing