A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK.

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Chaplaincy has a long-established presence and reputation in Britain, but one that was, until fairly recently, restricted to a limited number of (usually institutional) settings, such as schools, universities, hospitals, and the armed forces. Over the last twenty years, however, chaplaincy (including inter-faith and non-Christian chaplaincy) has expanded into a range of areas in which it previously had minimal or no presence, places such as shopping centres, courts, police services, town centres, workplaces, airports, and hostels. The landscape of Christian chaplaincy is changing – as is the idea of chaplaincy, including multi-faith chaplaincy.

It is striking that in the midst of this rapidly changing landscape, there has been limited research and analysis on the role, challenges and future of chaplaincy in Britain.  No-one has sought to explain why this spread of chaplaincy has occurred, assessed the value of chaplaincy for British society or explored the extent to which chaplaincy is suited to meeting the new challenges it faces.

This despite the fact that we live in an age of increasing religious and non-religious pluralism, where secular voices have been growing bolder and when concern for spiritual care seem to be increasing.

In the light of this changing landscape, along with the challenges and opportunities it presents chaplaincy, Theos will work with the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies (CCCS) to map both the scale of chaplaincy provision in the UK today and the value and impact of these chaplains to the setting in which they are found.

The research is due to be launched in 2015. For further details please email Ben Ryan (ben.ryan@theosthinktank.co.uk)

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