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A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK

A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK

Ben Ryan analyses the scope and importance of chaplaincy in the UK today. (2015)

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Is chaplaincy the future of religion in the UK?
 
At a time when UK society seems increasingly dominated by secular habits and assumptions, and when religious attendance and affiliation seem to be in decline, there are more and more stories of chaplaincy spreading into new settings. No longer – if indeed it was ever the case – are chaplains limitedto Anglican clergy in a few institutional settings. Today chaplains are everywhere and include figures of all faiths and none.
 
This report is the first to take an in–depth quantitative and qualitative look at chaplaincy in Britain, encompassing the full range of denominations, religions, and belief systems – including nonreligious beliefs – as well as an astonishingly wide range of contexts – from prisons and schools to canals and theatres. Based on over 100 interviews with chaplains, users, colleagues, employers and stakeholders, it analyses both where chaplains are and what they’re doing, and pays particular attention to the question of what difference they make. What should chaplains, the contexts in which they operate, and the organisations to which they belong do to make their role as effective as possible? Chaplaincy is a very modern ministry, one that seems especially suited to modern British society and that seems likely to become a dominant feature of the in ever–changing landscape of religion in Britain. 

Ben Ryan is a Researcher at Theos.

Image by srsusan from pixabay.com available in the public domain

Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan is Head of Research at Theos. He is the editor of Fortress Britain? Ethical Approaches to Immigration Policy for a Post–Brexit Britain (JKP 2018) and the author of Theos reports on chaplaincy, the EU, the Catholic charity sector, mental health and ecumenism. He holds degrees in European politics from the LSE and in Theology and Religious Studies from Cambridge. Outside of Theos he is a trustee of CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network).

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