Theos

Home / Research / Reports

Mapping Chaplaincy in Norfolk: A Report

Mapping Chaplaincy in Norfolk: A Report

Chaplains are increasingly the face of public religion. This report explores the chaplaincy landscape in Norfolk.

Interested by this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e–newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Friends Programme to find out how you can help our work.


This new audit of chaplaincy in Norfolk shows that chaplains are now from every faith, and are to be found in settings as diverse as lifeboats and theatres, ambulances and airports as well as more traditional habitats such as hospitals, prisons and the military.

We carried out the audit to try to understand the extraordinary growth of the chaplaincy phenomenon today. It follows on previous work conducted by us in 2015 culminating in the report A Very Modern Ministry: Chaplaincy in the UK.

The project included a detailed mapping of chaplains in Norfolk between October 2016 and March 2017. It discovered that there are 230 chaplains operating in Norfolk. They were working in 26 different fields including Norwich playhouse, Norwich City FC, Norfolk scouts and Norwich International Airport.

The vast majority are volunteers with only 11% working full–time, and only 31% of Norfolk’s chaplains receiving a salary or stipend for their work.

Interestingly, although Christians still dominate the chaplaincy scene in Norfolk (85% of the total), there were also chaplains representing  9 other faith groups (Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Pagan, Baha’i, Humanist and Mormons). This confirms a changing chaplaincy landscape, with Christian chaplains still dominating, but many minority faiths and belief groups having a growing chaplaincy involvement.

Ben Ryan, one of the Theos researchers involved in the audit, said that “the research underlines the extraordinary growth of chaplaincy today. In a country in which we are constantly told that faith is on the decline chaplains are providing pastoral and spiritual support across an enormous range of settings and demonstrating that faith groups are willing and able to contribute something valuable to public life in the UK. Chaplains are fast becoming the public face of religion”.  

Chris Copsey, Chaplain at County Hall Norwich and Norfolk’s coroner’s court, explains the work of chaplains: 

“Chaplains go out and meet people of all faiths and none, wherever they are – in hospitals, prisons, their workplace, supermarkets, even in the Coroner’s Court here in Norfolk. In many different places and situations, wherever they are needed.

Chaplaincy is a really strong resource that is being recognised more and more and this report shows chaplaincy is an active presence across many parts of the County.

As Chaplains, we offer a non–judgemental, completely confidential and safe place to speak and be listened to. We walk alongside people and offer support, comfort and hope, whatever their need.”

Image by Kamila Koziol available under licence from shutterstock.com

Research

See all

Events

See all

In the news

See all

Comment

See all

Get monthly email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once a month.

Thank you for signing up.