As a unique role in the organisation, our vision for chaplaincy is to provide appropriate pastoral care for all personnel within the Air Cadets, irrespective of religious belief or status. If you’re a minister or priest of any religion you can apply to become a chaplain at any of our ATC squadrons up and down the country. There are openings for lay ministers such as readers, lay preachers and others who fulfil an authorised ministry in the pastoral work of the parish, circuit or district.
Where appropriate to meet the needs of cadets from non-Christian faiths, clerics from other religions may also be appointed. As an Honorary Chaplain within the ATC you don’t wear a uniform but are recognised by a Chaplain’s badge worn on your lapel and the larger edition worn on your preaching scarf.
Your role in the squadron is in offering guidance and leadership to cadets and members of staff on moral and spiritual matters. The commitment expected of a chaplain is a regular monthly visit to your unit to lead what is termed ‘the Padre’s hour’ and conduct the formal Enrolment Service when new cadets are received into full membership of the organisation. From time to time it will be appropriate for you to extend an invitation to the squadron to parade to your church and share in the worship. You’ll be fully supported by the RAF Chaplain’s Branch.
As a volunteer you can receive certain allowances. You may be reimbursed for home to duty travel costs and will receive pulpit supply expenses when you are attending annual camp and if you require a locum. You’ll also have your accommodation costs met in full. There’s no formal training programme but you will be encouraged to attend the annual chaplains’ conference within your area, where you will have the opportunity to discuss chaplaincy matters and exchange ideas. You’ll be made most welcome on RAF stations and will have an opportunity of activities including flying and gliding when accompanying your cadets.
The real rewards and satisfaction come with the job itself – helping young people fulfil their potential. Get involved with Air Cadets and see how you can make a difference.