Chaplaincy - Police

Brian Banks  
Maidstone Police, Reader at St Andrew, Paddock Wood

What do you enjoy about being a chaplain?
Chaplaincy is all about being there, so I visit as often as I can. Every visit is different. With a force that works on 24 hour rota you are always meeting new people and hearing different stories. I am a good listener and that helps.

What value do you think your work as a chaplain brings to those you meet?
I met a couple of first responders that had issues about incidents they had attended; one had seen too many infant mortalities. It struck me that these people are professional through and through, but there are times when an incident will touch a sore point that is close to home - especially when there are problems away from the work place. It’s at this point you can act as a friendly, confidential, ear. It is very satisfying to come away from such talks with both of us feeling good again.

How would you encourage others who might be interested in getting involved in chaplaincy?
There are many forms of chaplaincy, not just the emergency services. Find something that interests you. Once you appear and people realise that direct evangelism is not on the cards, just a quiet conversation - more often than not one-sided - then relationships begin and ,before you know it, a whole new world opens before you.
Jesus said love your neighbour, and this one great way of doing it.


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