The Australian Defence Force chaplain is a “missionary” sent out from the Church to minister in the name of Jesus wherever and whenever opportunities arise. It can be an adventurous ministry testing the chaplain’s spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical resources. The chaplain aims to be a bridge between both individuals and Jesus, and the Anglican Church and the enveloping society. Anglican Defence Force chaplaincy is a ministry encompassing sacramental, pastoral, evangelistic, vocational, instructional and administrative duties, in which the chaplain lives with and shares the hardships and privileges of uniformed people posted around the country and abroad. Anglican Defence Force Chaplaincy is a vital work among the nation’s youth, a significant national ministry, and an important outreach to Australia’s regional neighbours.
Australian Defence Force chaplains have been employed by the Australian Government on either a full-time or a part-time basis to meet the spiritual and welfare needs of uniformed people serving in the armed forces since the Boer War (1899-1902). The Anglican Church of Australia has made available clergy for ministry as chaplains in the Permanent and Reserve elements of the Australian Defence Force. Since 2000, they have ministered in East Timor, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, the Middle East and at sea in the Persian Gulf.
All Anglican Defence Force Chaplains commit themselves to the expectation of operational service overseas.
– Naval chaplains serve both ashore and at sea.
– Army chaplains minister in barracks and in the field.
– Air Force chaplains are expeditionary, work in multi-denominational teams at both fixed and remote air bases.
For further information about chaplaincy in the Navy, Army or Air Force, please visit out contacts page.
To become an Anglican ADF chaplain, applicants need to:
– have fulfilled the Australian bishops’ minimum requirements for ordination to the priesthood
– spend a minimum period of two years after ordination to the priesthood in parish ministry
– be priests in good standing within their diocese
– be Australian citizens
– be healthy and physically fit
– be emotionally able to cope with the rigours of ADF life
A chaplain needs to be an adaptable and resourceful person who can communicate well and with many different people and show genuine pastoral concern for their needs. Chaplains have to be self-starters who can provide leadership and work well in teams consisting of clergy from other Christian denominations.