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Job Role
Chaplain Reserve
Job Role

Chaplain Reserve

Provide multi-faith spiritual guidance and support that’s as diverse as the people who serve as Reservists.

  • Undergraduate Degree
  • Surface Fleet
  • Royal Naval Reserve
  • Officer level

At a glance

Your role as a Reserve Chaplain will be unlike anything you’ve done in your civilian career. Working in a multi-faith environment can include challenging situations, and the need to support reservists, as well as their families, when they’re deployed.
I’ve been able to help and support Reservists and their families, particularly those who’ve been away on deployed service abroad. It’s given me the opportunity to reach out to a completely different congregation and meet so many new people who dedicate their time to their country.

Navy Chaplain

Role details

What you’ll do

The Royal Navy offers a world of unparalleled opportunities for its reservists. And this means the type of spiritual guidance and support they need is equally unique. The friendship and advice you’ll need to offer as a Reserve Chaplain will be unlike anything you’ve done in your civilian career. You’ll work in a multi-faith environment, one that can include challenging situations, and the need to guide reservists as well as their families when they’re deployed. You’ll be there for whoever needs you to be. You’ll serve the people who serve the nation.

Your role

  • Act as chaplain to a unique, and very varied congregation. The spiritual and emotional support you provide will be vital to the wellbeing of personnel of all ranks and roles.
  • Work in a multi-faith environment, providing advice and guidance that is very different to that needed in the civilian world. 
  • Develop a wide range of new skills through military training, including firefighting and first aid. You’ll need to apply these skills in operational environments, as well as on exercises.
  • Travel the world, giving crucial guidance to serving personnel and their families. The work you do when mobilised will be vital to protecting our nations interests. 

Pay & benefits

  • Daily rates of pay equivalent to those of full-time personnel
  • Broad range of developmental courses available inside and outside the Naval Service
  • Receive extra pay if you are mobilised
  • Annual tax-free bounty subject to meeting the minimum training commitment
  • Paid leave in proportion to the number of training days attended
  • Automatic membership of the non-contributory Armed Forces Pension Scheme
  • Expenses and allowances when undergoing training
  • Access to sports and fitness facilities

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • The opportunity to attend Staff College
  • The opportunity to study for a PGCE or Masters degree.

Skills you'll develop

  • Communication skills working with Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel, who may have no church background
  • Gain experience working with young people
  • Learn Resource Planning
  • Develop your team management skills
  • Work in a multi-national environment



  • Aged 26 to 53
  • You normally need to have 2-3 years post-accreditation professional experience (full-time or equivalent)  and qualify as a minister of religion or belief leader. There is normally a requirement to have significant experience of working as a chaplain (or equivalent, e.g. an ordained pastoral leadership role) but as long as you can achieve this alongside your initial reservist training you may be eligible to apply to be a Probationary Reservist Chaplain straight after you have qualified.
  • You will need to be currently working as an accredited chaplain or qualified religious or belief leader with one of the following faith or belief communities: Christian, Hindu, Humanist or Non-Religious, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and currently engaged with them at the point of application
  • You must be a United Kingdom national, or Commonwealth citizen, or Dual National
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28
  • Able to pass the Royal Naval Fitness Test (RNFT)
  • Able to pass the Naval Swimming Test
  • Hold a full and valid UK Driving Licence



Skills & Interests

  • Proven track record of excellent people skills and ability to engage with young people
  • Understanding of the rigours of Naval life
  • Ability to work individually, as an autonomous practitioner, without the structure and direct support of your faith or belief community
  • Physically fit and mentally resilient and ready for the challenge
  • Ability to work as part of a diverse multi-faith and belief team

Joining Process

From picking your role to starting on your first day, these are the steps you'll take to join as a rating.

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